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Based on the screenplay by Mark Herman!

! adapted for ! directed by !

the stage by Paul Allen! Damian Cruden!

designed by Dawn Allsopp

Education Resource Pack! researched and written by Helen Cadbury

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BRASSED OFF: EDUCATION PACK

Contents

Introduction

3

Synopsis and Characters

4

Director’s Vision

5

Design Notes

6

Meet Luke Adamson - playing Shane

7, 8

Meet Will Treasure - DSM

9,10

British Coal Mining

11, 12,

Brass Bands

13, 14, 15

Follow up Ideas in Drama

16

Review Writing: Evaluation of a Performance

17

Film and Media Project: THIS IS MINE!

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! ! ! !

For a full tour schedule go to:

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http://theatrecloud.com/brassed-off/tour-info

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BRASSED OFF: EDUCATION PACK

Introduction!

Brassed Off

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Based on the award winning film, Paul Allen’s stage adaptation likewise focuses on the South Yorkshire mining community of Grimley, ten years after the miners’ strike of 1984. The pit is facing closure, and the colliery brass band is under threat. Combining direct address narration, naturalistic performances, an impressionistic set, and the live music of brass instruments, this production is an excellent choice for school parties of Year 8 and above (there are some instances of mild swearing, within the context of the piece). The play foregrounds an important time in British industrial history and the history of our communities.

! The Education Pack !

There are interviews with the creative and production teams and accounts of rehearsal room practice to enable students to gain an insight into the process and to support the development of their own creative response to Brassed Off, as well as important information on the social and historical context of the play.

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The pack will be of interest to a range of teachers and students, including GCSE Drama, Music, Media Studies, History and Politics; BTEC National Diploma in Acting or Technical Theatre, AS/ A level Drama and Theatre, History, Politics: through to degree level Drama, Acting, Directing, Theatre Design and Music.

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The material in this pack may be reproduced for classroom use only and not for resale or reproduction in print or electronically without the prior permission of the author.

! Workshops in your school !

Combining the rehearsal techniques used by the Company with an exploration of the themes of Brassed Off, through character work, physical exploration and devising, students will gain an insight into the world of Grimley and the imminent closure of its pit. Bespoke versions of the workshop can be arranged either before or after your visit. Contact education@pilot-theatre.com for more information.!

! Page to Stage !

The Page-To-Stage is an interactive experience that takes place in the auditorium and on stage. It will last for 60 minutes and will involve members of the acting company and staff director working with the students to analyse a scene from the play. The students will suggest ways of interpreting the text, comment on the choices open to the creative team, and direct the actors on the set. The session is not practical, the students sit in the auditorium, but engages the students with the processes involved in creating live theatre. Prior knowledge of the play is not necessary and there will be no requirement to take notes or bring materials. There will be an opportunity to ask questions of the actors. Contact your local venue for information, or our venue liaison officer, Stacey Permaul stacey@theatreconsortium.com!

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BRASSED OFF: EDUCATION PACK

Synopsis and Characters “This happened in 1994. I were only eight. I weren’t even born in pit strike, but you’re supposed to know about it, born or not.‘

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Shane

Shane Ormondroyd is a young man in the South Yorkshire pit village of Grimley, narrating the story of his family and community. He guides us through the story of the colliery band, playing their way through the Brass Band competitions, with the goal of reaching the Albert Hall for the final. As the play opens, the band is on the verge of giving up. The pit is in danger of closing and the men of losing their jobs. For Shane’s family, whose dad, Phil went to prison during the 1984 miner’s strike, money has always been tight and the debts are mounting up. When Gloria arrives at band practice, beautiful, talented and from London (although actually born in Grimley) some of the men are hostile. Her playing wins them over and one of the band members, Andy, falls for her. Meanwhile the future of the pit is looking more and more fragile and a pay-off of £20,000 is being offered if the workers vote in favour of the closure. When Danny, Shane’s grandad and the band’s conductor, falls ill, the band members have to decide whether to keep going or give up.

