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The Silent Movie Experience
Published on Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Komedia Studio (venue website)
15 May, 1:00pm-2:10pm; 22 May, 3:30pm-4:40pm; 29 May, 6:00pm-7:10pm

 Family-friendly. Suitable for all ages.

David Watts

And now, for something completely different.  If you’ve never seen a silent movie with live accompaniment before, you’ve been missing out on a treat; it’s a quaint and curious experience, yes, but one that carries far more than mere retro charm.

This is, after all, the way the film was meant to be seen.  A well-performed score adds a genuine sense of excitement or humour, which the trite plinkety-plink soundtrack so beloved of TV reconstructions simply can’t convey.  And it’s astonishing to remember that back in the twenties, every single cinema had a pianist or organist who improvised the music for every single film – a skill that’s almost entirely lost today.

But not quite lost.  Repeating last year's acclaimed sell-out show, West End musician David Watts is lining up a high-energy showreel, built around classics from the golden age of the screen.  He’ll be supplying the sound on the honky-tonk piano, augmented by a one-man percussion set – and, of course, his very own sound effects.  It should make an entertaining, accessible introduction to the genre, and its matinee scheduling will appeal to families too... so take the chance to experience something very old, yet somehow fresh and new.

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