Stan the Musical

The musical ‘Stan’, was first performed at Keighley Playhouse, Devonshire Street, on Monday, 19th July 1976. The musical had been inspired by an exhibition called “1920’s Boy” at Cliffe Castle in 1973. It received coverage on ITV’s ‘Calendar’ local news programme, and the BBC’s lunchtime programme ‘Pebble Mill at One’. After the July run it was revived at the Playhouse in October 1976.

The songs from the musical ‘Stan’ were recorded and an LP was produced by Calrec Audio Ltd. of Hebden Bridge. Copies were available for £3. The recording was engineered by John Trenouth and was mixed by John Butterfield and Tim Whitley. The photograph shows the front and back of the LP sleeve.

The exhibition that inspired the musical was a showcase for the paintings of Keighley artist Stanley R. Boardman. In the late 1960s/early 1970s Boardman began painting depictions of his memories of growing up in Keighley in the 1920s. Encouraged by local historian Ian Dewhirst, the paintings were put on display to much acclaim at Cliffe Castle in 1973.

The musical was written and produced by Michael Ford, with songs by Ford and Allan Greenwood. The show was an HYT (originally Holycroft Youth Theatre) production. HYT started out as Holycroft School’s theatre group, but soon broke away and recruited young people from across Keighley. ‘Stan’ was their first production and the theatre group ran into the 2000s. The group became renowned for staging original productions devised by the young cast in workshops. Musical accompaniment for this show was by Tim Whitley, John Trenouth and friends, Stanley Bishop provided cinema piano music, Pete Hey and Stan Boardman himself devised the props, and Ian Dewhirst acted as historical advisor.

The item belongs to Neville Whittingham. It was brought along to a talk on Stanley R. Boardman given by History Society member Tim Neal at Silsden Local History Group on 26th February 2018. The item was photographed by Tim Neal and permission was given to include the photograph on the History Society’s Flickr account.

The LP release of ‘Stan – The Musical’ by HYT Theatre Group. The musical was inspired by Stanley R. Boardman’s 1920s Boy paintings. Photographed by Tim Neal.

Author: Admin Tim

Tim is a committee member of the Keighley and District Local History Society, with responsibilities for archiving the physical and digital collections, and managing some of the social media channels. He moved to Keighley about ten years ago and joined the Society to learn more about the area.

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