ITS impossible not to be moved or stirred by this - the coal industry, an industry with a long and proud history, is being torn apart by the Tory government's pit closure programme.
The Grimley colliery also has the axe hanging over it. Families and friends are feeling the strain, a strain that culminates in one of the most harrowing scenes I've ever seen on any stage.
But Danny, who leads the colliery's brass band, insists the band plays on. Despite the encroaching gloom, this dignified and decent man has no intention of relinquishing hiss baton. There's a national competition to win.
When I heard the Garrick were planning to put this on I secretly hoped Martin Oldfield, one of the theatre's finest actors, would play the Danny role. He certainly delivers here, yet again, and Danny's BIG speech brought a tear to my eye in the same way the mighty Pete Postlethwaite did on the big screen.
Paul Allen's script bristles with emotion, passion and some very northern humour. A depression fest it isn't. Although some of the scenes are a difficult watch.
Mark Butt impresses yet again as the miner Phil, whose home life is one huge disaster zone and I also liked Beth Dilworth as Gloria, the returnee to the village who isn't all she's cracked up to be.
Wingates Brass Band, talented to its core, also plays its part in creating a major theatrical spectacle. A spectacle that is sure to live long in the memory of all who see it. Powerful and funny, this is a must see.
* Until April 29. The box office is on 0161 928 1677. Star rating - *****