Pit Women

As part of the COAL tour, Gary Clarke invites groups of women from local coal mining communities from all over the UK to perform in the touring production of COAL.

“It felt wrong to make a piece of work about communities and not involve them. It is important that these women have a strong connection to the mining industry or trade unionism ensuring that authenticity is at the heart of the work.”
– Gary Clarke

Together with COAL Associate Artist and ‘Head of Pit Women’ TC Howard, the women are brought from remote areas surrounding each tour venue via Working Men’s Clubs, Community Meeting Groups, Unions and Institutes.

Initial meetings are set up for the team to meet the women where they gain an insight into the work and find out more about the production. 4 women are then selected to spend an intensive weekend working with the cast of COAL and are brought into the work to represent members of Women Against Pit Closures and the wives of the miners.

The experience is life changing for some of these women, many of whom have never performed before and some have never had access to the arts.

Please meet the COAL 2016 Spring and Autumn Tour women…

Heather Albrighton

Heather Albrighton

Age: 45
Occupation: Mother and Baker
COAL performance: Dance Xchange, Birmingham Hippodrome

Michelle Burgess

Michelle Burgess

Age: 48
Occupation: Office Manager, University of Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit
COAL performance: Dance Xchange, Birmingham Hippodrome

Lindsey Michelle Richards

Lindsey Michelle Richards

Age: 30
Occupation: Hairdresser
COAL performance: Dance Xchange, Birmingham Hippodrome

Jeni Bennett

Jeni Bennett

Age: 51
Occupation: Foster Carer
COAL performance: Dance Xchange, Birmingham Hippodrome

Nicola Evans

Nicola Evans

Age: 45
Occupation: Primary School Teacher
COAL performance: The Civic, Barnsley

Michaela Short

Michaela Short

Age: 50
Occupation: Sheffield City Council in Social Services and Actress
COAL performance: The Civic, Barnsley/Newport, The Riverfront

Michelle Clegg

Michelle Clegg

Age: 29
Occupation: Mother
COAL performance: The Civic, Barnsley

Leanne Crowther

Leanne Crowther

Age: 27
Occupation: Music Teacher
COAL performance: The Civic, Barnsley

Emma Telford

Emma Telford

Age: 32
Occupation: Adult Mental Health for the NHS
COAL performance: Doncaster, CAST

Kim Leighton

Kim Leighton

Age: 33
Occupation: Cleaner
COAL performance: Doncaster, CAST

Sarah Robinson

Sarah Robinson

Age: 41
Occupation: Teacher
COAL performance: Doncaster, CAST

Kelly Leighton

Kelly Leighton

Age: 37
Occupation: Cleaner
COAL performance: Doncaster, CAST and The Place, London

Jackie Hindson

Jackie Hindson

Age: 61
Occupation: Theatre teacher/Musician
COAL performance: The Place, London and Lighthouse, Poole

Mary Cox

Mary Cox

Age: 63
Occupation: Teacher
COAL performance: The Place, London

Bonnie Adair

Bonnie Adair

Occupation: Actor/Personal Trainer
COAL performance: The Place, London

Carole Ann Nixon

Carole Ann Nixon

Age: 48
Occupation: Display Coordinator
COAL performance: Dance City, Newcastle

Liz-Anne Worrall

Liz-Anne Worrall

Age: 42
Occupation: University Policy Advisor
COAL performance: Dance City, Newcastle

Caroline Dean

Caroline Dean

Age: 41
Occupation: Airline Administrator
COAL performance: Dance City, Newcastle

Jaene Davies

Jaene Davies

Age: 49
Occupation: Higher Level Teaching Assistant
COAL performance: Dance City, Newcastle

Wendy Gerrard-Tarpey

Wendy Gerrard-Tarpey

Age: 54
Occupation: Healthcare
COAL performance: Nottingham Playhouse, May 2016 and June 2017

Claire Hale

Claire Hale

Age: 36
Occupation: Performance Manager for Nottingham regeneration charity.
COAL performance: Nottingham Playhouse, May 2016 and June 2017

Maggie Burrows

Maggie Burrows

Age: 55
Occupation: Retired Teacher
COAL performance: Nottingham Playhouse, Nottingham

Janette Adams

Janette Adams

Age: 48
Occupation: Principal Primary Teacher
COAL performance: Glasgow Tramway

Janet Parkins

Janet Parkins

Occupation: Supporting adults with learning disabilities
COAL performance: Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

Jenny Goodman

Jenny Goodman

Age: 55
Occupation: Singer/Arts engagement specialist
COAL performance: Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

Catherine Gray

Catherine Gray

Age: 48
Occupation: Textiles Teacher
COAL performance: Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

 

Pauline House

Pauline House

Age: 59
Occupation: Community Champion, Tesco
COAL performance: Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

Georgie Bainbridge

Georgie Bainbridge

Age: 46
Occupation: Psychotherapist
COAL performance: Canterbury Gulbenkian

 

