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Clog Dance The Musical - October 24 - October 28
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A musical centred around a monumental event in Cumbrian history, returns to the region this October.
Following the 70th anniversary of the William Pit disaster in Whitehaven, Clog Dance the Musical comes to the Cumbrian town next month.
The 1947 explosion, which accounted for the death of over 100 miners, provides the backdrop for the musical, which centres around the Annual Miner’s Gala Day in a small Cumbrian coastal town.
Written by the established local composer, John Marcangelo, the production first premiered in Whitehaven 10 years ago, to commemorate 60 years since the disaster. The cast also performed excerpts of the musical for HRH Prince Charles at the reopening of Rosehill Theatre earlier this year. It will return to Whitehaven’s Solway Hall, from the 24 – 28 October.
Inspired by John’s early life, growing up in Whitehaven, the initial piece of music Clog Dance, proved a huge hit for his band Violinski, both in the UK and internationally.
Opening with a traditional clog dance at the Gala, which is interrupted by sirens warning of a disaster at the pit, the musical tells the story of an impending tragedy and the events that consequently unfurl.
John explained: “The idea for the piece of music was based on Brews Clog Shop on Roper Street, which many people will remember. I used to have to walk past that shop on my way to school and it always fascinated me watching him make these clogs.
“Then people started suggesting the musical and I got to thinking how it would fit in.”
Like anyone at the time, John was badly affected by the impact of the pits, his great uncle was killed in a mining accident. While Clog Dance might not be a historical account of the events, he believed it was an important story to tell.
He said: “With the closure of the pits, one of Whitehaven’s reasons for being here sort of disappeared and I think it’s important for people to recognise the contributions that the miners gave and how they shaped the history of the town.”
With the addition of two new lead roles, next month’s production will star many of the original cast and is directed once again, by David Simpson. John is hopeful that his trip down memory lane will be just as successful the second time around.
He said: “It was received excellently the first time and people have been asking me ever since,
when I’m going to put it on again.”
John added: “All of us living in this area owe a huge debt of gratitude to those miners and their families who shaped the history of our town. This musical is dedicated to their memory.”
Tickets are available from the Solway Hall box office, contact 01946 690970
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