Rockumentary set at Hatfield youth centre based on real-life recollections

PUBLISHED: 09:46 24 May 2017

Girls on stage

Girls on stage


A Hatfield youth centre has been used as a backdrop to a two-hour rockumentary drama set in the town in 1967.


Many blockbuster films have been made in Hatfield over the years, with Hatfield House and the former airfield site most often used as a backdrop.

But, says independent Hatfield-based filmmaker Jon Brindle: “The Breaks Manor Youth Centre is also a brilliant venue for producing films, and offers a spacious setting for the performing arts.

“It is an undiscovered gem which provides many useful facilities which we found very adaptable.”

Jon wrote the script and has just completed shooting a two-hour film entitled ‘The Next Big Thing’.

Andy and TraceyAndy and Tracey

“It’s a rockumentary drama set in the Hatfield of 1967 and tells the story of a talented local pop group who aspire to great things.

“However, when opportunity comes a-knocking, they find themselves caught up in the sometimes corrupt pop music world of the time, where sex and drugs and rock and roll weave their way throughout the story”.

Several of the scenes in the film were based upon the real-life recollections of local musicians who once made their own bids for pop stardom.

Original songs by local songwriters also feature in the film to give it a 1960s feel.

The press conference.The press conference.

Jon says: “There were some very good acting performances and we had great support from the Centre Stage drama school, but the real star of the show was the Breaks Manor venue itself.

“We must have used almost every square inch of the place” says Jon.

“Apart from the spacious dance hall, there is a big stage, great sound system and lighting; there’s a recording studio, a coffee bar, two lounges, large games room plus a lovely extensive garden.

“We even used the internal road, car parks and dustbin area and created other sets within these areas both inside and out; including a hospital, TV studio and hotel.

“The Breaks have even got a room full of costumes!

“It’s the second film I’ve made there and I can thoroughly recommend it.”

David Evans of Black Cat Video (Potters Bar) who produced the film, said: “Working on this latest Hatfield history project has been a very enjoyable process; in fact, for some of the crew who were actually around in the 60s, it has brought back many memories and humorous anecdotes.

“The young cast were great to work with and Jon brought infectious enthusiasm and a wish to create a film true to the times.

Breaks Manor provided the locations for most of the scenes and it would be wonderful if more use could be made of it as a fully functioning performing arts venue.”

Chairman of Breaks Manor Management Committee Hilary Burningham said: “It’s very gratifying to see the full range of facilities at Breaks Manor being used for this exciting project. The involvement and commitment of all the young people who took part was most impressive and I look forward to seeing the finished product.”

Those interested in the venue should contact Breaks Manor on: 01707 263201

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