STAGE REVIEW: Wonderland @ Northern Stage (27.2.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Darren Bell

Beth Steel’s Wonderland is an arresting and powerful drama set in Nottinghamshire during the Miners’ Strike in 1984. Set at Welbeck Colliery near Worksop, we are invited to view the lives of six miners, all at varying stages in their careers, all wrestling with different trails, tribulations and compromises of morality.

Steel avoids the obvious platitudes that may blight a show like this, the writing is politicised in a way that is sophisticated and subtle, and the attention to historical detail is really to be commended. Crucially though, it’s the humanity of the performances that really elevate Wonderland, and young actors Geff Francis and Joshua Glenister are particularly engaging. Without resorting to too much polemic, it’s a fantastic period piece that reflects the very specific challenges of the time, while quietly reminding us of our own time, and extolling the virtues of kindness, collaboration and community.

Wonderland is at Northern Stage, Newcastle until Saturday 9th March.

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