TALENTED students from North Durham Academy and community groups joined forces with an arts development agency to create and perform a new play about life in Stanley.

Stanla’ Social Neet is set in a social club and focuses on the highs and lows of life as it is experienced in the town today.

The new play, funded by Stanley Area Action Partnership, was inspired by the pitman playwright Alexander Barrass’ work, The Pitman’s Social Neet, which explored life in a 19th century pit community and was set in a Stanley pub.

The play’s writer and director, David Napthine, has been working closely with the students and members of PACT House and Just for Women, weaving together their fears, hopes and dreams into a new play.

This was performed by a small professional cast plus the students and community group members to packed audiences at Stanley Education Centre, the White Room Gallery and at North Durham Academy recently,

School principal Angela Sweeten said: “This was an amazing opportunity for some of our students to develop their skills by working with theatre professionals and helped them identify future career pathways in the arts. We are proud of the arts opportunities that we give to all of our students. The themes that emerged from the play , about the impact of poverty and unemployment on young people’s dreams and ambitions, were hugely relevant to anyone working with young people in Stanley.”