This is a musical play by the talented Belt and Braces Roadshow Company which deals with the leader of a wartime strike at Betteshanger colliery in Kent.
The life of a fictionalized strike leader is traced from his arrival in Kent through his successful leadership of the strike and on to his postwar carreer.
The stage seethes with the conflicts facing the men and women at the pithead — the conflict with the pit owner, the conflicts of the miners’ lives.
There is also an argument within the union on whether or not the miners should strike while Britain was fighting fascism.
The strike leader, Bob Cosby, hits the big time after the strike, eventually to become an international representative for a mining equipment firm. When forced to confront his betrayal of his mining colleagues he decides to quit his job.
But what is he now to do, politically and personally, with his life? The question is left open.
Here is an honest, serious piece of political theatre that is not hectoring, that avoids stereotypes but not problems, that presents characters with their strengths and weaknesses.
Perhaps the victory that nationalization was for the miners is not sufficiently emphasized and the role of women in a mining community not deeply probed.
But the dialogue is riveting and the acting by and large highly professional. The sets are effective, but the script needs a little polishing — it is rather a long play.
Weight contains themes you’ll want to discuss after the show. And that’s exactly what Belt and Braces want you to do.
(Morning Star, March, 1975)