Sons and Hoovers

Article excerpt


DAVID STOREY's name was on every serious theatregoer's lips from the late Sixties to the early Seventies, but the subsequent neglect of his naturalistic portrayals of working-class life means that staging one of his plays seems like an exercise in social archaeology.

Director Sean Holmes revived Storey's The Contractor at the Oxford Playhouse earlier this year, and now, with this affecting, beautifully cast production, he proves the playwright still has much to offer to today's audiences.

In Chichester's Minera Th e at re, Anthony Lamble's strangely museum-exhibit-like set recreates the shabby splendour of a Sixties Yorkshire miner's cottage clamped in the vice of a houseproud mentality. The tall, besuited young man standing awkwardly among the plumped cushions in the sitting room seems not to belong there, but when an older man shuffles in and starts to welcome him we realise that they are father and son.

That sense of dislocation looms large in a play that explores the experiences of three men kicked across the class divide by parents who don't want them to suffer the hardships of a mining-village existence. …