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Characters Danny: ex-miner, veteran conductor of Grimley Band Phil: his son – served a prison sentence during the 1984 miner’s strike Sandra: Phil’s wife Jim: somewhat older miner and bandsman Vera: his wife Harry: Jim’s inseparable companion in pit and band. Rita: his wife Andy: a younger miner and bandsman. Gloria: a young woman newly returned to Grimley, an excellent flugelhorn player Shane: (who was 8 in 1994) son of Phil and Sandra Craig and Melody: Shane’s younger brother, and sister. Bailiffs, nurses, miners, are played by members of the company and are joined on stage by local brass band musicians.

Clara Darcy (Gloria) in rehearsal Photo: Sam Atkins

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BRASSED OFF: EDUCATION PACK

Director’s Vision! Interview with Damian Cruden! Why is this the right time to revive Brassed Off? It’s thirty years since the miner’s strike, and twenty years from when this was set (1994). It’s nearly ten years since we did it last in York. It feels to me that the world we live in now is, in many ways, defined as a result of what happened thirty years ago. 1984 is when Thatcherism started to make a real impact on how we lived our lives. Margaret Thatcher was in her second term and she had the ability to make things happen that she hadn’t had in the first term of government. For my generation it was when we grew up and went out into the working world. It’s also when we started voting. On the one hand that period was the depths of despair, on the other hand it was the beginning of a new way of thinking. We began to lose the concept of the social structures we’d had before and it became a time of ‘every man for himself.’

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Do you think the 80s led to the end of Community? It wasn’t so much the end of community, because there is still a sense of community in most places, but a door was opened on people’s avarice. Beforehand people had been more circumspect, but all of a sudden everyone was told they could have what they wanted; everyone was supposed to be aspirational. Own your house, buy your own car, run your own business. It’s all about own, own, own –in the sense of owning things, but also being there on your own, or just for your own family. By the time of the events of this story, it’s ten years on from 1984; everyone has had ten years of taking the money at this point. The relative landscape has shifted considerably. In this play you’ve got a place which is the Alamo of community. You’ve got a brass band – which is not about yourself, a pit, which is not about yourself, and the geography of the landscape, which is about the industry, not about yourself. They’re in a situation where they’re being asked to jump ship. ‘Come on, we’ll give you some money. Everybody else has jumped ship; everybody else is in it for themselves.’ This story is representative of a

community where the collective is still greater than the individual and that’s represented by the band. The rest of world might be pulling the ladder up and saying ‘I’m all right Jack and if you make it, you make it’, but not Grimley, not yet. By the time you get to 1994, you’re in a period which has been defined by Thatcher, and that’s going to continue via Major, into Tony Blair’s premiership. Manufacturing industry is dying off and we’re seeing the rise of the service industry.

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What are the resonances for 2014? There’s a comment in the play, when they’re in the Job Centre, about getting a job as a carer on minimum wage. These are the zero hours contracts of today. We’re seeing a society which needs a huge care industry because communities have been exploded and everyone’s spread around the country. We’ve encouraged everyone to aspire, go to university, leave home, so no one is left to care for the older generations. The choice of the play, doing it thirty years later, is for Shane, as a young adult, looking back at how things were. It’s a memory play, and I want to make that sense of memory very strong at the beginning of the play. There is a sense of evoking something from the past, but a recent past, which still shapes who we are now.

Damian in a band rehearsal photo: Helen Cadbury

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BRASSED OFF: EDUCATION PACK

Design Notes! At the model box meeting, theatre designer Dawn Allsopp, talks through the ideas behind her set.

!“As this production coincides with the thirtieth anniversary of the Miners’ Strike, and we are

casting Shane as a slightly older boy, looking back, the design reflects the idea of Brassed Off as a memory play. The tones are infused with a painterly, ghostly quality. There is a clear focus on the buildings surrounding the pit head and then there’s the domestic environment to one side, in contrast to that. The colours and textures evoke the qualities of the stone and brick of the industrial buildings and also the Pennine villages on the route of the Band Contest.

!The Pit Head is the dominant object on stage and in people’s lives. But it’s now out of use, as

Shane is looking back from a few years after the pit has shut. There’s a derelict feel about the place, abandoned objects, such as fridges or tables, can be put upright and into use when we go back in time. The wheel at the pithead will turn to show the pit is in use. It’s important that the pithead is central, as the story comes from there, from the pit itself under the ground, although we never go down there.

