Socialist Worker

On Behalf of The People

by Judith Power
Issue No. 2607

Ray Ashcroft as miner George Mason

Ray Ashcroft as miner George Mason (Pic: Tom Jackson)


This play shows that life for the working class is always a battle, whether at work or serving in the forces at war.

The action begins with the four actors telling us with pride about where they lived, what they did and who they were. Minimal props are used—a gate-leg table, chairs, china cups and saucers and a teapot with tea cosy.

George Mason is an old miner, trade unionist and husband to Connie, a strong woman. Tom is returning from army service in World War II.

Mixed feelings are evident as we learn of the loss of an older son on the beaches of Normandy.

Patriotism and bravery are explored, as are issues of grief and loss.

Suffering

Connie takes control of the situation and forces father and son to face their loss and grief.

Liz, Tom’s long-suffering partner has waited five years for him without any knowledge of whether he was alive or dead.

Loyalty is important, whether to family, the mine or to political ideals.

George is suffering from lung disease. He has very strong political views and dreams of a better life following a change of government.

He values tenacity, has a stubborn belief in the working class and pride in his role in the union.

The play is poignant. The dialogue is gritty and attention-grabbing.

All four actors were excellent, especially George, whose mannerisms and accent were spot on.

The play ended with the four characters telling us again with pride about who they were and what they had achieved.

by Roy Castleton

On tour now. For more information and showtimes, go to themeltingshop.co.uk


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