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The Leigh Excellence Cluster Theatre Company proudly staged three performances of a brand new play ‘DOWN T’ PIT’ at Bedford High School in front of packed and appreciative audiences. Each performance was a rip roaring success.
‘Good theatre needs to engage the audience and this was achieved in abundance,’ said Excellence Cluster Assistant Director, Heidi Lovely. ‘A professional theatre company would have been proud of performances such as this.’
The play was divided into two parts. Part one told the story of the sad events around Christmas 1910 when the Pretoria Pit Disaster claimed the lives of so many miners. The actors dealt with the story with real sympathy and understanding. (read the poem Black Christmas by Julia McCrory)
In part two the story moved to 1978 and the long and bitter miner’s national strike. The play told the story of the stand the miners here in the North West took against the Thatcher government. It related the suffering and the hardship felt by miner’s families. It was a powerful story told brilliantly by its young cast.
‘It is amazing that children from several schools had come together to work so successfully on this important project,’ said Dianne Martindale, Christ Church Pennington CE Headteacher.
The cast were directed brilliantly by Roni Ellis and Claire Shaw. The crew were directed by P. Wood and S. Wheeldon. The Executive Producer was Pauline Wood, from Bedford High School.
‘This drama production was of the highest quality. It is exactly what we envisaged when we planned ‘Our Past – Our Future’, said Pauline Wood, Executive Producer. ‘It brought together pupils from across the Cluster to work successfully together on a heritage project for the whole community. Tremendous !’

by our Theatre Correspondent

St. Gabriel’s RC
Ryan Starkie, Bethany Jones,
Emily Robinson, Paul Collins
Sacred Heart RC
Rebecca Foster–Lacey, Rachel Monaghan,
Samantha White, Britney-Lea Buss
Bickershaw CE
Jonathan Robert, Megan Muir, Holly Burrows,
Cleopatra Mabena, Nicole Ratcliffe
Christ Church Pennington CE
Matthew Davidson, Anita Patterson,
Brittany Taylor, Abigail Martin
Bedford High School
Bethany Pilling, Amy Cordiner, Jessica Kelleher

Pupils from
St. Gabriel’s RC, Sacred Heart RC, Bickershaw CE,
Christ Church Pennington CE, Leigh CE Primary,
Leigh Central Primary, Bedford High School


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