Sheffield & South Yorkshire

'Lost' play by Kes writer Barry Hines gets Sheffield premiere

Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign's illustration has been used to publicise After The Strike Image copyright Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign
Image caption The first performance of After The Strike coincides with the 35th anniversary of the Battle of Orgreave

A 'lost' play by the author of Kes will receive a world premiere in a museum.

The 1985 Barry Hines play, After The Strike, will be performed in public for the first time in Sheffield later.

The play, set during the Miners' Strike, has been kept in the University of Sheffield's archive of Hines' work for decades.

Researchers organising the event at Kelham Island Museum said the performance would "celebrate Hines' legacy".

Hines, the son and grandson of a miner, was born in 1939 in a mining village near Barnsley and died in 2016, aged 76.

He is best known as the author of A Kestrel for A Knave in 1968, which was turned into a film in 1969 starring David Bradley and Brian Glover.

The new play spans the 1984-5 miners' strike, its aftermath and the "multiple corrosive effects on local communities", the university said.

It also depicts the Battle of Orgreave, when police clashed with striking miners at the Rotherham coking plant in June 1984.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionA clip from Barry Hines' 1984 drama Threads

Barry Hines

  • Barry Hines was born in Hoyland Common in 1939 and died in 2016
  • He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2009
  • Hines is best known for A Kestrel for A Knave (1968) - the film Kes came out a year later
  • Hines' masterpiece, Threads, about the effects of nuclear war in Sheffield, was shown on BBC TV in 1984
  • His first novel was The Blinder in 1966
  • The Gamekeeper, Looks and Smiles, and 1977 TV drama The Price of Coal were all made into films by Ken Loach

Dr Dave Forrest, from the university's English department, said the play was written for TV but its "unflinching" account of the miners strike and its "proudly unambiguous politics" made screening it in the 1980s impossible.

Dr Forrest said Hines was at his "creative peak" in 1984 - the same year his film Threads, which showed what Sheffield would be like after a nuclear attack, was broadcast.

A £100,000 statue of Kes character Billy Casper was unveiled in Barnsley in July to commemorate Hines' life.

The English, archaeology and music departments will put on events throughout the summer in collaboration with Kelham Island Museum.

Image copyright University of Sheffield
Image caption Hines wrote After the Strike in 1985, but it was deemed too political for screening on TV at the time

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