DAILY EXPRESS ***** THE TIMES ****
WHATSONSTAGE ***** FINANCIAL TIMES ****
THE OBSERVER **** THE SUNDAY TIMES ****
A musical play celebrating the magnificent spirit of the North East, Close the Coalhouse Door is told with a wry smile, sparkling dialogue and moving songs by an extended family of wives, vicars, sons, daughters, footballers and of course the miners themselves.
Written by Alan Plater with songs by Alex Glasgow, Close The Coalhouse Door is based on the stories of Sid Chaplin, with additional material by Lee Hall. The show is an exhilarating ride through the strikes, victories and disappointments in British mining history from the formation of the first unions in 1831. Structured around joyful and heart-tugging songs inspired by working mens’ anthems of each period, it has all the irony and lively mischief of Oh What A Lovely War, the dark grit of Our Friends In The North, and the triumph over adversity of Billy Elliot.
Alan made his mark as a scriptwriter for Z-Cars, ironically despite Alan being a supporter of Hull City A.F.C, the Z-Cars theme tune arranged by Fritz Spiegl and Bridget Fry is also used as the anthem for Premier League football club Everton and is played at Goodison Park before every home match.
“An affectionate portrayal of a mining community, showing there was once more to the north-east than Football, Brown Ale and Betting.” Non League Bets
“It’s pitmatic, poetic and passionate and I won’t be surprised if it runs and runs and runs.” The Northern Echo
“44 years on, director Samuel West has revived [Close The Coalhouse Door] with such grit and unrestrained joy that they’d better start block-booking those North-East coaches again.” Daily Express