!In the archway you can see breeze blocks, put in place as the industrial use of the buildings has changed. !For the Band Contest, we’ll drop in pub signs to give the locations of the villages. Some of the lighting will be anchored to the flats and the windows will be light boxes, which will create another element to the space. It also means we can control that effect on the tour, whereas projecting light on a gauze could be difficult in certain spaces. For the Albert Hall we’ll drop in red curtains and also the Miner’s banner, which will cover the pithead.

!Centrally the stage will be an open space with plenty of scope for strong entrances and exits. At

Bolton, we’ll open out the side flats and move them back. We’ll roll out some of the flooring right into the front row and up the voms. The dynamics of the space will push the action downstage and more scenes will play on the diagonal. Where we have doors for entrances and exits in the proscenium arch version, in Bolton we may use the voms for those.

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The model box, with Danny’s hospital bed.

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BRASSED OFF: EDUCATION PACK

Meet an Actor ! Luke Adamson playing Shane Shane is a young man at the start of the play, who narrates the story of his family and the Grimley Colliery Band back in 1994.

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Luke, you’ve played the role before, when you were younger, how does it feel coming back to it as an adult?

!It’s interesting coming back to it. I did it

nearly ten years ago here at York Theatre Royal, and I also did it in 2007 with York Stage Musicals, at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, so it’s the third time I’ve played Shane. It’s really exciting to come back and find new things in the text, things that I didn’t notice when I was younger. Having an adult perspective means I’m discovering a deeper perspective to Shane and his family and I’m playing him as a more mature person, looking back.

!The world we’re doing the play in now is so

different to 2004. It’s 30 years since the strike and the release of government papers has revealed that the unions were right about the reasons for the strike and for shutting down the coal industry, and having that knowledge is really interesting. Post- 2008, we’re once again into an age of austerity. The issues that people are facing are similar to some of the issues that people were struggling with during the miners’ strike. The reality for Shane’s family is the reality for a lot of families now.

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!How does it feel having Andrew Dunn play your dad again? !It’s great fun. He’s finding new things too, as

we work through the script. We’re rediscovering the relationship, as much as building a new one. We have a sense of fun and there’s a dry humour that we both share.

!! What about new cast members playing the other characters? !Every actor brings their own spin and

interpretation, so another actor comes in and does something completely different, and that’s really refreshing. There is never a scene where it’s just two people chatting, there’s always something underneath, which is moving the story forward, so it’s really nice to see new actors coming up with their own nuances.

!! You came up through the York Theatre

Royal Youth Theatre, how does it feel opening a tour here on the main house stage?

!It’s weird in one way, because it’s like I’ve

gone back to being 13! But it’s always what I wanted to do. When I was a kid, I dreamed about coming back to perform on this stage as a grown up, doing a real, professional adult acting job. So it’s big acceptance that I’ve achieved something, to come back into this building and work here professionally.

!! Are you looking forward to the tour? !Yes! It’s not only great to have a job that lasts nearly six months, but it’s such a powerful story. I’m looking forward to having the

Continued on next page

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Meet an Actor ! BRASSED OFF: EDUCATION PACK

Luke Adamson continued chance to take it on the road and share it with people who might not necessarily have lived around a pit, or even in the North of England. I’m sure they will find things to identify with. It’s a universal story, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out in places where maybe the accents are unfamiliar, but the human story is recognisable. I just hope they’ll be able to understand the accents! We’re hoping to be as accurate as we can. It’s basically meant to be Grimethorpe, in South Yorkshire, but as we come from across the North, we’ll just have to do our best.

!! !Were you aware of the coal industry when you were growing up? !I come from the Selby area, where there was

because it doesn’t feel like history, it’s what we studied in geography at my school, because it was still there, all around us.

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What piece of advice would give a young person who wanted to become an actor?

