PITMAN

CREATIVES AND CREDITS
 
Choreographer: Eliot Smith 
 
Music and Sections: 
Coal Tubs off the Way 
  1. Nature - Cave Dripping Water Sound Effect. Composer: Hollywood Sound Effects
  2. There is No Safe Side But the Side of Truth - The Miners Hymns. Composer: Johann Johannsson
The Bar Playing Dominoes 
  1. Bar Ambience (Pub People Talk Talking Background Noise) - Ambient Sound Effects. Composer: Finnolia Sound Effects
  2. Jeep Jockey Jump - In the mood for Glen Miller Vol. 1. Composer: The Jack Million Band
 
Fish and Chips 
  1. Background - Fish & Chip Shop Sound Effect - Hollywood Sound Effects Vol. 2. Composer: Hollywood Sound Effects
  2. The Old Fisher's Invitation - 'From Tyne to Tweed’ – The Northumberland Anthology. Composer: David Haslam 
 
Dawn-Ashington Colliery
  1. Dawn In The Country With Birds Chirping - Sound Effects: Nature. Composer: Sound Effects
  2. Northumberland - John Jeffreys: Of Fire and Dew. Composer: Jonathan Veria & Shelly Katz
Jazz Band Parade
  1. Carnival Crowd - Essential Home Video Sound Effects. Composer: BBC Sound Effects Library
  2. Songs of the Tyne - The Music Lives On Now the Mines Have Gone. Composer: Beakpark and Esh Colliery Band 
The Bowler
  1. The Cause of Labour is the Hope of the World - The Miners Hymns. Composer: Johann Johannsson
Progging the Mat 
1. String of Pearls - In the mood for Glen Miller Vol. 1. Composer: The Jack Million Band
The Miner
1. They Being Dead Yet Speaketh - The Miners Hymns. Composer: Johann Johannsson
The Xmas Tree
1. O Christmas Tree - International Staff Band of The Salvation Army
2. The Joy of Christmas -  The Salvation Army ​
Costume: Eliot Smith
 
Premiered on Thursday 10 November 2016 at Newbiggin Maritime Centre
Supported and Funded by Arts Council England, Northumberland Arts Development, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea Town Council and Ashington Town Council
ESD acknowledges the support from Woodhorn Museum, The Ashington Group Trustees and Mr William Bell

With the kind permission of The Ashington Group Trustees; PITMAN tells the simple but inspiring real life story of a group of miners who with no formal artistic training, depicted their daily lives in a series of paintings which have become celebrated and revered in the art world, as well as providing an important visual commentary for social historians.

 

With intimate solos, duets and dramatic ensemble dancing the work explores the hopes, dreams and determination of the Ashington Group.

Eliot Smith describes the work;

The pitman painters have been celebrated through exhibitions, art books and articles and Lee Hall’s hugely successful play. To the best of our knowledge this is the first celebration of these unique individuals in dance form.

 

The Ashington Group, known globally as The Pitmen Painters, is the inspiration for PITMAN. It tells the simple but inspiring real life story of a group of miners who, with no formal artistic training, depicted their daily lives in a series of paintings which have become celebrated and revered in the art world, as well as providing an important visual commentary for social historians.

 

I have selected nine paintings (Coal Tubs off the Way by George Brown, The Bar Playing Dominoes by Andrew Foreman, Fish and Chips by Fred Laidler, Dawn-Ashington Colliery by Oliver Kilbourn, Jazz Band Parade by J F Harrison, The Bowler by Len Robinson, Progging the Mat by Oliver Kilbourn, The Miner by Leslie Brownrigg and The Xmas Tree Harry Wilson) that I believe are the most revealing yet simple works created by the Ashington Group. The story of these painters has been celebrated throughout the world of art, as well as in the theatre (Lee Hall) but this I believe is the first depiction through dance.  Although working people have displayed talents not traditionally associated with their class it largely went unnoticed. The WEA, from which the painters directly benefited was a positive force in realising that latent potential. The creation of Pitman has led me to revisit an issue that has always fascinated me; the link between art in all its diverse forms and the working class.