Paul Robeson in Wales

Paul Robeson’s interactions with Wales were shaped by the violence of mining life: the everyday hardship of long hours and low wages, but also the sudden spectacular catastrophes that decimated communities. In 1934, he’d been performing in Caernarfon when news arrived of a disaster in the Gresford colliery. The mine there had caught fire, creating an inferno so intense that most of the 266 men who died underground, in darkness and smoke, were never brought to the surface for burial. At once, Robeson offered his fees for the Caernarfon concert to the fund established for the orphans and children of the dead – an important donation materially, but far more meaningful as a moral and political gesture.

“There was just something that drew Welsh people and Paul Robeson together. I think it was like a love affair, in a way.” And that seemed entirely right.” [ . . . ] Read More – The Guardian

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How we made Brassed Off 

‘I spent months learning the flugelhorn – and I didn’t even have to play it’

Pete Postlethwaite, who was playing my father, took me down to Grimethorpe a week before filming to talk to locals and let them know this was their story. The miners were reticent at first. Not long before, a TV crew had stitched up the town, getting kids to throw stones at derelict buildings and making it seem as if it was a regular occurrence, as if Grimethorpe had become a wild west town. [ . . . ]

More at source: How we made Brassed Off | Film | The Guardian