In July 2011 Liquid Theatre and SEArED, in association with Northern Stage, Arts Centre Washington and Arts Council England developed Colliery Row.  Colliery Row follows a group of young people in Sunderland in the 1950s. It is a unique blend of themes set against the last hoorah of the region's industrial heyday; a story of friendship, love, betrayal and ambition in the dance-halls and dockyards; a 'peasant's tragedy' told with chorus-work and songs. A work-in-progress was shown on the 29th and 30th July 2011 and is currently being re-developed for future touring.

In the 70s a man stands at a bar in a New Town. As he thinks back to his youth the ghosts of his past emerge from the shadows.

The history of the Sunderland coal mining and ship building areas provides rich ground for our characters’ lives in this play set in the 1950s. This is the last decade of stability in the region, the time of the first barely-noticed signs of the decline which by the 1970s was terminal. By then ‘Jobs for life’ were gone or going, leaving a generation facing unemployment or a seismic change in working lives and/or relocation.

The country is once again in the midst of a massive change, with the future cloudy and many fearful of it. It is areas like the North-East which will be most severely affected by the Coalition’s cuts agenda. We hope to provide an interesting counterpoint by presenting the region when it was still an economic and industrial powerhouse before its inexorable decline. Colliery Row will draw on the great differences in individual characters’ lives between the1950s and the 1970s, taking in the massive socio-economic changes they lived through. It is well positioned to speak to us today.

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