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The Criterion Theatre

Touring Production - Black Snow

19th September from 19:30 to 22:00

In the Auditorium

Award-winning film, songs and tales of mining life.

An evening of song, laughter and some tears. It’s a celebration of the legacy of the coal mining industry, with
emphasis on the community spirit forged then and struggling determinedly to survive now.

Central to the evening is a showing of the multi-award winning film Black Snow (duration 25 min) dealing
with legacy of The Oaks explosion (Wednesday 12 December 1866) which killed 361 miners and rescuers at
the Oaks Colliery, Barnsley when explosions caused by firedamp ripped through the workings. It is the worst
mining accident ever in England and the second worst in the United Kingdom, after the Senghenydd colliery
disaster in Wales. In the 19th century it was the worst in the world. But for 150 years it was almost forgotten.
The film looks at how a former mining community absorbs that heritage into their lives today. The writer and
director, Professor Stephen Linstead of the University of York, will respond to questions, offer some additional
historical insights and some (often hilarious) backstories about the making of the film and its meaning for
him; and how it has informed his own ideas of community, change and celebration.

The evening will be book-ended by songs, poetry and stories of mining life across the old mining regions of
Britain from Steve and Radio 2 Folk Award Nominee Jed Grimes.

While the subject matter is serious, the natural northern wit of the presenters, and the (sometimes mordant)
humour contained in the movie, contemporary accounts and songs make for an entertaining, thought-provoking
and ultimately uplifting evening.

Jed Grimes 
“Brings folk music into the 21st century”. (BBC Radio 2 Folk).
Jed was nominated (Best Traditional song Arrangement) at The 2004 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
His last two solo CDs, ‘Heart & Hand’, and ‘North Face’, have been rapturously received by the roots music
press, and widely broadcast on BBC Radio 2 and local stations.
Jed continues to tour festivals, arts centres and folk clubs across the UK, where his musical skills and ‘Geordie
insouciance’ entertain audiences great and small.
"Couple a timbrous voice that has a richness and depth, which you love almost from the first note, to the
warmth of his playing - add in a sprinkle of sensitive thoughtful and restrained arrangements …
sheer inventiveness."

began his performing career in 1967 with a brief appearance on Rediffusion TV’s Disney Wonderland Junior
Talent Contest which catapulted him to mediocrity. He subsequently performed solo and with bands including
Cut-throat Jake, Silk Roots and ‘Barnsley’s First Folk Rock band’, Oscar The Frog for whom he wrote the
legendary ‘Hit Me With Your Morris Stick’ (although everyone thinks it was Ian McMillan). More seriously,
he is a widely published, cited and award-winning academic, currently Professor of Management Humanities
at the University of York, with an international reputation for original and inspirational keynotes.
He modestly opines that the first sentence of the following quote could apply to either of his careers.
“Highly regarded … surprisingly neglected.. had far more energy than most of the competition of the time.
Despite definite power pop overtones, they deserve consideration for adapting the Ian Dury hit.”

Review Comments

“Informative, provocative...and entertaining - a must-see show indeed!” Edinburgh Festival Fringe

“Well researched...Great narrative and an excellent musical experience as well. Thoroughly
enjoyable and educational evening!” Ken Hastie, audience member at North Shields show.

“Informative and poignant.” Dan Jarvis MBE, MP