The Globe Theatre, Stockton On Tees

Official opening by His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester…

The Globe Theatre Stockton is a Grade II-listed Art Deco building, which has been lovingly restored to its former splendour. The Globe Theatre, in Stockton reopened this year after being closed for more than 40 years. The famous Globe is very much a part of the community and holds a special place in people’s hearts, which makes this official opening a very special occasion indeed.

I’ve photographed a fair few royal visits so I understand the photographer protocol, this time was a little different, because on top of the usual checks I also had to provide my covid pass from the NHS app. All boxes ticked and I was safe to enter.

The official opening of the Globe Theatre was in the hands of His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester and I must say he was the right man for the job. With a degree in architecture and a real interest in the building his tour of the Globe had him asking questions at every stop off point. His Royal Highness also met representatives from the Globe’s operators Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), contractor Willmott Dixon, and volunteers involved in the project. He was most impressed with the Globe Theatre volunteers who he met backstage in the green room. They had copies of plans and posters with the names of all the stars that have performed at the Globe Stockton. He shared a story about the day he met Gene Pitney and what a lovely man he was, although a little shorter than he thought he would be (Google tells me he was 5ft 9”, FYI the same height as Boris Johnson). All in all he had a real interest in the building, its history and its future.

Now a little bit about me… Royal visits are always nerve wracking , I never want to be that photographer who steps out of line and is brought down by a royal protection officer, who in fact I have always found very helpful. This visit was extra tense, I can only assume it’s because I’m a bit royal rusty due to the pandemic. I triple checked my photography kit and made sure my shoelaces were tied. HRH was 30 mins early and thankfully I arrived at the Globe in good time to have one more walk through the route before the police bikes and his car turned up. 85 mins of concentration and trying to stay one step ahead of the dignitaries is a fantastic adrenalin rush, with a crashing comedown. Out of the Globe Theatre and straight back to my office to get all the images sorted for press release that afternoon.

Next a trip back to the Globe to photograph the world famous Ian Wright (photographer not footballer). What a man by the way, dandy, gentle and helpful. He was giving a talk on the stage that evening about his career photographing the stars around the world, but more importantly at the Globe Theatre. He needed some PR pics before he was due on stage. A local photographer photographing a photographer of his pedigree was stressful, so I was thankful that Jo, the general manager of the Globe Theatre had a pint of cold Moretti waiting for me, now that’s customer service. Finally back to the office to send these images to the PR agency so they had them ready for the following morning. 2 chapters of Bob Mortimer’s book (which I can 100% recommend) and then it was goodnight from me…

Thanks to everyone who made this event happen and it was lovely to see so many familiar faces back at work.

See you next time…

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