We are looking for a community ensemble of male performers for Maxine Peake’s Queens of the Coal Age directed by Bryony Shanahan

Based on a true story, the play follows the four women who occupy Parkside Colliery over the Easter holidays in 1993, protesting the fresh wave of pit closures announced by John Major’s Government. Set in the depths of the mine, we sit with the characters and their humour, through this remarkable four nights and five days.

The ensemble will play Miners at Parkside Colliery – from the Victorian age to the 90s – and will form an integral part of the vision for the show. Working closely with Movement Director Jenni Jackson and Assistant Director Matt Hassall (as well as Bryony and the cast) the ensemble will create dynamic and physical images and movement sequences that run in parallel to the action. We want to create a sense of history in the pit, and a haunting reminder of what the women are fighting for, and what will be lost ultimately.

We are looking for men aged 18+ of any ethnicity and physique! This isn’t a dance show – and we want to work with people’s individual capabilities, creating a diverse ensemble of men. Whilst it isn’t necessary to have previous experience of physical work, applicants should be comfortable about performing on stage and be interested in working primarily with movement, and be up for this challenge!

Performing alongside the cast at the Royal Exchange in this world premiere of a new play, this will be an exciting opportunity to be part of a vital story that we’re proud to be telling.

Please note – these roles are unpaid but travel expenses can be reimbursed.

If you are interested, we are holding two introductory workshops to give you a feel for the production. It’s also a chance for you to see if it’s for you and allow the team here to meet you. We will then put together our ensemble after these sessions.

Important dates for you to know before applying:

  • Thursday 17th May 2018 6.30pm – Introductory workshop 1 OR 8.00pm – Introductory workshop 2
    You will be invited to book on to one of the introductory sessions via our box office – 0161 833 9833.

  • If selected, you will then need to be available for a 2 hour session on the following dates:
    Thursday 31 May 2018 at 6.30pm
    Thursday 7 June 2018 at 6.30pm
    Thursday 14 June 2018 at 6.30pm
    Thursday 21 June 2018 at 6.30pm
    Saturday 23 June 2018 at 10.00am 

  • From Tuesday 26 June 2018, you must be available for technical rehearsals every evening leading up to the opening night on Thursday 28 June 2018.

  • The production the runs until Saturday 28 July, with 35 public performances in total including some matinee shows.

We appreciate that you may not be able to commit to every show but we would need you to be in at least 50% of the performances.


Call the Box Office on 0161 833 9833 to book a place on one of the introductory workshops. The deadline for booking your place on the introductory workshop is 5pm on Tuesday 15 May 2018.

Please arrive 15 minutes before your workshop and enter the building via the Stage Door reception located on Cross Street.