IT’S NOT very often an actor went to school with a man whose family inspired the play he is performing in.

But that’s the unlikely link that brings a twist to the latest production by Bingley Little Theatre at the town’s Arts Centre.

The group is staging Stringer’s Last Stand, a play by 1960s working-class hero Stan Barstow who penned the more-famous A Kind Of Loving.

With that novel Barstow joined a generation of working-class writers who became famous for stories airing the voice of gritty West Yorkshire passion.

Barstow was born in Horbury, near Wakefield, and rather than following his father into the coal mines he started his working life as a draughtsman and salesman.

He later took to writing, A Kind Of Loving going on to become a popular film and stage play.

Barstow wrote many other novels, short stories and plays, including Stringer’s Last Stand in conjunction with Alfred Bradley in 1972.

Stan and later his son Neil Barstow attended Ossett Grammar School.

A spokesman for Bingley Little Theatre said one cast member, Frank Etchells, also from Horbury, was in the same class as Neil Barstow.

He said: “Both were very friendly with Kevin Stringer. Kevin’s mother Mrs Stringer and Stan Barstow’s wife were good friends and it is likely that the name Stringer, but not the events, came from their family.”

Those events take place in the home of the fictional Luther Stringer, head of a Yorkshire working-class family of wife and three daughters, one married, one engaged and one a student.

The fiancée of Stringer’s middle daughter is in “bad odour” with him for refusing to participate in a strike, and has been sent to Coventry.

The spokesman said: “This disagreement pales into insignificance before the hornets’ nest that is stirred up when Luther’s eldest daughter discovers an “unexpected item” in her father’s coat pocket.

“The women’s reaction is instant and their vengeance is terrible – but the result is equally unexpected and perhaps unwelcome.

Performing alongside Frank Etchells will be Ian Wilkinson, last seen at Keighley Playhouse playing Magwitch in Great Expectations, Nicola Brook making a welcome return to the Bingley stage, Jacqueline Scott, Caroline Auty and Tom Jagger.

The play runs from March 4-9 at 7.30pm in Bingley Arts Centre.

Comedy playwright John Godber revisits his hit Up ‘n’ Under, but this time with a woman’ s team, in the play Muddy Cows on April 15-20.

Call 01274 567983 to book tickets for either play.