'Blow Down' - Life Beneath Some Yorkshire Cooling Towers

'Hilarious, gritty and thought-provoking' – new play at Leeds Playhouse
January 4, 2023

A funny and poignant new play exploring the impact of the iconic cooling towers at Ferrybridge Power Station on the lives of the people who lived and worked beneath them is opening at Leeds Playhouse on 3-11 February before heading out on tour across Yorkshire and the North East.  

Scripted by award-winning playwright Garry Lyons and presented by Theatre Royal Wakefield, Blow Down is based on stories collected from the local community in Ferrybridge and Knottingley. It is a hilarious, gritty and thought-provoking show with music about a typical post-industrial Yorkshire town.

'Blow Down' Playwright Garry Lyons

From the raucous seventies to recession and decline in the 2000s, it tells the story of the area through the experiences of people who lived there, offering surprising insights, authenticity and humour.

Playwright Garry Lyons said: “For some years I've lived near Ferrybridge Power Station and watched its iconic cooling towers come down from close at hand. I thought it would be interesting to see what local people thought about the loss of such a landmark. So, I interviewed members of the community, and from the recordings developed a play that captures their hopes, dreams, fears and memories. It's a snapshot of a Yorkshire town at a particular moment, but one that I'm sure will resonate right across the north and beyond."

Ferrybridge facts:

  • The land for the power plant was bought in 1917 by Yorkshire Electric Power Company
  • Construction on Ferrybridge 'A' started in 1926 and it was up and running a year later
  • Ferrybridge 'B' was constructed in 1955, followed by Ferrybridge 'C' a decade later
  • Ferrybridge Power Station, officially known as Ferrybridge 'C', was a looming landmark on the West Yorkshire horizon for more than 50 years
  • In its heyday, it employed in excess of 900 people
  • Rising costs meant it had to close in 2016
  • Demolition began in 2018, with thousands of people gathering to see the enormous towers come down
  • Further demolition occurred in the summer of 2021, with homes evacuated, roads closed and planes and drones prohibited from flying over
  • The last of the extensive demolition work took place in March 2022

Blow Down is directed by Leeds director, dramaturg and creator Tess Seddon. She has directed plays at Sheffield Theatres, Leeds Playhouse, National Theatre, Hull Truck and The Yard, as well as touring work to theatres and community venues across the UK.

Director, Dramaturg (And Political Activist) Tess Seddon

Blow Down runs from 3rd to 11th February at Leeds Playhouse. For tickets and further info CLICK HERE


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