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Gary Clarke Co - Coal

Laura Barber - Nottinghamshire engagement opportunities for ex-mining communities

Theatres   Derby Theatre   Nottingham Playhouse OTG

Coal   Kes     Tinned Goods  

Laura Barber
26 Apr 2017
Nottinghamshire engagement opportunities for ex-mining communities
Hi Fionn,

My name's Laura and I'm the Engagement Manager for Gary Clarke Company's COAL.

COAL is a multi-award winning dance theatre show which takes a nostalgic look at the hard hitting realities of life at the coal face. To watch a trailer, please click here. COAL has been touring the country since Spring 2016 and will be returning to Nottingham Playhouse on 19th and 20th June 2017 for two performances.


My work on COAL revolves around finding opportunities for members of ex-mining communities and educational establishments to engage with the show through a number of different initiatives. These include roles for community cast members, community roadshows and a workshop package. I've given a little information on each of these below.

Community cast
We work with four women aged 30 plus (no upper limit) with no professional performance experience in dance or theatre who join the cast of seven dancers and a live brass quintet on stage at Nottingham Playhouse. The four women feature in a small section of the show and play members of the women’s union ‘Women against Pit Closures’ established in 1984.

Community roadshows
We work with established community groups in ex-mining communities to deliver free roadshows. These events provide an opportunity to hear more about the show and for those attending to share their own experiences with Gary and each other, perhaps re-living some memories and engaging once again with that time in their lives. We can offer discounted tickets to see the show and in some cases assistance with travel to get these groups to Nottingham Playhouse.

Workshop and show package
Members of the company deliver workshops to schools, colleges and universities. Students will take part in an individually tailored 3 hour dance workshop, watch a live performance of COAL and be invited to give a critical response to choreographer Gary Clarke as part of a unique post show discussion.

I'm getting in touch to see if you have some community links within the Nottinghamshire ex-mining communities that you think may be interested to hear about these opportunities. Any help with publicising through your personal networks or in the areas around where you live would also be greatly appreciated - I could provide example social media posts an flyers for this. If this is something you can help with, I'd love the opportunity to have a chat with you.

I hope to hear from you soon.

All the best,