Top band is not ‘brassed off’ over latest role

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A Brighouse band will have a starring role in a major production of ‘Brassed Off’ which is being staged in Bradford in March.

Clifton and Lightcliffe Band, led by musical director John Clay, will feature as Grimley Colliery Band at the Alhambra Theatre from March 11 to 15.

Band secretary Jane Clay said: “We have appeared in ‘Brassed Off’ before but never in as big a production as the one coming to the Alhambra.

“It will be the first time the band has played on the Alhambra stage and we are very excited about it.”

‘Brassed Off’ will star John McArdle, best-known for his roles in ‘Brookside’, ‘Firm Friends’ and ‘Waterloo Road’, as band conductor Danny.

The production is being staged by Touring Consortium Theatre Company and York Theatre Royal to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the miners’ strike. The story of struggling Grimley Colliery and its band’s uncertain future was first told in the 1996 film starring Ewan McGregor, Pete Postlethwaite and Tara Fitzgerald. It received three BAFTA nominations and has become a favourite with fans of British cinema. It has been adapted for the stage by Paul Allen from Mark Herman’s original screenplay.

Clifton and Lightcliffe Band qualified for the National Championships in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2012. In 2013 the band was promoted to the first section for the first time in it history.

Jane said: “We were contacted by the producers and asked if we would be interested in taking part. It’s a great way to raise the profile of the band. We will be supplying a minimum of 20 senior band members for the show.

“We are familiar with the music but we are rehearsing hard to make sure we are ready. We have been told that John McArdle will be visiting the bandroom shortly before the run starts to familiarise himself with the music and conducting!”

Clifton and Lightcliffe Band gives around 60 concerts a year and supports other groups, churches and schools with fund-raising activities.

The band will be in action in June at St Anne’s Church, Southowram, Lower Wyke Moravian Church Proms, Brighouse Gala and Brighouse March Contest. In July the band will take part in Clifton’s Proms in the Paddock.

Tickets for ‘Brassed Off’ are available on 01274 432000.