A POIGNANT play about a miner and his family will be performed in Otley in June.

On Behalf of the People was commissioned from The Melting Shop theatre company by the National Coal Mining Museum, as part of its commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the industry's nationalisation.

Covering the years 1945 to 1953, the play focuses on George Mason - a miner who survived the First World War only to struggle to find a 'land fit for heroes' back home.

A dedicated union man, he is also committed to campaigning for the Labour Party in the 1945 election - despite the onset of emphysema which, two years later, will take him from his job at the coal face.

Connie meanwhile, his wife, is inclined to accept things as 'just George’s way' but has the strength of character to bring him into line when his single-minded obstinacy gets too much.

Tom, their son (returning from the Second World War) and his girlfriend Liz are less set in the old ways and ready to consider alternative careers.

The relationship between father and son, almost destroyed by George blaming Tom for the elder, much-favoured son joining up and being killed, forms a key part of the drama.

So too does the role of women, with Liz having to remind Tom that the world has changed and that she is a bread-winner.

On Behalf of the People reveals how millions of people in mining communities were affected by the end of the war, coal nationalisation and a huge period of social change.

The play will be performed at Otley Courthouse at 7.30pm on Saturday, June 16.

Tickets cost £12 for adults, £10 concessions, and can be booked by visiting www.otleycourthouse.org.uk or calling (01943) 467466.