ROUSING and traditional music will ring out at the Octagon thanks to three talented brass bands.
Wingates Band, Eagley Band and Blackburn and Darwen Band have been chosen to perform in the theatre’s upcoming production of Brassed Off.
Brass bands from the area were invited to apply to take part in the show, which is coming to the Octagon in May as part of a tour to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the 1984 miners’ strike.
Based on a true story and the hit 1996 film, Brassed Off is set in a fictional town in Yorkshire where the local colliery is under threat.
The only hope for the town's men is to enter their Grimley Colliery Brass Band into a national competition.
It will be the second time the 141-year-old Wingates Band, which has 11 national titles, will have performed in Brassed Off after a stint with an amateur group in 2010.
David Kaye, from the Westhoughton-based band, said: “We are massively looking forward to it.
“We had a little taster when the Marco Players did Brassed Off in Bolton. We did a week-long run. Our gang loved it.
“Coal mining is very much part of our story. Our darkest hour was the Pretoria pit disaster in 1910 when we lost nine players and officials.”
Deb Lyons, manager of Eagley Band which rehearses at the Last Drop Village, said: “I’m so giddy, I can’t believe it. I think it’s a great opportunity for local bands.
“We’re really looking forward to it and working with the other bands as well.
“It will be a really, really big event for us. We’ve never done anything like this before.”
The bands will play a number of different pieces of music, including Jerusalem, Danny Boy, Land of Hope and Glory and Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez.
Sue Speakman, secretary of Blackburn and Darwen Band, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be taking part. It will be an exciting time for the band.
“We love the music. It is exactly the kind of stuff we like playing.”
Brassed Off will run at the Octagon from Thursday, May 15, to Saturday, June 14.