British working-class painters: Jimmy's blob

The successful Broadway run of The Pitmen Painters, Lee Hall’s drama set in a north-east mining community, has introduced US audiences to a remarkable chapter in British working-class life, writes  Robert Colls.

When Lee Hall’s The Pitmen Painters moved to Broadway in the autumn, following a successful run at the National Theatre, it brought a taste of a north-east mining village to the most famous showbiz street in the world. Following in the wake of Hall’s blockbuster musical and film, Billy Elliott (with music by Elton John), the drama tells the story of a group of miners from Ashington, Northumberland who from 1934 to 1983 met every week in a wooden hut to paint what they saw and discuss what they painted.

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