The new play will debut on Broadway in September 2010 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
The American premiere of Tony Award winner Lee Hall's The Pitmen Painters, directed by Max Roberts and starring the original London cast, will hit Broadway. The play, which won the Evening Standard Award for Best Play in 2008, will be presented by Manhattan Theatre Club in September 2010 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
In 1934, a group of Ashington miners hired a professor to teach an art appreciation evening class. Rapidly abandoning theory in favor of practice, the pitmen began to paint. Within a few years the most avant-garde artists became their friends and their work was acquired by prestigious collections; but every day they worked, as before, down the mine. Inspired by a book by William Feavers, the play, which enjoyed a run at the U.K.'s Live Theatre before transferring to London's National Theatre.
The Pitmen Painters cast includes Christopher Connel (Cooking with Elvis, Shooting the Legend), Michael Hodgson (Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Jane Eyre), Ian Kelly (Beau Brummell, TV's In a Land of Plenty), Brian Lonsdale (The Boy on the Swing, TV's The Other Possibility), Lisa McGrillis (Sock in the Wash, Hansel and Gretel), Deka Walmsley (Playing with Fire, Cyrano de Bergerac), David Whitaker (Tell Me, Animal Farm) and Phillippa Wilson (The Importance of Being Earnest, A Nightingale Sang).
Hall is best known for penning the scripts to both Billy Elliot the movie and the musical, winning a Tony Award for the latter. His additional screenwriting credits include Wind in the Willows, Spoonface Steinberg and The Student Prince. Stage work includes Spoonface Steinberg, Cooking with Elvis and adaptations of The Barber of Seville, The Good Hope, Pinocchio, Mother Courage and Servant to Two Masters.
The Pitmen Painters features scenic and costume design by Gary McCann, lighting design by Douglas Kuhrt, and sound design by Martin Hodgson.