Programme CoverHappy Jack

by John Godber

Directed by Clifford Spencer


Godber manages with an affectionate and unerringly accurate ear for the tongues of the pit village, to turn this play into a Chaucerian kind of celebration of life at the end of the line. The play is a sad, bruised, but richly comic love story.

The story starts in 1984 and works backwards through time.

Some people have commented how much swearing Godber includes in his mining plays, but this only highlights the terrible pressures of mining communities when lives were daily at risk. During the Second World War I found myself posted to an officer training programme, in the depths of winter, in a snow covered Kent. A wide range of cadets were in training from several Old Etonians down to lads, such as myself, from ordinary backgrounds. The training was hard, the weather intolerable and it seemed the only way forward was to use as many expletives as possible to get through.

Once the course was completed we all went back to normal living conditions and our language was tempered.

When I was a teenager I was given a tour of the Bank Hall pit and the sight of a two foot high seam where men had to dig coal lying on their backs is still frighteningly fresh in my memory.
Clifford Spencer


Stage Manager - Leroy Philbrook
Lighting & Sound - Richard l'Anson
Properties - Kathleen Riley
Wardrobe - Lynne Atkinson
Prompt - Dorothy Spencer
Programme/Newsletter - Richard l'Anson
Publicity - Lynne Atkinson
Front of House - David Baxter