Characters & Actors


Henry VIII

King of England 1509-1547.

Joseph Cranstone

Owned the Iron foundary, bailiff and important figure in Hemel’s history.

Isabella Harrington

Landlady of the Royal Oak Pub.

Judge Matthew Leno

Judge and High Bailiff in 1886-7.


Young crippled girl hidden away.


Lady of the night.

Young Man

Killed for not signing up.


There have been sightings of a headless nun in the park and gardens.

The Brown Lady

A young woman who is seen searching for her lost love.


Kimberly Black – Writer/ Director/ Performer

Kimberly graduated from The Poor School, Kings Cross in 2012. She is a member of Theatre on Wax, The Canting Crew, Production Consultant for Emerald Kitty Entertainment and performs with Imajica Theatre Company.

She has performed at The Palladium, Her Majesty’s, The Wyndams Theatre and Sadlers Wells.

Spirit of the Old Town is the first play Kimberly has ever written and produced. She is also the winner of Dacorum’s Den 2016.

When Kimberly is not performing she teaches singing and Burlesque.

Chris Leverett – Tour Guide

Bio to follow.

Matt Hatton

Matt has performed as Henry VIII for many years, (nearly as long as the real one). He earned his chops doing various thespianistic activities over the years, treading boards and committing acts of stand up comedy upon an unsuspecting pub going public in various hostelries of Londinium, in between doing TV extra work. He is the station manager at Radio Dacorum, a community radio station that he set up in 2012. In his spare time he works for a local charity to keep the wolves from the door.

Mark Crane

Mark was a special effects technician in the 80’s and 90’s working on Labyrinth, Judge Dredd, Nightbreed and Superman IV. He graduated from drama school in 2005 and has performed for Channel 5, The Venice Bienalle and Dreamthinkspeak. Mark is Artistic Director for Theatre On Wax and has produced, written and directed several productions for Brighton Fringe, Watford Big Events and Watford Museum.

Emily Jacques

Emily has been playing in a band of some sort since her older sister first introduced her to Nirvana. She found it scary at first but now enjoys playing on her own. Emily has sung with She Makes War, opening up for Joan Armatrading, playing at Standon Calling festival, had a song on BBC introducing and Radio 2, recorded an EP with George Shilling and so much more lovely stuff.

Spirit of the Old Town is Emily’s first professional acting role and she is thrilled to be a part of it.

Paula Thomas

Paula has lived in Hemel Hempstead all her life and is passionate about the Old Town’s history. Paula has worked in the Old Town and has had some experiences with one of the well-known spirits! She is a great lover of theatre and history so is thrilled to be a part of the Spirit of the Old Town team. She is a mum of three, a keen animal lover and burlesque dancer!

Marnie Bruce

Marnie has always been a connoisseur of vintage styles and loves dressing up, especially for Halloween, so much so that she won the Hemel Hempstead Old Town fancy dress competition a few years ago. She’s also known for her fabulous Halloween parties for children. She was thrilled to be asked along to perform in Spirit of the Old Town’s Halloween special in 2015 and was even happier to be asked to stay. She’s also a keen burlesque dancer.

Tom Watkins

Tom graduated from Bath Spa University in 2010 with a Bachelors Degree in Performing Arts: Acting for Recorded Media.

In the distant past Tom was a gymnast and he now works as a part time elite gymnastics coach.

Tom has a love for drama both comic and tragic, on screen and on stage, taking such roles as Fagin in Oliver! and Mr Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors.Tom is Lead Presenter and Creative Director of SHORTCUTZ LONDON a weekly film festival and competition which is part of a Global Short Film Revolution

Pam McNay


During a long career in education and consultancy, Pamela made occasional appearances on stage, TV and radio as well as making extensive use of role play. Acting has become a greater part of her life since she drifted into retirement and recent work includes scaring the public as a zombie and playing the part of a disaffected angel judging souls in hell as well as appearing in Spirit of the Old Town. She is delighted to have recently won the role of a business owner in a new film about the negative impact of social media – not only alive but more than a decade younger than her real age!

Melanie Palmer

Melanie studied Fashion, Theatre and Media Make Up at West Thames College. Having not followed this path as a career choice but applying the skills learnt in her personal life, she is enjoying being part of The Spirit of the Old Town company and releasing her creative side. Melanie loves history and crime thrillers so is very happy to have been let loose on the cast to bring history to life!

Thanks & Acknowledgements

The Rose and Crown

The-Rose-and-CrownThe Rose and Crown dates from the 1500’s & used to provide stabling for up to 20 horses. Before becoming a pub it was a popular butchers shop.  The owner changed the premises to a public house when his sales of home brewed mead took over and the oldest ale house in the Old High Street, began.

Visit their website at:


The Enchanted Oak

The-Enchanted-OakThe Enchanted Oak is now a well known Holistic and Spiritual Centre, running many workshops and selling all kinds of interesting things.  In 1500’s it was part of a coaching house and inn and later, a small brewery.

Visit their website at:


The Kings Arms

The-Kings-ArmsNamed the Kings Arms because of the frequent visits from King Henry VIII.  This pub has had a few names since 17th Century, the Prince’s Arms, the Black Lion and now the Kings Arms & 3 reported ghosts.  As one of the oldest and better pubs in the High Street it has been used as a court, meeting place and an operating theatre!  Now it is a popular pub and hotel.

Visit their website at:


The Old Bell

The-Old-BellThe Old Bell is one of the largest and most prestigious inn’s of the high street.  It had room for 9 beds and stabling for around 54 horses.  It dates from 1600’s even though the façade an 1700’s extension.  If you have been in you will know that the front room here has French painted wallpaper dating from 1800’s.

Visit their website at:

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