The Baltic Triangle’s newest venue, The Christmas Spiegeltent will be sited in just over two weeks and they’re bring an amazing line-up of events for the 2019 festive season.
One such event is an ‘Expanded Cinema’ performance of Hollywood classic Singin in the Rain which will be introduced by Patricia Kelly – the wife and biographer of the film’s director and star, Gene Kelly. We caught up with the show’s creator, Charlie Harman from Compass Presents to discuss the show, coming to Liverpool for the first time, their collaboration with the ADHD Foundation and Expanded Bodies and their excitement at having Patricia Kelly’s involvement.
Q. Can you tell us what Compass is all about?
Compass Presents is a community interest company that make expanded cinema shows and experiences with interactive theatrical encounters. We take a film that is culturally popular or a universally loved classic and use lots of different art forms as well as the film screening to highlight certain aspects to give the audience an entirely unique experience
Q. What ‘expanded’ elements do you use for Singin’ in the Rain?
The kind of expanded elements that we have used for the show involves a mixture of performance, some circus and projection mapping. In particular, we make certain elements of the screen sort of spill out from beyond the frame by projection mapping.
Q. How did you come up with the concept of ‘expanded cinema’ and why ‘Singin’ in the Rain’?
The show is a response to the British Film Institute Season of Musicals. Each year the BFI have a blockbuster season and we suggested to do Singin’ in the Rain. In itself it’s one of the most famous musicals and most-loved classics of old Hollywood. Personally, it’s one of my absolute favourite films, and it’s one of those things you jump at the chance to work at.
Singin’ in the Rain is one of those classics that everyone likes to watch at Christmas and that was also a happy coincide with The Christmas Spiegeltent venue.
Q. How did you get involved with the Christmas Spiegeltent venue?
The Spiegeltent is an amazing venue and a perfect space to put on this performance. The fact that is in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle is also a big attraction for us. We are also going to be working with a charitable Liverpool organisation called The ADHD Foundation. They work with children and have a project centred around umbrellas. We are looking forward to working with the ADHD Foundation in Liverpool who will be bringing an element of their work into the show as well.
Q. Any additional information?
We are incredibly proud of the show and delighted to have Patricia Kelly introducing the performance – Patricia was the wife and biographer of the late Gene Kelly – director, choreographer and star of Singin’ in the Rain. To have her involvement and support is a dream come true. There is also a link to the ADHD Foundation as Patricia acts as one of the charity’s patrons.
I think it’s really nice to be able to have the opportunity to show Singin’ in the Rain as it is rightly considered a heritage film. To be working with young performers and a classic film kind of mirrors what we try to do in terms of mixing old and new in terms of performance as well. So, things like projection mapping and classic cinema – it’s like combining the analogue and digital art forms that we use to try to create new and interesting experiences.
Some of the themes in the film around young people also resonated. The choreographer of Tap Attack, Jo Scanlan was particularly interested in the fact that we would be working with Extraordinary Bodies and the opportunity for those young people to work with a mix of able-bodied and disabled people around physical work and physical performance. This is an exciting career development and a new perspective for them and also for audiences watching the film and watching the performance.
For anyone looking to buy tickets, I can promise that this show will be a really really fun and joyful evening just because of the nature of musicals and it will also be something that is kind of spectacular. The Spiegeltent is an amazing space to spend an evening, you can get dressed up, you can have some food, see a film, see a show, see everything at the same time and I think that it will be a really nice night for everyone. Plus, just to reiterate, we have Patricia Kelly introducing the show!