WARRINGTON’s historic Centenary Theatre Company returned to the Brindley for its latest production, this time adapting the 1996 film Brassed Off for the stage.

The play follows the Grimley Colliery Band as their small Yorkshire town is marred by the threat of pit closures, strikes and poverty, based on the real life struggles of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band.

In spite of this, the band plays on and – inspired by determined band leader Danny – aims for one final shot at glory during the National Finals in London.

While no actor in the world could measure up to our own late, great Pete Postlethwaite – particularly in what is arguably his most iconic role – former Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School head teacher Michael Mullan is unfazed by the prospect of filling such big shoes.

His delivery of Danny’s show-stopping monologue at the Royal Albert Hall in particular is remarkable – conveying the passion, pain and pride of man in failing health after a lifetime down the pit, whose beloved band inevitably looks set to join his colliery as a thing of the past.

As impressive a performance comes from Ewen Schooler in the role of miner’s son Shane (shared with Isaac Hartill on alternate nights), a bundle of youthful energy and hope set against a backdrop of poverty and despair.

Matt Orrillard and Danielle Segar – who got engaged onstage during the Centenary’s last production of the Ladykillers – add a romantic edge as the latter’s Gloria returns to her hometown as management in the company planning to shut their colliery down, encountering childhood sweetheart and pitman Andy along the way.

The icing on the cake is the fantastic Golborne Brass Band, whose live performances litter the play and are met with rapturous applause every time while actor Alex Clare actually plays his instrument alongside the accomplished ensemble in his role as Jim.

Despairing but always sprinkled with a pinch of gallows humour, Brassed Off’s savage ode to Thatcherism is unafraid to tackle social mobility, politics and even suicide and is perfectly executed by the Centenary and their bandmates.

Brassed Off runs until February 10, including a matinee showing at 2pm on Saturday.

For tickets or more information call 0151 9078360 or go to thebrindley.org.uk.