The play that just had to be produced. Telling the story of how 256 men lost their lives on the night of Friday, 21st September 1934 when an enormous explosion ripped through the Dennis section of the Gresford pit. This was to create the grave of these poor men, as most were never found again.A memorial to the disaster was erected some years back but strangely no tablet listing the names of those who perished was ever placed there. Following the first performance of Gresford in June 1999, interest was revived in righting that omission and on Friday 22nd of September 2000 a plaque was unveiled.
The success of the Gresford play was such that the performance was rapidly sold out and many people were disappointed. The reputation of the play was made from the opening Gala Night.
Some press comment:
"Passionate Portrayal of Disaster" …..Movingly and skilfully revived the fateful day in September 1934. Mike Stevens disturbing script was interpreted with passion and purpose by a cast who put every ounce of energy into portraying it to packed audiences in the Emlyn Williams"
"While there are avaricious mine-owners who are hell-bent on cost cutting there will be accidents" said Sir Stafford Cripps, brilliantly played by Frank Pipkin.
Les Lever of the Wrexham Leader
"Talented students Kate Lewis and Dean Young surely have a bright future ahead of them as Annie the young mother and Dean's outstanding portrayal of George that really conveyed the essence of the disaster"
Carolyn Moreton Wrexham Leader
In addition to the press endorsement came from no less a person than Terry Hands, Artistic Director of Theatr Clwyd and a director of international repute.
"I saw Gresford. It was community Theatre at its best and should be revived"
Revived it was. Gresford was shown once again in September 2000 marking the millenium anniversary and correlating with the unveiling of the memorial plaque. Bob Fox again directed a talented cast including Frank Pipkin, Kate Lewis and many more that played so brilliantly in the first performance in 1999.