Bolton Theatre celebrates Great Miners Strike

Police confront miners at the battle of Orgreave coke depot, June,1984
Police confront miners at the battle of Orgreave coke depot, June,1984

The Octagon Theatre Bolton will mark the 25th anniversary of the Great Miners’ Strike when Artistic Director David Thacker revives his acclaimed production of The Enemies Within.

The play was created in 1985 using real-life accounts of striking miners and their families following interviews conducted by writer Ron Rose, David and the cast.

The play uses their exact words to tell the real stories that members of this Yorkshire mining community felt compelled to tell.

The Enemies Within is a co-production between the Octagon and London-based Azure Theatre Productions. It will be the first Octagon-produced production to be staged in the theatre’s newly renovated Studio theatre.

The show will go on to be performed at The Crucible in Sheffield – in the heart of the country most affected by the strike.

David Thacker recently directed a highly regarded BBC film, Faith, set in the 1984/5 strike.

He is very excited to be once again investigating this significant period in British history: ‘I’m thrilled that, thanks to the generosity of Azure Theatre Productions, we are able to re-present The Enemies Within.

‘With the distance of 25 years, The Enemies Within is a deeply moving and compelling retrospective look at the most important industrial relations dispute since the 1926 General Strike.’

Most of the original cast of Thacker’s groundbreaking production return to present this story, and it includes two actors who have recently performed at the Octagon.

Margot Leicester appeared in All My Sons and Ghosts, while Barbara Marten played Sylvia Gellburg in Broken Glass. They are joined by Howard Crossley, David MacCreedy, Barbara Peirson, Martin Riley, Stephen Tiller, Dyfed Thomas and Annie Tyson.

Ron Rose has written more than 60 plays performed by many of the country’s leading theatres. His extensive television credits include The Bill, Heartbeat, Between the Lines and the critically acclaimed Love and Reason.