!Be prepared to work hard and don’t

expect it to be fun and games all the time, because it won’t be, but when it is, enjoy every moment of it.

still a large, active coalfield until very recently. Yes, I learned about it in school and it was part of the history of a lot of the families I knew. I watched my best mate’s dad lose his job. The coal industry was closing down all around me, as I grew up. It was one of the few remaining productive areas, so I think that’s why I’ve always liked this play so much,

Luke (right) and Andrew Dunn (left) who plays Shane’s Dad, Phil. The video interview featuring them and the rest of the cast can be found here: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/yorkshire-living/ arts/theatre/video-brookside-s-billy-corkhill-is-brassed-off-in-york-1-6387519

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BRASSED OFF: EDUCATION PACK

Meet the Deputy Stage Manager ! Will Treasure !Could you tell us about your role as DSM in the rehearsal process? !Currently Damian, the director, is doing a rough blocking of the show, so I’m getting all the blocking down and taking notes about props and set and furniture. !Do you stay with the show all the way through the tour? !Yes, my role on tour will be to call the show every night, (in other words, be on the book to the side of the stage calling the cues) and helping helping Neale, the staff director, with the new band that will come in every week. I also set up and operate sound. It’s now more and more common for the DSM on the book to operate sound, rather than cuing it up for someone else. If you have live sound which involves microphones, you would still need someone out the front who can see what’s going on, but in this show the band isn’t amplified, so it’s just a question of pressing the space bar on the computer. I’d only be telling someone else to press a button, so it’s actually easier for me to do it. So, I’m just cuing myself, as well as someone operating lighting, flies and cuing the cast.

!Who arrives first in the building when you’re on tour? !The company manager will turn up at nine o’clock on the Monday morning and arrange to put the set in. I’ll turn up Monday afternoon and put the sound in. Then we’ll do a band rehearsal in the evening. Then we’ll do all the fiddly bits during the day on Tuesday and we’ll open Tuesday night.

!What’s the biggest challenge for you in this show? !Getting it all done in three weeks! It’s a very short rehearsal period and the rest of the

technical and production team here at York Theatre Royal are in the middle of panto so they have a very full work load.

!How did you come to work as a stage manager in theatre? !I did a lot of amateur dramatics when I was younger and was brought up in a family that went

to the theatre a lot. I did a BTEC at college and I went to theatre school in Bristol to do a stage management degree.

!What was the most useful thing you learned on the BTEC? !I did the performance BTEC because there wasn’t the choice of the technical option. I think what I learned was that I didn’t want to be an actor!

Will in week one of rehearsal.

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You can see the actual script he was marking up, on the next page.

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Can you recognise which scene it is from?

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BRASSED OFF: EDUCATION PACK


BRASSED OFF: EDUCATION PACK

Historical and Context! A hundred years of British Coal • Britain’s rich coal deposits fuelled the technological and social developments of the Industrial Revolution.

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• By the end of the 19th Century coal had become a political issue, due to conditions under which miners worked and the way they were treated by colliery owners. The Left of British politics can trace its origins to traditional coal-mining areas. The main labour union was the Miner’s Federation of Great Britain founded in 1888.

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• 1914 - as WW1 broke out, Britain's coal fields were in private hands and there was no consistency in safety or production. This may have contributed to Britain being unready for war.

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• 1929 - The General Strike - the concerns of pay and conditions for Britain’s coal-workers was a major factor in a strike that encompassed a large proportion of the national workforce.

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• 1939 -1945 - The demands for coal production were heavy during the war and miners were in a reserved occupation, so that they were not conscripted into the armed forces, although many volunteered to serve. Some jobs at the pithead were taken by women, but women have not mined underground in the UK since 1842.

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• 1947 - The British Coal Industry was nationalised. The government took ownership of all the coal fields and production methods from private owners who were heavily compensated, leaving the Coal Board in debt from its inception.

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• 1950s and 1960s, coal was at peak production. Technological advances improved safety and efficiency in Britain’s coal mines. Manufacturing industry was strong, relying predominantly on coal-fired power stations.

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• 1970s - rising inflation, a rise in the price of oil and competition from cheap coal imports led to an industrial dispute that saw power rationed and manufacturing industry, homes and schools only having electricity for a three-day working week. This became known as the Three Day Week.

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BRASSED OFF: EDUCATION PACK

Historical and Social Context! A hundred years of British Coal

cont.

