Monday, 1 October 2012

Close the Coalhouse door

I listened to the Radio 4 play Close the Coalhouse Door by Alan Plater on Saturday afternoon.

Based on the writings of ex-miner Sid Chaplin, Close the Coalhouse Door is about the Durham miners' union from the strikes to achieve recognition in the 1830's through the Depression and post-war nationalisation.  It's also well known for the songs in it by Alex Glasgow which as well as Close the Coalhouse Door include As Soon As This Pub Closes and Socialist ABC.

Alan Plater wrote the play in 1968, before the coalfield battles of 1972, 1974 and 1984-5, so director Sam West brings the play up to the present day with an "alternate history" in which Thatcherism never happened. If only...

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