Queens Of The Coal Age at the Royal Exchange Theatre

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
Queens of the Coal Age at the Royal Exchange
Royal Exchange Theatre

Queens Of The Coal Age at Royal Exchange Theatre, City Centre, 28 June–21 July 2018, from £17.00 - Book now

Receiving its stage premiere at Manchester’s Royal Exchange, Queens of the Coal Age is based on the inspiring true story of four extraordinary women who went underground to occupy a Lancashire colliery during the wave of mine closures in 1993. Written by Maxine Peake, this new play follows Anne, Dot, Lesley and Elaine as they head eighty metres underground to make their stand for Women Against Pit Closures.

It’s 1993 and the Government may be winding down the Parkside Colliery in Newton-le-Willows but for Anne, Dot, Lesley and Elaine the fight is not over yet. Disguised as teachers these four ordinary women head down the pit, their bras and knickers stuffed with contraband – Nicorette gum and ‘Coal not Dole’ stickers – to make a stand for their families, their community and themselves. Facing bribery and threats from the top, they stand resolute and pass the time by making tissue roses and walking imaginary dogs. As they dig in for the long days ahead those up top start to realise that these ladies are not for turning.

This witty re-telling of the 5-day occupation of Parkside Colliery in Newton-Le-Willows is directed by Bryony Shanahan, the Royal Exchange’s new Associate Artistic Director. 

Maxine Peake and Bryony Shanahan bring Queens of the Coal Age, a tale of the indomitable women and their battle against the pit closures to Manchester’s Royal Exchange, in co-production with the New Vic Theatre, before transferring to Stoke-on Trent.

Queens Of The Coal Age at Royal Exchange Theatre, City Centre

28 June–21 July 2018
From £17.00

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Cinema 1–21 February 2019, from £5.50

Burning at HOME

Cinema 8–22 February 2019, from £5.50

If Beale Street Could Talk at HOME

Theatre in Manchester and the North
Theatre 13–23 February 2019, from £12.50

SparkPlug at HOME

Poppy, Esme, Oleanna, Gracie and Kate, 2014. Personal Feeling is the main thing - Chantal Joffe at The Lowry, Salford
Exhibitions 19 May 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Salford Royal Academy Takeover

William Roberts RA, Combat, 1966. Image courtesy of Art UK
Exhibitions 30 June 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

The Royal Academy Takeover: The Exhibition

PERSPECTIVES – Venture Arts
Exhibitions 1 October 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

PERSPECTIVES – around Manchester

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry
Exhibitions 10 November 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry

Activity 6 October 2018–6 March 2019, from £40

Northern Quarter Taster Walk with Manchester Food Walks