Moya Munro

Moya Munro

Age: 69
Occupation: Retired
COAL performance: Canterbury Gulbenkian

Nicola Carter

Nicola Carter

Age: 52
Occupation: Semi-retired
COAL performance: Canterbury Gulbenkian

Sue Risby

Sue Risby

Age: 50
Occupation: Project Manager
COAL performance: Canterbury Gulbenkian

Judith Downing

Judith Downing

Age: 46
Occupation: Content Solutions Director, Global North East
COAL performance: Durham Gala Theatre

Veronica Naisbitt

Veronica Naisbitt

Age: 59
Occupation: Administrator
COAL performance: Durham Gala Theatre

Hazel McGregor

Hazel McGregor

Age: 64
Occupation: Retired headteacher
COAL performance: Durham Gala Theatre

Bethany Elen Coyle

Bethany Elen Coyle

Age: 30
Occupation: Community Musician
COAL performance: Durham Gala Theatre

 

Carol Woodford

Carol Woodford

Age: 57
Occupation: Movement to Music Session Leader
COAL performance: Blackwood Miners Institute Caerphilly

Clare Potter

Clare Potter

Age: 44
Occupation: Poet
COAL performance: Blackwood Miners Institute Caerphilly

Elizabeth Pipe

Elizabeth Pipe

Age: 47
Occupation: Mother
COAL performance: Blackwood Miners Institute Caerphilly

Miriam Wild

Miriam Wild

Age: 43
Occupation: Early Years Storytelling Practitioner
COAL performance: Contact Theatre, Manchester

Susan Kearney

Susan Kearney

Age: 47
Occupation: Counsellor/Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist.
COAL performance: Contact Theatre, Manchester

Danielle Kavanagh

Danielle Kavanagh

Age: 36
Occupation: Hair and make-up artist teacher
COAL performance: Liverpool LEAP Festival

 

Kirstie Burton

Kirstie Burton

Age: 39
Occupation: Volunteer at the Amy Winehouse Foundation
COAL performance: Liverpool LEAP Festival

Gilda Possibile

Gilda Possibile

Age: 65
Occupation: Teacher/Trainer/Vocalist
COAL performance: Liverpool LEAP Festival

Paula Stewart

Paula Stewart

Age: 35
Occupation: Talent Manager/Marketing
COAL performance: Liverpool LEAP Festival

Emma Cartwright

Emma Cartwright

Age: 33
Occupation: Full time mum
COAL performance: Blackpool Grand Theatre

Carol Asbridge

Carol Asbridge

Age: 48
Occupation: Front of house at Winter Gardens Blackpool
COAL performance: Blackpool Grand Theatre

Christine Bradley

Christine Bradley

Age: 52
Occupation: Senior Cabin Crew
COAL performance: Blackpool Grand Theatre

Helen Fairhurst

Helen Fairhurst

Age: 57
Occupation: Mum and financial administrator
COAL performance: Blackpool Grand Theatre

Patricia Kneale-Buxton

Patricia Kneale-Buxton

Age: 51
Occupation: Recreational Therapist at a nursing home
COAL performance: Leicester Curve
Sylvia John 

Sylvia John 

Occupation: President of the Leicester Ladies WI
COAL performance: Leicester Curve

Katie Adkins

Katie Adkins

Age: 40
Occupation: Social Worker
COAL performance: Leicester Curve

Tara Cousins

Tara Cousins

Age: 46
Occupation: Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist
COAL performance: Leicester Curve

Alison Loydall

Alison Loydall

Age: 48
Occupation: MA Publishing Student at the University of Derby
COAL performance: Derby Theatre

Kate Phillips

Kate Phillips

Age: 40
Occupation: Research assistant/PhD student researching Arts for Health at Derby University
COAL performance: Derby Theatre

Jill Henderson

Jill Henderson

Age: 43
Occupation: Social care worker
COAL performance: Derby Theatre

Sarah Cooper

Sarah Cooper

Age: 38
Occupation: Delivery & Development Coordinator for Leicester Adult Learning Service
COAL performance: Derby Theatre and Lighthouse, Poole

Jo Guess

Jo Guess

Age: 51
Occupation: Volunteer Youth Group Leader and a Porter on Swanage Railway
COAL performance: Lighthouse, Poole

Jacqueline Reining

Jacqueline Reining

Age: 64
Occupation: Retired Teacher
COAL performance: Lighthouse, Poole

Suzanne Barlow

Suzanne Barlow

Age: 64
Occupation: 
Retired Teacher
COAL performance: 
Nottingham Playhouse, June 2017

Lisa Chamberlain

Lisa Chamberlain

Age: 47
Occupation: 
Marketing & Communications Officer
COAL performance: 
Nottingham Playhouse, June 2017

Kathryn McAuley

Kathryn McAuley

Age: 52
Occupation: 
Freelance Marketing Manager
COAL performance: 
Nottingham Playhouse, June 2017

Cathy Robinson

Cathy Robinson

Age: 36
Occupation: 
Vice Principal
COAL performance: 
Nottingham Playhouse, June 2017