These singing roles really are the pits…but in a good way. Gary Clarke’s Wasteland awaits at York Theatre Royal

A scene from Gary Clarke’s Wasteland, heading for York Theatre Royal next month

THE search is on for singing pitmen to take part in Gary Clarke’s Wasteland, a new dance event at York Theatre Royal next month.

Four non-professional singers are being sought to join the cast for the 7.30pm performances on March 27 and 28.

Wasteland was created to mark the 25th anniversary of the demolition of Grimethorpe Colliery in South Yorkshire and 30 years since the rise of UK rave culture.

Now the Gary Clarke Company is seeking four singers aged over 40 with experience of singing in a group setting or community choir to play the roles of ex-coal miners.

No professional experience is necessary but applicants should have experience of learning songs from memory and singing in unison. The role will involve “some moving on and around the stage and interacting with other members of the company”.

Down the mines: Another scene from Gary Clarke’s Wasteland

Singers will be supported throughout the process by musical director Steven Roberts, assistant musical director Charlie Rhodes, choreographer and artistic director Gary Clarke and company associate Alistair Goldsmith, who will work with everyone’s individual needs and abilities. 

Each participant will receive a food and travel allowance to help cover the cost of rehearsals and performances. 

For any enquiries or to register interest, send an email to or call engagement manager Laura Barber on 07391 621966.

Neil Abdy, who grew up in the mining community of South Yorkshire and whose father was a miner, was one of the team of volunteers who took part in a special preview at Cast Doncaster in 2018. 

“Being given the opportunity to be part of this excellent work was unbelievable,” he says. “Everyone made us feel special and the friendship and camaraderie was excellent. I have a new spring in my step. If you have the opportunity to take part, definitely give it a go. It’s one of the best experiences you will ever have working with this wonderful team.”

Tickets for Gary Clarke’s Wasteland are on sale on 01904 623568 or at