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Original Cast of THE PITMEN PAINTERS Head Back to West End

Casting has been announced for the forthcoming West End production of Lee Hall's The Pitmen Painters, presented by Bill Kenwright. The climax of an extraordinary journey, which started at Newcastle's Live Theatre and continued on to the National, Broadway, and all round the UK, The Pitmen Painters is highly amusing, deeply moving and always entertaining as it examines the lives of a group of ordinary men who do extraordinary things.

The cast includes Ian Kelly as ‘Robert Lyon', Michael Hodgson as ‘Harry Wilson', David Whitaker as ‘Jimmy Floyd' and Brian Lonsdale as ‘Young Lad/Ben Nicholson', all reprising the roles that they played at Live Theatre in Newcastle, at the National, on Broadway and on tour. Trevor Fox, who joined the cast on Broadway and on tour, will reprise the role of ‘Oliver Kilbourn'. Joy Brook and Viktoria Kay, who joined for the 2011 tour, will play ‘Helen Sutherland' and ‘Susan Parks' respectively. Joe Caffrey, who has appeared in many productions at Live Theatre in Newcastle and who played the role of Dad in the West End Production of Cooking With Elvis, and ‘Billy's Father' in the West End production of Billy Elliot (both also by Lee Hall), will join the cast to play ‘George Brown'.

The West End season will open at the Duchess Theatre on Wednesday 5 October with press night on the Tuesday 11 October at 7pm.

In 1934, a group of Ashington miners hired a professor to teach an art appreciation evening class. Rapidly abandoning theory in favour of practice, the pitmen began to paint - prolifically. Within a few years avant-garde artists became their friends and their work was acquired by prestigious collectors; but every day they continued to work, as before, down the mine...

Full of humour, drama and revelation, Lee Hall's The Pitmen Painters, which won the Evening Standard Award for Best New Play, has never been so relevant, as public cutbacks take their toll and the debate about the importance of the arts reaches a crescendo.

Lee Hall wrote the screenplay for Billy Elliot and adapted it for the West End in 2005, winning an Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Billy Elliot opened on Broadway in November 2008. His plays include Spoonface Steinberg (Ambassadors), Cooking with Elvis (Live Theatre, Assembly Rooms and West End), and an adaptation of Herman Heijerman's The Good Hope for The National Theatre. Inspired by a book by William Feaver, this is the original production directed by Max Roberts, with set and costume design by Gary McCann, lighting by Douglas Kuhrt and sound by Martin Hodgson.

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