IT IS NOT often you get a classical music concert and a stage play in one show and the Norbury Players enlisted the help of the Malvern Hills District Brass Band for this superb production.
This fantastic script – adapted from the popular Brit flick – was brought to life by a charismatic cast.
It is set to a backdrop of years of disputes and closures with Grimley Colliery under threat, the brass band is the one thing which brings the miners together and, under the leadership of Danny who coughs with his coal-dusted lungs, and the help of local lass and flugelhorn player Gloria, the band is transformed into British champions.
Such was the performance of those on the stage this powerful story had the ability to make you laugh and cry in equal measure.
Among the highlights in the first half were some very sharp one-liners and the marching band contest which had the audience in hysterics.
In the second half, those watching were taken on a roller-coaster of emotions amidst the fight to save the pit an the friction and confrontation in both working and family relationships.
The show was also made all the more poignant by the real-life events in the British steel industry over the last few months.
Everyone in the cast played their part in making this show such a success.
Frankie Blincoe Deval gave a solid portrayal of Shane who acted as a narrator for the piece, ensuring the production ran smoothly, holding it together and even getting a few laughs along the way.
The chemistry between the characters is key in a show like this to make the relationships between loved ones and colleagues believable and real.
Matt Fernley as Phil, John Birchley as Jim, Matthew Jeffrey as Andy and Graeme Sinclair as Harry interacted well on the stage.
Likewise, the wives – Sandra (Jenny Tranter) and Vera (Joy Williamson) also represented their characters well.
Sophie Davey-Over as the well-meaning Gloria won the hearts of the audience and you really felt for her and the situation she was in.
But the star of the show was David Goode who moved the crowd as ex-miner and veteran conductor Danny. There were some magnificent monologues from him, most notably towards the end at the final of the band concert at the Albert Hall.
The pitch perfect performance from the Malvern Hills District Brass Band also made this show – as well as supplying the fictional brass band performances, it also provided atmospheric incidental music during the touching scenes.
The production concluded with a rousing rendition of Land and Hope and Glory which had the audience singing along.
And as the curtain came, there was rapturous applause and half the crowd were on their feet.
As people left the auditorium, they looked drained – in a good way – and deep in thought after the thoroughly brilliant and pathos-laden show they had just seen.
The remaining shows take place tonight (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday).
Performances start at 7.30pm each night.
Tickets, which are £11 (£10 concessions, are available by visiting www.norburytheatre.co.uk or by calling 01905 770154.