Mad Cow Theatre today announced the cast for The Pitmen Painters, by Lee Hall, inspired by a book by William Feaver.
Heralded in London and on Broadway, this new play by the Tony Award-winning writer of Billy Elliot is based on a triumphant true story. A group of miners in Northern England taking an art appreciation class start experimenting with painting and soon build an astonishing body of work that makes them the unlikeliest of art world sensations. An arresting and hilarious salute to the power of individual expression and the collective spirit, The Pitmen Painters is a deeply moving and timely look at art, class and politics.
Lee Hall’s new play tells the true story of a group of miners in Newcastle, England, in the 1930s who discover a passion for painting and become celebrated artists in their own right. The play begins as the miners, who’ve already spent 12 hours underground in the “pit,” gather for an art appreciation class taught by a visiting professor. Stymied by an attempt to engage his pupils with photos of famous paintings none of them have ever heard of, the teacher gets the bright idea to let the miners learn by doing. The results are spectacular: The so-called Ashington Group becomes the toast of London, attracting patrons and gallery shows. Conflict looms when the most talented artist, Oliver Kilbourn, is offered a weekly stipend by a wealthy collector. Will he leave the mines and pursue his passion full-time?
Directed by Bobbie Bell (A Delicate Balance, The Caretaker), the cast features John Bateman (The Rainmaker) as Harry, Trevin Cooper (My Fair Lady) as Young Lad/Ben Nicholson, Glenn Gover as Jimmy, Tommy Keesling (Rashomon, Amadeus, The Matchmaker) as Robert Lyon, Mark Lainer (Hedda Gabler) as Oliver, Amanda Schlachter as Helen, Carly Skubick as Susan, and Mark EdWard Smith (The Heiress, Rashomon, An Inspector Calls) as George. Scenic Design is by Stephen Ricker (Hedda Gabler) lighting design by Erin Miner and costume design by Wayne Fowks.
The Pitmen Painters runs from June 15 to July 8 at Mad Cow Theatre, 105 S. Magnolia Ave. in Downtown Orlando.