Harrigan Review

Harrigan resized for website

This evening started with a short performance by local singer Hayley McKay who performed a track from the film before the lights went down and the main event began.

What can I say about Harrigan? It certainly wasn’t what I was expecting!

Set in the 1970s, amidst power cuts, coal strikes and a police reorganisation, Harrigan is atmospheric, gritty and violent. I’ve always thought of Stephen Tompkinson as a nice guy but he shows a much darker side in this movie. He embodies Detective Sergeant Barry Harrigan and, despite his unconventional methods, you find yourself rooting for this maverick cop to bring some semblance of law and order to communities that have essentially been abandoned by the police and left in the hands of vile gangsters.

The title suggests that this film is just about Tompkinson’s character but this film has a varied cast, each with their own issues.

Harrigan, set and filmed in the North East, is a tense thriller that had the audience audibly gasping during some scenes. This is not one for the faint-hearted but it is an honest portrayal of a scary, desperate time in our region’s history.

Following the screening, there was an informal chat between the star of the movie Stephen Tompkinson as well as writer Arthur McKenzie and director Vince Woods. As a former Detective Chief Inspector, Arthur, regaled the audience with stories of his time as a bobby on the beat and shared just how much of the film were based on his real experiences (here’s a hint: the majority of it!). Questions and comments from the audience were encouraged and we were given an insight into how the film got its distinctive ‘look’ thanks to Director of Cinematography, James McAleer.

Music, a movie and a talk-in, another lively night at Live Theatre.

Victoria Watson
Live Theatre’s January Blogger


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