Last night we went to Theatr Clwyd to see a brilliant play, Brassed off. I have never been to this theatre before; it's not very big but it contains 2 theatres and a cinema, which means that each one is small enough to enable the audience to have a clear view wherever they are sitting and also to feel part of the performance.
I always enjoy going to the theatre, although I probably don't go as often as I would like, but I really can't remember a performance that I enjoyed so much. The storyline is about the struggle of a tight-knit Welsh mining community faced with the closure of the pit which is practically their only source of employment and of their brass band which is a focus of unity for the community. The performance included live brass music - even the leading characters were actually playing their instruments. The portrayal of determination to keep the pit open gradually gave way to the cynical realisation that the powers that be had already made their decision to close it, no matter what and were manipulating the families involved through their conditional offers of redundancy payments. "Take it now and don't argue. We'll win in the end anyway."
The argument within the community was about the conflict between the short term benefit of taking what was offered and the fact that, by so doing, they were betraying future generations of workers, but, in fact, it was the government which was doing that; the choice was not really theirs to make. If you have seen the film, you know the story but this performance was immeasurably better.
'Brassed off' is playing at Theatr Clwyd until mid November and if you live within travelling distance of Mold, you shouldn't miss it. As I said at the beginning - it's brilliant!