Spectacular ‘Glass Ceiling’ outdoor show in Hartlepool marks 100 years since women got the right to vote

A spectacular outdoor theatre show telling the story of how women broke through the ‘glass ceiling’ lit up Ward Jackson Park in Hartlepool.

Crowds descended on the park last night for the dazzling show, which used a mix of innovative staging and pyrotechnics, music, and aerial performance.

The Glass Ceiling performance in Ward Jackson Park marking 100 years since women got the vote.

The Glass Ceiling performance in Ward Jackson Park marking 100 years since women got the vote.

The show was made by theatre group Periplum to mark 100 years since the first British women were given the right to vote.

After premiering at the Stockton International Riverside Festival in August and touring other towns in the Tees Valley, it was Hartlepool’s turn last night.

But the show’s artistic directors Damian Wright and Claire Raftery gave it a local twist by including references to original campaigners Amy Norman from Seaton Carew, who was a close personal friend of Suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, and Amy’s husband Fred.

Claire and Damian worked with Mark Simmons from Hartlepool Borough Council’s Museums Service to include the local details.

The Glass Ceiling performance in Ward Jackson Park marking 100 years since women got the vote.

The Glass Ceiling performance in Ward Jackson Park marking 100 years since women got the vote.

Claire said: “As part of the performance we show original photographs of some of the Suffragettes from that 
region.

“It looks at the movement between 1905 and 1918 when the vote was won for most women and all men.”

The performance marked Periplum’s first return to Hartlepool since 2014’s, Homecoming, another open-air production, made for the 100th anniversary of the Bombardment of Hartlepool.

Claire earlier told the Mail: “It was an incredibly moving experience. Hartleool is quite a special place for us.”

The Glass Ceiling performance in Ward Jackson Park marking 100 years since women got the vote. Picture by FRANK REID

The Glass Ceiling performance in Ward Jackson Park marking 100 years since women got the vote. Picture by FRANK REID

The Glass Ceiling was funded by Arts Council England and the Tees Valley Combined Authority. It was co-commissioned by Stockton International Riverside Festival and the Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Darlington Borough Councils.

The Glass Ceiling performance in Ward Jackson Park marking 100 years since women got the vote. Picture by FRANK REID

The Glass Ceiling performance in Ward Jackson Park marking 100 years since women got the vote. Picture by FRANK REID

The Glass Ceiling performance in Ward Jackson Park marking 100 years since women got the vote.

The Glass Ceiling performance in Ward Jackson Park marking 100 years since women got the vote.

The Glass Ceiling performance in Ward Jackson Park marking 100 years since women got the vote.

The Glass Ceiling performance in Ward Jackson Park marking 100 years since women got the vote.