A group of miners who become respected (and collected) artists? Sounds like the plot of a short story—but this totally true tale forms the basis of Lee Hall’s acclaimed play The Pitmen Painters. The author of Billy Elliot charts the rise of a small group of 1930s “pitmen” in Newcastle whose after-hours art appreciation class inspired them to begin painting scenes from their lives. The painting were so good, the London art world sat up and took notice! Click through our photo gallery (and watch our video preview) to get a feel for this exciting play, which opens on September 30 at Manhattan Theatre club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.