A not so silent night of movies and music

Not So Silent Movies celebrates the golden era of silent movies
Not So Silent Movies celebrates the golden era of silent movies
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A GROUNDBREAKING show is featuring in the Bury Festival line up celebrating the golden era of silent film.

The show, Not So Silent Movies, sees a group of classically trained musicians play along to silent films, unscripted and unrehearsed.

In fact, the musicians will not even be told which films they will be playing along to before they see them projected on the big screen.

The idea was the brainchild of composer and cellist Phillip Sheppard, who has just finished composing and recording all 205 national anthems for the 2012 London Olympics. The show will feature as part of the Bury Festival programme at 3pm on May 27.

Julia Thornton, who plays harp in the orchestra, said: “We have a bit of a tune up, a bit of a sound check and then start playing along as the film starts reeling.

“That was the plan – not to have any rehearsal, not to even choose a key to play in – just to get up there and see what happens.

“It could be a train wreck or an amazing show, that is what is exciting about it.

“When I have done this before it can be very funny and can create moments of absolute genius.

“It is fascinating to be part of and a huge amount of fun.”

New interest had been sparked in silent movies since the French film The Artist swept the Oscars, winning seven of the famous gold statues.

But Julia said it was sheer coincidence and very fortunate for the show that silent movies were now in the spotlight.

Julia said: “We started these in October last year and not long ago the amazing film the Artist came out. Silent movies have now become quite fashionable with the film winning at the Oscars but it is purely by chance that our show fits with the trend.

“It is quite a scary thing to do if you are a classically trained musician, like most of the group are.

“I tend not to know what we are playing along to until the day – usually we play a double bill.

“Some of them have been absolute classics, from the likes of Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin – they are fabulous films.”

Tickets for the Bury Festival went on sale on Monday at the Festival box office in The Apex. They can also be booked online at www.buryfestival.co.uk, by calling 01284 758000 or by emailing bookings@theapex.co.uk