THE Alan Plater masterpiece Close the Coalhouse Door was written in Sixties but remains as punchy and relevant today as it was when it was premiered.

In a landmark collaboration between Northern Stage and Live Theatre, a new production of this contemporary theatre classic opened to rave reviews and a sell-out run in April.

It plays the Lawrence Batley Theatre next week and promises to be one of the stand-out shows of the season. Performances start on May 23.

Close the Coalhouse Door charts the strikes, victories and tragedies in British mining history, capturing the political anger and fight for justice of ordinary people – from the formation of the first mining union in 1831 through to the miners’ disputes of the 1980s.

Alan Plater CBE, who died last year, was one of the greatest writers of British television drama.

As well as 18 episodes of Z-Cars, he wrote Fortunes of War, The Beiderbecke Affair, The Last of the Blonde Bombshells and A Very British Coup.

Lee Hall, writer of Billy Elliot and a prodigy of Plater’s, has updated Close the Coalhouse Door to include the most recent mining disputes of 1984/85 while keeping the humour and working class quality of the original play.

He said: “At first I was worried that what was once a celebration would seem like an elegy; but on closer examination, far from being an exercise in nostalgia, the play is more urgent than ever.”

Close the Coalhouse door is told through the stories of wives, vicars, sons, daughters and the miners themselves.

The soulful score by Alex Glasgow captures the spirit of mining communities through music hall, vaudeville and drinking songs.

The production is being directed by Samuel West, best known for his acting credits with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and films Van Helsing and Notting Hill.

Close the Coalhouse Door is described as having the irony and lively mischief of Oh What Lovely War; the dark grit of Our Friends in the North; and the triumph over adversity of Billy Elliot.

The LBT is working with The National Coal Mining Museum near Wakefield and the National Union of Mineworkers to celebrate a play that maps the highs and lows of an industry that was deeply embedded into Yorkshire culture.

Tickets for Close the Coalhouse Door, with performances from Wednesday, May 23, to Saturday, May 26, are £16, £14 and £12, with £2 off for concessions.

All Saturday matinee tickets are £12. Call the booking office on 01484 430528 or book online at where there is also more information on the LBT season.