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14 October 2014
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Miracle on the Estate

The Soap Bar Car Wash on Rochdale Road

One of the first places we called on to find our cast was the Soap Bar Car Wash on Rochdale Road. It seemed the obvious place to us if we were looking for a flood! It turned out to be a great source of inspiration and one of the lads who worked there, Dave, joined our choir - it was the first time he'd ever sung in public apart from the occasional turn on the Karaoke.

Photo courtesy of Peter Horgan

The ensemble perform 'The Harpurhey Song'

The Harpurhey Neighbourhood Project were our hosts for the music rehearsals and recordings. Here the ensemble we put together to perform 'The Harpurhey Song' are put through their paces by composer James Atherton.

Hannah Jackson, Alice Campbell, Jake Booth, Peter Horgan, Steve Booth

One of the first pieces we recorded was 'The Harpurhey Song' which describes life in Harpurhey and was written spontaneously during the first audition. Michael Roberts penned the words based upon ideas generated by the cast and James Atherton wrote the tune together will all the people pictured.

(From L-R - Hannah Jackson, Alice Campbell, Jake Booth, Peter Horgan, Steve Booth)

Hannah Latty and her friends

Once you scratch beneath the surface in Harpurhey you uncover an abundance of Talent. We met lots of people who we would have loved to be include in the film - but not everyone could commit the time required. This picture shows Hannah Latty and her friends who were fantastic musicians but could not take part because of work commitments.

Photo courtesy of Peter Horgan

Hannah Jackson and Hayley Smith rehearse the lines for their duet under the guidance of composer James Atherton

Time was always against us on the project - cast members were handed a script and expected to learn and record their vocals almost immediately. Here Hannah Jackson and Hayley Smith rehearse the lines for their duet under the guidance of composer James Atherton.

Steve Booth learns his lines

After the first audition Steve Booth was selected to take on the role of Noah. Currently unemployed, Steve usually works as a car mechanic and sings with a local band called Me. The production team were impressed with his enthusiasm and the natural raw quality of his voice. Despite having more words to learn than the rest of the cast he didn't get any extra time. Here he attempts to learn his lines as BBC researcher Nick Holden-Sim films him.

Photo courtesy of Peter Horgan

Anthony Martindale who played Noah's son

Our original 'Noah's Son' had to pull out at short notice. Before we had a chance to panic - as if by magic - Anthony Martindale turned up to rehearsals at precisely the right time and within an hour had been welcomed on board and was given the role of Noah's son.

Hannah Jackson and Hayley Smith rehearse the lines for their duet under the guidance of composer James Atherton.

One of the first people to express an interest in being involved with our project was 83 year old Alice Campbell. Traditionally, Noah's wife was always a big feature in the Medieval mystery Plays but we were so keen to have Alice on board that writer Michael Roberts broke that tradition and instead wrote a part for Noah's Mum.

In the picture she is inside our 'Ark' - the former Ark Royal Pub - waiting while the lighting is adjusted for her to perform her solo.

Finding an Ark in Harpurhey was never going to be easy.

Finding an Ark in Harpurhey was never going to be easy. We couldn't believe our eyes when we discovered a boarded up building that had once been a pub called the Ark Royal. The building even looked a bit like an ark so we quickly decided we wanted it in our film - things got better still when we discovered that the building had been bought by a church group who planned to convert it into a worship space and that they had a choir who were happy to help out with our film.

Hayley Smith takes a well earned rest amongst some of the props.

For the final scene Chris Salt the Director had an idea that he wanted to recreate the ghost of a living room in a deserted street. We begged and borrowed the furniture we needed and found a fantastic location in a nearby street that was vacant and boarded up - about to undergo regeneration.

Here Hayley Smith takes a well earned rest amongst some of the props.

Photo courtesy of Peter Horgan

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