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1984 - The Miner’s Strike. adapted from The South Wales Coalfield Collection archive, Swansea University. http://archiveshub.ac.uk/features/mar04.shtml

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The miners' strike of 1984-1985 was one of the most bitter industrial disputes Britain has ever seen. The year-long strike involved hardship and violence as pit communities from South Wales to Scotland fought to retain their local collieries - for many the only source of employment. The catalyst for the strike was the announcement by the National Coal Board (NCB) on 6th March 1984 that it intended to cut national capacity by 4 million tonnes and close 20 pits with the loss of 20,000 jobs. Cortonwood Colliery in South Yorkshire was to close imminently. On 12th March 1984, Arthur Scargill, president of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), called a national strike against the pit closures. The decision to strike was technically illegal, as there had been no national ballot of NUM members. Miners in Yorkshire and Kent were the first to go on strike, followed by miners in Scotland, South Wales and Durham. Bitter disputes still remain over the tactics all parties used; the use of the Metropolitan Police in local mining villages, accusations of biased press coverage, flying pickets used to discourage strike breakers (or 'scabs' as they were known in mining communities) from working. As the demonstrating increased, spreading to other economic targets, there were violent confrontations between pickets and police. However, opinion was divided in the face of picket line violence and tragedies which occurred, for example the death of one flying picket outside Ollerton Colliery and in South Wales where David Wilkie, a taxi driver, died taking two 'scab' miners to work at Merthyr Vale Colliery, when a concrete post was dropped from a bridge onto his car. Support for the miners came from across the country but most importantly from women within their own communities. They set up Women's Action Groups through which they organised soup kitchens, distributed food parcels and organised Christmas appeals for miners' families. The women also actively joined picket lines, were involved in confrontations with the police and travelled the country speaking at political meetings. Nationally, women organised the 'Women Against Pit Closures' conference and, following the 'National Women Against Pit Closures' rally in London on 11th August 1984, handed a petition to the Queen.

Hatfield Colliery is one of the country's 12 remaining deep coal mines. Read more about coal in Britain today at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/ukengland-15445418

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BRASSED OFF: EDUCATION PACK

Brass Bands: part one! A Brief Introduction In most parts of the world the term brass band describes a loose grouping of instrumentalists in which brass instruments are prominent. In the UK the term has a more precise meaning. The brass band grew in the 19th century and into the 21st century as part of Britain’s industrial life. Coal mines and textile mills, factories and building companies supported the brass bands enjoyed by their workforce. The Salvation Army were famous pioneers in the brass band movement, offering a positive alternative to spending free time in the pub. The band signified community and teamwork, but the real secret of this music's success was the competitions or contests, as they are known. By the start of the twentieth century most contesting brass bands used the same instrumentation, so it was possible for music to be published that suited the majority of brass band instrumentations. Today brass bands evoke for many people a sense of tradition and of home, whether it’s Yorkshire, Lancashire, Durham or Wales (to name but four centres of brass band prominence).

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The Brassed Off cast in a band rehearsal . Andrew Roberts Palmer, (far right, foreground), playing Harry, came up through his local brass band as a junior player before training as an actor. (photo: Sam Atkins)

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Go to: http://www.4barsrest.com to find out more about the contemporary British Brass Band scene

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BRASSED OFF: EDUCATION PACK

Brass Bands: part two! ! Meet Craig Brown: Brass Band expert!

Craig Brown (left), and his trainee, John McArdle, playing Danny, (right.)

Craig, what brass instruments do you play and do you have a favourite?

!Over the years I have visited most of the instruments of the brass band. Being brought up in a

small local band it was often the case that players would start on a cornet then move on. In my case I started on the cornet then moved to tuba before settling on the euphonium.

!You also conduct; what is that like? !I began conducting during my undergraduate degree where I worked with orchestras, bands and choirs. I founded the Shepherd Group Youth Band in 2011, a brass band made up of players aged eighteen and under. The conductor’s role is to rehearse the players, giving a clear beat whilst also striving for the most accurate representation of the composer’s intent.

!How did you get into playing brass? !I began playing with the Ebor Brass Band in York, where I was provided with an instrument and tuition free of charge. I played with this band up to when I left to study at university. Before university I had not played for a 'contesting' band, meaning that the bands I had played for before only met for fun and very much part of a hobby. Other bands compete against each other to determine the best bands in the region, nation, country and world. The bands are divided up into standards very much like football with championship down to fourth section each year there is a regional contest which determines whether bands are pre/demoted.

