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Hartlepool Monkey Legend Creator Talk and Book Signing

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Borough Hall

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Hartlepool Monkey Legend Creator Talk and Book Signing

Renowned author Dave Harker will give a public talk about the North East's very first professional singer/songwriter Ned Corvan, who is credited with inventing the Hartlepool Monkey legend.


Ned Corvan, 1827 to 1865, was the main North East music hall star in the 1850s and early 1860s.


Ned's Hartlepool links started in 1845 when, as an 18 year old, he "ran away" to join Billy Purvis' travelling show, which constantly performed between Hartlepool and Scotland Border country.


Ned honed his immense talents performing with Purvis, known affectionately as the "Jester of the North", who is buried in St Hilda's Churchyard on the Headland.


Dave Harker's biography of "Ned", called Cat-Gut Jim, will have its Hartlepool launch on  Tuesday, May 2 at the Borough Hall, only 200 yards from the grave of Billy Purvis. 


Organised by the Hartlepool Headland Local History Group, the talk and book signing will take place from 1.30pm.


Dave said: "Ned was a comedian, singer, songwriter, artist and virtuoso violinist. He premiered Fishermen Hung The Monkey, O, in the Dock Hotel Music Hall, Southgate, around 1855 and the myth was born!"


A second talk by Ed Waugh, top NorthEast playwright, will take place on Wednesday, May 10, at Hartlepool Central Library in York Road at 2pm.


Both shows are open to the public and entry is free. 


Ed, who worked at Hartlepool Power Station for five years from 1993 to 1998, will also touch on other great North East music hall singer/songwriters like Geordie Ridley and Joe Wilson.


The stage play Mr Corvan's Music Hall,  written by Ed and containing Ned's songs tours the region from May 25 to June 10 with a performance at Hartlepool Town Hall on Tuesday, June 6, at 7.30pm. Tickets cost only £15 from (01429) 890000 or online here.


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Borough Hall

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