Tune in with your memories of these Hartlepool school musicals

Cast your minds back 30 years for memories of these great school plays.

By Chris Cordner
Friday, 14 June, 2019, 15:21
A scene from 1988. The Brinkburn men's chorus in the production of Iolanthe.

If you were a pupil at Brinkburn Grammar School in Hartlepool, these productions may well strike a chord.

Duncan Graham shared a selection of great photographs. Each shows a production of Iolanthe and we are hoping you will spot someone you know.

The men's chorus from the 1967 Brinkburn School production of Iolanthe.

Duncan was a teacher for decades at the school and described himself as ‘a teacher of Physics, Maths and a person who ran rugby and cricket teams who got involved in performing arts as a major extra-curricular activity.”

Duncan has acted ever since he was 10. He appeared in a show which he described as his ‘first taste of real theatre with lights, make-up, backstage discipline. And at the end, a good review in the local press. That was it. I was hooked.”

After more plays at school and youth theatre, Duncan continued his love of the thespian life into his own teaching days.

All that started in 1964 at West Hartlepool Grammar School for Boys.

The ladies chorus from the 1988 production of Iolanthe.

He explained: “I assisted Colin Reid of the English Department with excerpts from Under Milk Wood and the school

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production of the Scottish Play. Colin went off to teach in Uganda and I directed Androcles and the Lion with help from another member of the English department Ron (Jesus) Jones.”

Soon he was building up stage successes including Iolanthe which Duncan tackled for the first time in 1967. It ended in 1994 with the fourth version of Iolanthe.

Here are some scenes from the different productions down the years.

The full chorus from Iolanthe in 1988.

Duncan added: “I was involved with 18 G&S productions with three different very capable musical directors who were Heads of the Music Department (Jack Roberts 1967 to 73, Jack and Joan Saunders together from 73 and then Steve Sild from 1990.)”

But he stressed: “There was more than G&S going on with a variety of staff involved. They included Peter Taylor, David Howells, Diane Howells , Dave Amos and Jean Williams who all got involved in Shakespeare, straight plays, comedies etc.”

Who remembers stage plays at Brinkburn? Email chris.cordner@jpimedia.co.uk.

The principal players from the 1988 production of Iolanthe.