Star playwright and screenwriter Lee Hall, who wrote the hugely successful film Billy Elliot, has penned the Company of Ten’s next show at the Abbey Theatre.

The feelgood play The Pitmen Painters is about a group of miners who work all day in the Northumbrian pits but at night take up their brushes and paint pictures detailing their lives. Like Billy Elliot, it is the story of dreams pursued against all odds.

Unlike Billy Elliot, this tale is based on a true story of pit workers back in the 1930s, whose dedication and determination overcame the prejudice they faced to eventually take the British art establishment by storm.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Lee Hall is also responsible for the Elton John biopic Rocketman and was the original writer working on the screenplay for War Horse.

Actor Rory Byrne said: “It is humbling to think these men put in a full, tortuous day many feet below ground digging out coal with just their pickaxes, and then found the energy and zeal to paint in the evenings. Their pictures beautifully and sensitively capture their lives. Their story is an inspiration to all of us, and this play brings it to life with a great deal of humour and tenderness.”

Abbey Theatre, Westminster Lodge, Holywell Hill, St Albans, Friday, November 8, to Saturday, November 16, various times. Details: 01727 857861