Rotherham Underground is a new community and arts venue in the centre of Rotherham, and Rotherham’s only producing theatre company. We are an independent, not-for-profit, charitable organisation. We believe in theatre as a voice for communities and as a force for change.
2019 marks the start of the 35th anniversary of miners’ strike action in the 1980s, with the anniversary of the Battle of Orgreave in June 2019. Given the Government’s continued refusal to instigate an independent Orgreave inquiry, we feel it’s particularly important to ensure that alternate channels are in place to allow the experiences of miners and their families to be shared and remembered at this time.
To this end, we’re developing a new documentary theatre production based on the words and opinions of local people. This will combine recollections from those present at events in 1984-85 with reflections on personal experiences of the strike – with a particular emphasis on Orgreave – and its continued impact within affected communities. We intend to tour the play in early 2020, predominantly to community-based venues but also to the Houses of Parliament (for which we already have an invitation).
If you agree that we should support our former mining communities, by ensuring that their experiences are respected and their voices continue to be heard, then we really need your help to bring this production to life. We’re currently seeking funding from a number of sources but anticipate a shortfall between what we can raise through public grants and the cost of delivering this work in a manner that fairly remunerates the professional artists (at standard union rates) and also covers our space, equipment and travel expenses.
We’d be so grateful for any amount that you’re able to donate to support this project. Every bit really helps, and we’ve come up with some rewards which we hope will go some way towards demonstrating our appreciation of your amazing generosity – with separate tiers for individuals and organisations (including trade unions). By pledging what you can, you’re not only helping to ensure that this important piece of theatre is created and performed, but you’ll also demonstrate to public funders that there’s interest in and support for this work.
Please check out our website www.rotherhamunderground.com for more information on our company and personnel (our Artistic Director, Alice Bartlett, is leading the artistic development of this project as writer and director). If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d also love to hear directly from anyone who was involved in miners’ strike action in the 1980s and would like to share their experiences with us: email@example.com