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Brassed Off - Sheffield Lyceum

Published by: Paul Tyree on 19th May 2014 | View all blogs by Paul Tyree


Brassed Off

Adapted by Paul Allen

Based on a Screenplay by Mark Herman

Review by Paul Tyree


Brassed Off, based on the 1996 movie, gives us a window into the recent history of miners strikes and the crippling poverty that taking on the ‘management’ can create. It is a stirring tale of how through all of the horrors that society can throw at you, how something as simple as music can lift the spirit and somehow give it meaning when you think all is lost.

There is a wonderful inherent dignity to this tale that comes through. Of course it had a lot to live up to when you remember the film, but in some areas this play is better than the movie. Here the female struggle to keep families going, but also to fight for the pit, shines through and gives us an understanding that the miners strike was so much more than an ideological and predominantly male battle. Here, in this play all sides are represented.

There are wonderful performances by Rebecca Clay as the put upon wife of Phil, the hopeless and permantly skint clown. Also Helen Kay and Gilly Tompkins are marvellous as two women on either side of the ‘should we or shouldn’t we take the compensation’ divide.

Clara Darcy as Gloria is wonderful as the young woman trying to bridge the gap between the men and management and strikingly in a play all about men and their struggles, it is the women that shine through best in this production.

All in all, however, from the direction, the music and  the performances, this is a stirring, hugely funny, touching and thoughtful tribute to the times and the men and women that loved, laughed and cried through it all. A night at the theatre you wont regret.

(*This review appeared in The Sheffield Star and I therefore delayed its publication on this forum*).




  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 4 years ago
    Thanks for sharing this, Paul. Is the production touring?
  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 4 years ago
    Thursday 15 May - Saturday 14th June 2014
    Bolton Octagon Box Office 01204 520661
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