Our Jack Part 1

I wrote the script to the short play Our Jack a few months ago, I decided to do what I do best, to help me promote my Jack Harrison statue campaign.

With the date of Sunday 30th April now set for our performance(s), at Kardomah 94, I’ve decided to now start writing updates in my blog.

First let me introduce you to everybody involved in the production at this stage, we also have set dates later in the year for a feature length immersive production, so I will introduce you to more people as we move closer to that further down the line.

Our director is Theatre Goddess, and original Trucker, Cassie Patton. Working with Cassie is an absolute dream, she knows everything about working on a production, and she is a huge fan of the man whose story we are telling.

Cassie is working so hard behind the scenes, she has had us rehearsing in her own home, including one-to-one sessions with some of the cast when it has been needed. She has also helped with the cost and procurement of costumes.

Katie Stones is playing Lillian, Jack’s wife, this thoroughly compelling young lady is an absolute treat to work with, she’s massively enthusiastic, and seriously talented with it, I honestly think she will do us all proud, both in the short play and the feature length show.

I only found her by chance, and I’m so happy that I did because she is just going to be outstanding I have no doubt.

Clare Crowther will be playing Jack’s mum Charlotte, and I have to say that I’m thrilled to be working with her. Clare is a superb professional, and learned her lines and got off script in double quick time.

We keep throwing new lines at her for her to learn, today in particular, and it’s all just done almost instantly, it’s a joy to behold.

Kenny Richards-Preston is playing Jack’s father John Harrison. Having worked with Kenny a few times I know exactly what to expect from him, absolute professionalism in bucket loads, and that’s exactly what we’re getting from him.

Kenny is so talented, and I am really pleased he said yes when I asked him to play this part, he is the ultimate professional, everybody who sees this will love him to bits.

The high pressure part of Our Jack is taken on with relish by the brilliant Jordan Matfin. Cassie was the one who spotted him on stage in another show and, despite his considerable work commitments, he is really growing into the role.

Jordan is wonderfully talented, and a really nice lad with it, he’s really engaged with the whole process, and I couldn’t be happier to have him playing the part of Jack in the short play.

The reason I’ve started these blog updates today is because we started rehearsing on the stage at Kardomah 94, and I want to step up the updates other than the ones I’m already putting on social media.

I can confidently tell you that this is a very happy band of people that I’m working with on this production, and that is thanks in no small part to Cassie. As the director Cassie is making every rehearsal a very happy place to be, while also getting the best out of everyone, yours truly included.

Kenny was otherwise engaged today so I had to read in for him, playing the part of Jack’s Hull KR supporting father, most people will know that would be very awkward for me, being that I am a massive Hull FC supporter.

The only reason I can do that when needed, is the fact that I’m doing it for Jack, I like to think he’s smiling down on us.

When we had a meeting with Malcolm Scott about the feature length production, and he expressed his understandable doubts about showing a production about a historic Hull icon, it dawned on me just what we are taking on here.

When we started rehearsals for this short play it suddenly started to feel very real, and as we have been going through them, it’s certainly cranking up the pressure on all of us, hence why the feeling of fun is so important.

Katie and Jordan are having to get very used to each other to make their stage relationship look the way it should, as childhood sweethearts who had known each other all their lives, and then went on to become husband and wife and parents to their only son, as you can imagine, that bit isn’t at all easy.

Our next rehearsal is going to be a week on Wednesday so I want everyone looking out for more rehearsal photos on Facebook and Twitter.

At the time of writing this first entry, I have confirmation that Johnny Whiteley MBE will be at Kardomah 94 for the performance, which will include a Q and A with the cast, Cassie and myself on stage.

While I’ve been writing I have also just received a message from Sammy Lloyd that he will also be there on Sunday 30th April to perform some music for us, along with poetry from the brilliant Artful Codgers.

The Artful Codgers are a group of very good friends of mine Sue and Terry Ireland, Richard Harries and David Osgerby, and I believe there could be new work afoot from them, as well as their already established work, particularly including poems about Jack, Hull FC and World War One.

If you wish to donate to the statue fund here is a link to the JustGiving page.

The Facebook page is here and this is the Twitter account. Please also look out on social media for #Statue52