The Spirit of Victory
Information drawn from 'Survey of Historical Pageants' undertaken by Mick Wallis; with thanks to Patricia Sheldon of Newcastle City Library.
Place: St James' Park Football Ground (Newcastle upon Tyne) (Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland, England)
Number of performances: 4
1–8 August 1942 (performances on 1, 3, 5, and 8 Aug.)
Name of pageant master and other named staff
Names of executive committee or equivalent
Names of script-writer(s) and other credited author(s)
Names of composers
Numbers of performers
Object of any funds raised
- Grandstand: Yes
- Grandstand capacity: n/a
- Total audience: n/a
Given the venue, tens of thousands of people saw this pageant. The capacity of St James' Park at this time was at least 60,000.
Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest
Key historical figures mentioned
Newspaper coverage of pageant
Book of words
Other primary published materials
References in secondary literature
Archival holdings connected to pageant
- Newcastle City Library holds a 4-page document (a programme?) relating to the pageant.
Sources used in preparation of pageant
As had been the case during the Great War, relatively few large-scale historical pageants were staged during the Second World War. There were exceptions, of course, including Basil Dean's St Paul's Steps, put on by around one hundred ENSA performers to an audience that likely exceeded ten thousand. Billed as a 'grand open air pageant' and held in St James' Park football ground in August 1942, 'The Spirit of Victory' appears to have been another such example. Sponsored by the city corporation and performed four times, this was a major piece of wartime propaganda, evidently designed to raise morale and support for the British war effort (the panoramic portrayal of which was portrayed in the finale).
How to cite this entry
Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘The Spirit of Victory’, The Redress of the Past, http://www.historicalpageants.ac.uk/pageants/1604/