THE red carpet was rolled out for Hartlepool as the town starred in the premiere of gritty cop movie Harrigan last night.
And the Hartlepool Mail was there at the Gala theatre, in Durham City, to see how the town was used in the TallTree Pictures production and to speak to the film’s star, Stockton-born Stephen Tompkinson.
Mr Tompkinson, of Wild at Heart fame, plays no-nonsense copper Barry Harrigan in the film, which will be released in cinemas including the town’s Vue, on Friday, September 20.
Hartlepool’s Carr Street, off Hart Lane, was transported back to the 1970s last year during an icey-cold shoot.
Mr Tompkinson said: “There was one scene where I have a fight and I had to lie on the ground. I couldn’t get up, my cheek had stuck to the floor!
“Hartlepool is the setting of some of the biggest moments in the film. It has the lot, there’s riots and explosions.
“It worked really well being there and I even made some friends in the Supporters Club nearby. It was a good shoot.”
The film uses locations across the North-East and its director, Vince Woods, has already said he will be spreading the word about Hartlepool being a great location for filming.
And Mr Tompkinson said all the cast and crew are proud to be part of a feature film in our part of the world.
He added: “I’m from Stockton-on-Tees, which was in County Durham back then, so I’m thoroughly delighted a film made in the North East is being released.
“It’s one of 14 films being released this weeks, which shows we are a small fish in a very big pond.
“It doesn’t have the biggest budget but so much hard work has gone into the film. I’m really please for everyone involved.
“You never know how well it will go down, but we’re getting positive reactions and we can only hope people are drawn to it and like it.”
The story, written by former Tyneside cop Arthur McKenzie, sees police detective Barry Harrigan return to his patch after an 18-month secondment in Hong Kong and finds there have been massive changes while he was gone – and not for the better.
Many of the scenes are based on events in Mr McKenzie’s life, and the Newcastle man proved to be the real inspiration behind the film.
Mr Tompkinson said: “I was doing a play at a theatre in Newcastle and Vince Woods came to me with the script.
“I got on board because I could see how much effort had been put in and that these stories were so real.
“Everyone was inspired by Arthur. He is such a lovely man and has done so much.
“I made a speech at the wrap party and basically said we hope we’d done him justice.
“I guess that will be for those coming to see it to decide.”