!What is the best thing about being in a brass band? !Having experienced lots of different levels of banding, I would say that my competitive streak

comes out and I fully enjoy and look forward to competing at the championship level each year. The social aspect of band playing is a great part of playing in a band, lots of my closest friends are fellow bandsmen and women.

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BRASSED OFF: EDUCATION PACK

Meet Craig Brown: Brass Band expert cont.

!What do you think is the value of brass bands is to communities? !Working with the Youth Band, I am privileged enough to see the immediate effect on the

community by playing in a band. The effect on young people is especially important. They improve their musical and social skills, learn the discipline involved with playing in a band and also have the opportunity to perform in from of their friends and family.

!You are working on Brassed Off in York, what is the biggest challenge? And what are you looking forward to? !I am working with the actors for the show, helping them to get to grips with the physicality and

aesthetic of playing brass instruments, though some of the cast can already play, they have needed to fully commit to their personas in the band and with their instruments. I have spent a lot of time with John McArdle, the actor playing Danny. The part demands not only that he conducts the band, but he does so to the highest level and without any scope for error. John has risen the challenge of conducting the (very tricky) music and does so whilst never slipping out of character, always maintaining Danny's passion and confidence. I am really looking forward to the performances where I will be playing as part of the onstage band, especially numbers such as 'The Florentina March' and 'William Tell'.

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(left to right) Andrew Dunn, playing Phil, Kraig Thornber, playing Jim and Clara Darcy, playing Gloria. photo: Sam Atkins

In the play Gloria plays flugelhorn and Phil plays trombone, Can you briefly say something about the character of these instruments, musically, and in terms of their role in the overall band sound?

!Each instrument, whether brass or not, comes with its own stereotype, quite often brass

players are categorised as a beer-loving, loud, and raucous group, but the character of Gloria plays the Flugelhorn, which has a sweet and mellow sound, and is often used to feature slow and beautiful passages. Whereas the character of Phil plays the Trombone which has a brassy and powerful sound and is used to reinforce the boldness and strength of the brass band sound.

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Devising From Text Read the extract from Brassed Off below.

BRASSED OFF: EDUCATION PACK

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Context: The miners of Grimley Colliery have been offered £20,000 if they vote to agree to the pit closing. Phil was involved in the 1984 Miner’s Strike. He’s still in debt because of the wages he lost when he was on strike and when he was in prison, due to an assault during the strike.

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Research: students may find it helpful to look at the pages of this pack about the history of coal mining and particularly the page on the miner’s strike, as well as the synopsis and characters.

SANDRA is at home, doing sandwiches. PHIL enters with trombone in two parts.

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SANDRA

God, I hate stale bread.

PHIL

Trombone keeps coming apart.

SANDRA

Trombones are meant to come apart, aren’t they?

PHIL

Not while you’re playing ‘em.

SANDRA

Phil? Twenty grand. Why can’t we take the money just this once? You could get a new

trombone. We could pay everything off. I could kit us all out with our own clothes not secondhand, you don’t know who’s worn ‘em. There’d be a bit left over if you didn’t get another job straight away. PHIL

Straight away? There won’t be no other jobs, Sand. It’s pit that keeps rest of Grimley going. Pub, shops, chippie, everybody.

SANDRA

Yes and it’s my bad luck to be married to a hero of ‘84, locked up for defending the cause

of the working man... PHIL

Don’t start, Sand ...

SANDRA

Oh I believe it, that’s how sad I am.

PHIL

I can’t just take money after all that.

SANDRA

All right, what about all these folk you fought for? Where are they now, eh? When you

need ‘em. With their holidays in Benidorm ... PHIL

Benidorm’s cheap love.

SANDRA

Not cheap enough for us!

Drama Tasks!

! ! ! ! ! ! !

Create a scene from when Sandra and Phil first met, before they married. What sort of life did they imagine for themselves? Create a scene from the strike, does Sandra join the picket line? What happens to Phil? Create a scene where a neighbour offers to help Sandra, how does Phil react? Create a scene where Phil’s children ask him why they haven’t got any money. How does he explain his principles to them? Discussion Point: If you use this script extract before seeing the play, discuss whether or not you think Phil will vote for the payoff or not. Give your reasons. After seeing the play, discuss your own scenes and how different or similar they were to the production.

