Town street used as 70s movie set

The filming of a new film, Harrigan (please check spelling against copy) starring Stockton-born actor Stephen Tompkinson is taking place in Hartlepool. Stephen Tompkinson prepares to shoot a scene in an ally off Carr Street.

The filming of a new film, Harrigan (please check spelling against copy) starring Stockton-born actor Stephen Tompkinson is taking place in Hartlepool. Stephen Tompkinson prepares to shoot a scene in an ally off Carr Street.

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A RESIDENTIAL street has been transported back to the 1970s for the filming of a gritty crime thriller.

Carr Street, in Hartlepool, has been chosen as the backdrop for part of the movie Harrigan.

It sees Stephen Tompkinson, of Ballykissangel and Wild at Heart fame, play Barry Harrigan, a tough but fair copper on a lawless North- East estate.

The Stockton-born actor has been in town since Thursday for the finale of the £1.25m shoot by TallTree Pictures.

The road off Hart Lane is to be used for a host of scenes, including backstreet fights and a riot, while Hartlepool United Supporters’ Club has been transformed into a “green room” for cast and crew.

The street has been closed during filming, but residents have been allowed to watch the action unfold and some will even be lucky enough to star in the finished piece.

Stephen said: “Harrigan is at heart an old-fashioned western with the sheriff taking on the bad guys and I am hugely excited about it.”

The storyline sees 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.

The character, who has also experienced a catastrophic tragedy in his personal life, is appalled by the lawlessness on the streets and saddened by the fear among the decent citizens he’s dedicated to protecting.

Stephen says: “You start with a really good script with great writing and that transports the story for everyone. The whole team involved in the project are extremely passionate about it and I am thrilled to be part of that.”

The production crew say the helpfulness of Hartlepool Borough Council is one of the main reasons for coming to the town – with workers even putting up old 1970s lampposts for the shoot.

As well as investing in the movie themselves, TallTree Pictures raised funds for the film through private investors in the North-East, including entrepreneurs, businessmen and a venture capital fund.

Among them is former Hartlepool United defender Robbie Elliott, who has also been helping Stephen keep trim for the film.

Cameras have also rolled at Swan Hunters in Newcastle and in Gateshead.

Harrigan has been written by former Newcastle cop Arthur McKenzie, who rose through the ranks of vice, beat, CID and the Serious Crime Squad before retiring after 31 years as Detective Inspector in charge of the toughest division of Newcastle’s West End.

His daughter, Kirsty Bell, is producing the movie.

She said: “Raising the funds for the project has been difficult in the current economic climate, but I am thrilled that it has come to fruition.”

Arthur added: “Harrigan was an idea that I came up with 16 years ago and I’m absolutely delighted that my daughter Kirsty has been able to raise the finance to turn my dream into a reality. I’m very proud of what she has achieved and thrilled that Stephen Tompkinson has agreed to play the role of Harrigan.”