Exploring the impact of the iconic cooling towers of Yorkshire's Ferrybridge power station on the lives of the people who lived and worked beneath them, new play Blow Down opens at Leeds Playhouse (February 3-11) before a short 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 Yorkshire community in Ferrybridge and Knottingley. From the raucous 1970s 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.
Lyons said: “For some years I've lived near Ferrybridge power station and watched its iconic cooling towers come down from close by. I thought it would be interesting to see what local people thought about the loss of such a landmark.
"I interviewed local people 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 time, but one that I'm sure will resonate right across the north and beyond."
The play can also be seen at Theatre Royal Wakefield (February 14) and Alnwick Playhouse (March 1).
::The land for Ferrybridge power station was bought in 1917, construction began nine years later and the station was up and running a year after that, followed by the Ferrybridge "B" site in 1955 and "C" a decade later.
In its heyday the station employed over 900 people, but closed due to rising costs in 2016, with demolition starting two years later. Thousands of people gathered to see the enormous towers come down, followed by more demolition in the summer of 2021, when nearby homes were evacuated, roads closed and planes and drones prohibited from flying over. The station was finally obliterated in March 2022.