"Beth Steel’s second play dramatised the miners’ strike of 1984-85 with extraordinary power, pertinence and theatrical panache. It was clear that she sees a tragic continuum between our current world of zero-hour contracts and eroded workers’ rights and Thatcher’s victory over the miners (she is herself a miner’s daughter).
In this fiercely focused all-male piece, Steel juxtaposed the superbly evoked life-and-death camaraderie of the men down the Nottinghamshire pit with the achinations of the monetarists in suits plotting to smash that traditional male culture.
The grievous splintering of the miners’ solidarity under the conflicting pressures and bitter hardship of the year-long strike; the underhand tactics of the Government and its acolytes (a mordantly funny portrait of dissent-sowing Tory maverick David Hart) — Steel handled these elements with a masterly control, her conclusion unbearably moving. She has the gifts to become one of our most searching political playwrights."