Shafted! After the coalface John Godber digs up new mining drama


John Godber’s new play, Shafted!, mines the story of a community torn apart by the devastating effects of the 1984 miner’s strike.

The drama, which stars the John Godber and his wife, Jane Thornton, has been touring in the north of England but is set to play a limited run in London at the capital’s newest performing pace, the Marylebone Theatre, part of Regent’s University London, from April 6.

Produced by The John Godber Company and Theatre Royal Wakefield Shafted! traces the lives of miner Harry and his wife Dot in the years after the Miners’ Strike of 1984, as the pair struggle to settle into new jobs and to rebuild their community.


Thirty years after the strike, the devastating effects on the coal industry and the lives of mining families are still being felt, with the UK’s last deep coal mine, at Kellingley in North Yorkshire, closing at Christmas, 2015.

Shafted! tells the story of a community torn apart by the loss of industry and the people left to fend for themselves, which are still poignantly relevant.

The play’s premiere in 2015 at Theatre Royal Wakefield, marked the first stage appearance for Godber since a 2010 Hull Truck Theatre production of April in Paris. It also starred Jane Thornton and enjoyed a sold-out run.

John Godber, who is an Honorary Fellow of Regent’s University London, was invited to stage the play at the Marylebone Theatre, a converted 19th century church and 100-seat performance space.

It plays in London from April 6-9 before heading back north where it will appear at Northern Stage, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, April 12-16; Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre from April 18-23.

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