John Godber play explores impact of miners’ strike

John Godber.
John Godber.

Award-winning playwright John Godber knows first hand the devastation caused by the 1984-5 miners’ strike.

And his new play Shafted! explores the impact the strikes had on the miners like his father and their communities across the country.

Mr Godber and his wife Jane Thornton take centre stage in the show, which follows the lives of redundant miner Harry and his wife Dot as they attempt to hold down new jobs after the strikes.

From window cleaning in Wakefield to running a boarding house in Bridlington, the couple struggle to settle in their new jobs while trying to rebuild their community.

The play will be performed only a month after miners at Kellingley Colliery finished their final shifts at the site.

The closure of the pit brought an end to centuries of deep coal mining in Britain.

Mr Godber grew up in Upton, which was heavily affected by the miners’ strike.

South Kirkby and Moorthorpe Town Council deputy leader Charlie Robinson said he was delighted the show was coming to the area.

He said: “It has generated a lot of local interest. The Grove is the only venue of its type that the play is appearing at.

“We are planning to display the old South Kirkby Colliery Banner at the play and it will be incorporated into the set.”

Coun Robinson said former miners who worked at South Kirkby Colliery are expected to be in the audience to watch the show.

The play marks the first stage appearance for Mr Godber since his popular show April in Paris in 2010, which was sold out across the UK.

Shafted! will be performed at The Grove, Stockingate, South Kirkby, on Wednesday, February 17. The shows will be held at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £5 and are available from The Grove by calling 01977 642159 or by logging onto

Film producer Tony Garnett will speak at a day-long festival to commemorate the miners’ strike.

Tony Garnett will speak at With Banners Held High – 50 years since his hard-hitting television play Cathy Come Home was first screened on the BBC.

The influential 1966 play, directed by Ken Loach, told the story of a young couple facing eviction and homelessness and was watched by 12 million people.

Mr Garnett, who produced Kes, will be the keynote speaker at the festival on Saturday, March 5.

The event, which was first staged last March, will be compered by writer and broadcaster Ian Clayton and include exhibitions, music, film, poetry and debates.

Tickets for the event are available by logging onto