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BRASSED OFF: EDUCATION PACK

Review Writing: Evaluation of a Performance ! Linked to GCSE Drama and AS level Drama! First Impressions What impression do you get entering the space? What size is it? How close are the audience to the action?

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Language What kind of vocabulary is being used? Is it simple or complex? Natural or artificial? Do any words or phrases stay with you? How much language belongs to a particular region?

! Non-Verbal Communication !

Think about the history, or backstory, of the characters, the family and work relationships, how does this affect how they move in the space in relation to one another? What gestures do they use at different stages in the play and how do they change? How do they relate to the music and the use of the instruments as props?

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Voice Listen for changes in tone and pitch. How does strong emotion change the tone or pitch of the actors’ voices? What level of vocal projection is needed in the venue?

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Visual/Aural/Spatial Refer to the resources on design

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How do the actors relate to the set and what could be imagined to be beyond it? How do the props, furniture and set dressing create a sense of the space in which the story unfolds? What impression do the colours of the set and costumes give you? What impression do the textures of the set give you? Can you describe which elements of the design are more naturalistic and which are more impressionistic or symbolic? And why do think these choices have been made?

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What do you hear? Are you aware of the sound or does it act on your subconscious? What is the relationship between the music and the spoken scenes? How does the music effect your emotional response to the story?

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What lighting effects are being used and what impression do they give? How do the visual and aural and spatial elements work together to communicate the themes and emotional effect of the piece?

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Interpretation All the elements above are brought together by the director, Damian Cruden, in his interpretation of the writer’s text. After seeing the show, do you feel he has been successful?

! !!

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FOR SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS OF ANY AGE!

BRASSED OFF: EDUCATION PACK

For GCSE KS4/KS5 Drama & Theatre Studies and Media Studies Also for Cross Curriculum Collaboration where relevant to Humanities

This is Mine:

a Brassed Off film project ‘Can’t have a colliery band wi’out a colliery. Can you?’ BRASSED OFF, a new stage production is touring across the UK in Spring 2014. To commemorate 30 years since the Miner’s Strike of 1984, and to reflect the themes of “Brassed Off” we are inviting our Partnership Schools to work with us to MAKE A SHORT FILM!

YOU CAN BE A FILM MAKER! We will provide an introductory workshop into approaches you can take to this project. We will run an interactive tutorial session from our studios in York.

WHAT IS IT? HOW LONG DOES THE FINAL FILM HAVE TO BE? No more than 4 minutes but it could be longer – it’s up to you and your teacher.. WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO BE ABOUT? Whatever you want it to be about so long as it is broadly about people in communities. There are no rules. It can be raw footage of lots of scenes just ‘run together’ with sound or without sound or it can be a carefully put together 3 minute film with titles, music and credits. DOES IT HAVE TO BE REAL OR CAN IT BE MADE UP? It can be real - it can be a documentary - it can be written as a short play and acted - it can be a fantasy of a future community of human beings - it can be an imagined scene from a community of the past.

INSPIRATION Here are some ideas - you may pick one or thread them together:DOCUMENTARY ‘IDEAS’: Photograph scenes or events that depict ‘community life’ - at school, over dinner, at a club, - record an interview with your parents or grandparents – plan the interview with questions about what community meant to them when they were young or what it means to them now that they are old. RESEARCH AND PLAN TO FILM: What has happened to communities which depended on mining or on an industry or factory which has closed down? or... Has a new community grown up around a new industry or factory or shopping centre that has just been built? or... What does Community mean where you live? or... What does Community mean to different generations; to you, your parents, your grandparents GET PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT WHAT COMMUNITY MEANS TO THEM OR VIDEO AN EVENT WHICH SHOWS US COMMUNITY IN ACTION. MAKE IT PERSONAL MAKE IT LOCAL. MAKE IT UP IMAGINE! Write your own short film script. Work in teams of 4. Storyboarding, scripting, developing your production skills. Scenes from community life in the PAST Scenes from community life in the PRESENT Scenes from community life in the FUTURE

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Brassed Off Resource Pack  

THis is the resource pack for The Touring Consortium Theatre Company's production of Brassed Off. created by Helen Cadbury

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