Review In Time O’Strife, National Theatre of Scotland by Amina Elmi

ITOS-5-by-Andy-Ross-800

Credit Andy Ross

It was pure coincidence that I was  learning about the miners strike in school when I went to go watch the production of In Time O’Strife by National Theatre of Scotland at the Sherman Theatre. I already knew some facts about the strike, but the production gave me the ability to see it from a miners point of view.

Through the rhythmic music and the choreography I could see the struggles and hardships the miners and their families had to face.  At times the music was joyous and made me want to get up and join in with the dancing, but other times I could feel the fear and desperation the miners must have felt. Every voice that sang enchanted me into the world of the play through song. The choreography by Imogen Knight was genius. It captured pain and frustration perfectly. The stomping of the feet during the movement sections particularly stood out for me.

The set designed by Graham McLaren (who also adapted and directed this production) was in a vintage style  and fitted the era the production was set in expertly.  I noticed a small TV screen counting the amount of days the miners had been on strike. First it was 185, then 192 and lastly 199 days. This made me think about how hard the strike must have been not only for  the miners, but their families too.

The strike caused what I assume is a close community to fall apart. The choice between starvation or to be shunned by everyone you know consumes them all. I saw that especially from the character Jock played by John Kazek.

I know that I wouldn’t be able to be as strong as the miners during the strike, but you should all watch this performance to decide for yourselves. Especially if you enjoy music and history.

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