The Pitmen Painters
The Pitmen Painters tells the story of a group of Ashington coal miners who, in 1934, hire a professor to teach an art appreciation evening class.
New on Broadway, “The Pitmen Painters” has been accurately described as “Billy Elliot” without the songs. It’s written by the same guy, Lee Hall. The first act is terrific. The story is about a number of miners who come together to take an art appreciation course. Actually, most of them are miners, one of them can’t get a job, and one of them is actually a dentist, but having said that they are all trying to take an art appreciation course. And the teacher tries helping them really connect to paintings by having them do their own art work. And this is based on a true story, a real group of people, which makes it particularly resonant in lieu of the recent Chilean miners story . Like I said, I really loved the first act. The second act I think dragged a bit. But it’s interesting, a little sentimental and includes some good acting. The accents are a little hard to deal with until your ear gets used to it, but I’d give it three and a half stars.