Duncombe Park Woods
19th JUNE 2021 (20th -wet weather alternative)
TIMESLOTS: 10.30am, 12.30, 14.30 & 16.30pm
It’s the summer of 1943, Helmsley.
In the distance the rumble of approaching tanks can be heard, as the Second Battalion Cold Stream Guards make their way to Duncombe Park. Amongst them is nineteen- year- old Dennis “Hank” Haydock, about to undertake tank training ahead of the Normandy Campaign.
Get your army/walking boots on, pack tons of energy and join Cold Stream Guardsman Dennis “Hank” Haydock on this simple, site-specific, one man performed walk (or route-march!) off the beaten track through the hidden remains of Duncombe Park’s WW2 tank encampment to reveal Hank’s haunting real-life experiences.
From his time in the camp to VE Day, this unique theatre experience, inspired by his written memoirs, interweaves verbatim monologues from the award-winning play BOMB HAPPY with additional new testimony to bring Hank’s powerful first-hand experiences vividly to life in the actual camp where he was stationed just prior to the D-Day Landings.
Commissioned original illustrations, by York artist, Jay Sillence ( InkBlot Films), influenced by the works of war artist Eric Kennington (Tanks and Tank Folk) who visited the camp in 1943, together with historic photographic images courtesy of both the Duncombe Park Estate Collection & The Helmsley Archive capture the camp in the early 1940’s.
POST SHOW MEET THE VETERANS 12.30pm and 14.30pm performances only:
An opportunity to meet the last three remaining York Normandy Veterans after two of the walks including Green Howards veteran Ken Cooke, who knew Dennis Haydock. Please make sure you book on these 2 performed walks only.
There will also be an opportunity to purchase copies of Bomb Happy signed by Ken Cooke.
WE APOLOGISE BUT DUE TO THE UNEVEN TERRAIN THIS WALK IS NOT SUITABLE FOR MOBILITY AID & WHEELCHAIR USERS, AND REQUIRES A GOOD LEVEL OF FITNESS.
BOOKING ESSENTIAL, NO WALK UPS – VERY LIMITED SPACES, PLEASE ONLY RESERVE A PLACE IF YOU FULLY INTEND TO ATTEND.)
LOCATION: Duncombe Park, Helmsley
DIRECTIONS: Head for the top woods- on entering the Park from Helmsley town centre please drive up the driveway toward the crossroads outside Duncombe Park House, ignoring the “No cars past this point” where you will be directed to parking by our walk marshalls.
TERRAIN INFO:The route involves uneven surfaces, steps & deviations off the beaten track to see historic remains hidden in undergrowth, as well as some concrete road walking.
CLOTHING/FOOTWEAR: sturdy outdoor footwear, long trousers ( & wet weather gear) recommended.
WALK/PERFORMANCE DURATION: One hour appx. A good level of fitness recommended for this uneven route, stopping to hear monologues at significant locations along the way.
PLEASE NOTE – contains vernacular appropriate to 1940’s era and graphic descriptions of warfare. RECOMMENDED AGE 12+
Social distancing applies.
With grateful thanks to: Jake Duncombe, James Hare & Duncombe Park Estate (Archive), YNV Archive at York Explore, historian Stuart McMillan, and The Helmsley Archive http://www.helmsleyarchive.org.uk/
Grateful thanks to our volunteer team of walk marshalls, particularly Nick Beilby and Richard Smith.
Written & directed by HELENA FOX (BOMB HAPPY)
Reviews for Bomb Happy
” This really is a must-see play, which will stay with you forever.” ★★★★★ – Paul Reed, BBC Historian,
“…a powerful sense of immediacy and involvement” ★★★★★ Broadway Baby
Performed by GEORGE STAGNELL (BOMB HAPPY, Private Peaceful )
Review: ★★★★★ “Stagnell skilfully takes charge and It’s impossible to take your eyes from him….haunting performance”(Edinburgh Festival Magazine for Private Peaceful, Pick Me Up Theatre.)
Production Trainee– Esme Schofield.
Funded through Ryedale District Council’s Small Arts Grants.
Produced in partnership with Helmsley Arts Centre & Duncombe Park.