It remains one of the most tragic and infamous natural disasters in UK history.
And now, 55 years on, The Crescent Theatre on Westside is to pay a tribute to the 144 lives that were lost in the Aberfan disaster in Wales on 21 October 1966.
The Crescent, in Sheepcote Street, Brindleyplace, is to stage Neil Docking’s emotive play The Revlon Girl, from 23 to 30 October.
The disaster claimed the lives of 28 adults and 116 children, the majority of them in their local junior school, when an avalanche from a colliery spoil tip engulfed the village of Aberfan in Glamorgan.
Set eight months after the disaster, the play is based on the real-life story of a group of bereaved mothers who met every week above a local hotel to talk, cry and even laugh without feeling guilty.
At one of their meetings, afraid that people would think them frivolous, they secretly arranged for a representative from Revlon to come and give them a talk on beauty tips.
Director Liz Plumpton was initially drawn to the play “by the dichotomies that the playwright sets up so brilliantly: the ‘outsider’ with her box of make-up walking into the close knit community of bereaved mothers; intense humour and intense grief; rage and reconciliation.
“It’s a brilliant, warm and surprisingly funny play that unflinchingly explores all the dimensions of grief. It’s also about finding resilience and hope in the darkest of times.”
The production, which contains strong language, will be staged within The Ron Barber Studio.
Evening performances are at 7.45pm from 23 to 30 October, with matinees at 2.45pm on the 24 and 30 October.
Tickets are priced at £11.50 to £13, with under 16s paying £12. The matinee on Sunday 24 October costs £9.