THE HISTORY and heritage of Huddersfield is to be celebrated in a film accompanying an orchestral concert.

The ballet Petrushka, by the radical composer Igor Stravinski, will be performed by Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) at Huddersfield Town Hall on Saturday, June 25.

Local youngsters are to star in a film, specially created for the performance, which will be screened above the orchestra as it plays.

The film, by former BBC production designer Keith Cheetham, features images of Huddersfield with photos and old cine films.

Included in the film are children from Wooldale Junior School, who have been making pictures inspired by the ballet to coincide with the event.

Petrushka is the story of a Russian puppet, Petrushka, who is made of straw with a bag of sawdust for a body, but who comes to life and develops emotions.

The piece, by the Russian-French composer, premiered in 1911 and was revised in 1947.

Keith Cheetham began his career in television as a production designer for the BBC on series including Dr Who, Omnibus and Arena.

His award-winning music productions include commissioned dance and music drama works including a video version of Walton’s ‘Facade’; ‘Voice of the City’, a musical biography of Irving Berlin, and ‘Blues in the Night’, adapted from the Broadway Stage for television .

Cheetham has previously worked with SPO conductor Benjamin Ellin.

Chris Woodhead, secretary of the SPO said: “Keith’s immediate thought was to consider the work in its original form, as a concert piece, and use the narrative themes within the music rather than slavishly adhering to the ballet form; therefore offering a theatrical presentation of the music.

“His aim is to conjure up an expressionistic extension of the music that creates an atmosphere, a glimpse, a series of reminiscences both of the distant and recent past that reflects the community around the music makers rather than a literal re-telling of the story.” Fiona Woodhead, teacher at Wooldale Junior School and project co-ordinator, said: “The children have put in a lot of hard work and the experience of seeing their work on film and film-making in action has been good.

“Having Keith come in was the cream on the cake.

“Hopefully some of the children will be able to come and see their pictures exhibited in the town hall.”

The film and the children’s work can be seen at the SPO’s concert at Huddersfield Town Hall on Saturday June 25 (at 7.30pm).

Tickets are available online at: or from the town hall box office: 01484 223 200.