Theatre review: Shafted! @ the Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

Jane Thornton and John Godber in Shafted!. Photo: Amy Charles Media

Jane Thornton and John Godber in Shafted!. Photo: Amy Charles Media

“The miners united will never be defeated.” I loved this. Pure and simple. It was emotive, evoked memories and was a real discussion point for everybody leaving the theatre and certainly for me, on the journey home.

John Godber (writer) and his wife Jane Thornton (actor, playwright) starred. It is set in Upton, with Harry and his wife Dot in the aftermath of the pit closure in 1984. The play progresses quickly with a projected date in the background with a contemporary song to that period so you know when you are. The language was completely relatable and recognisable in the North with all of its idiosyncrasies.

You could just completely relate to the relationship between Harry and Dot and the arguments that they had. Act 1 progressed in a temporal fashion and then Act 2 started in 2014, and then progressed backwards. That was especially emotive, and really powerful, because you knew what was coming. It was hilarious in places and then extremely sad in others so you were on a roller coaster ride of emotions.

The main theme throughout was the pit closure and despite the time that had passed, Harry and to a certain extent Dot, could not forget; could not let it go. It shaped their entire lives. They recalled the picket lines and the women’s movement and I don’t think that they had ever felt as alive as then.

This was special and I would thoroughly recommend it.

Shafted! reviewed by Natalie D Kershaw on Friday 12th February 2016. At the Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield then touring to Doncaster, Nottingham and Newcastle upon Tyne.