A SILENT film pianist presents a special talk on movies at the Hawthorne Theatre in Welwyn Garden City this week.
WITH The Artist winning all the major Oscars and selling out around the country, there has been a renewed interest in silent movies.
But, of course, alongside this comes the acknowledgement that in reality the film showings never were silent – there was always a musical accompaniment.
Usually taking the form of a lone pianist, but occasionally featuring a full orchestra, the soundtrack to a silent film was integral to the movie-going experience.
And on Thursday, May 10 at the Hawthorne Theatre in WGC, Neil Brand – the doyen of silent film pianists – will be presenting his own show to illustrate just how essential music was to the movies.
Fresh from co-starring with Paul Merton in the UK tour of Paul Merton’s Silent Clowns, a veteran of the BBC Radio 4 Film Programme, and a regular performer at the NFT for film festivals, Neil presents a unique and memorable show sure to please film fans, music buffs and anyone who enjoys a fun night out.
In The Silent Pianist Speaks, Neil explores both the world of silent cinema and his own 25-year career with films.
From the earliest, earthiest comedies through to thrillers, melodramas and romance, the silent movie pianist had to be quick to adjust to whatever was on screen, often sight unseen.
With Neil Brand, you can once again experience the thrill and excitement of a ‘live’ cinema performance.
From getting the audience to score a scene (no musical experience necessary), to accompanying classic clips from the likes of Laurel and Hardy, Neil presents a hilarious, sharp and ultimately moving show.
To add a dash of local ‘colour’, added specially for this performance is a scene from A Cottage on Dartmoor – one of the first features and the only silent film to be shot at Welwyn Studios.
Neil Brand presents The Silent Pianist Speaks on Thursday at 8pm.
Tickets cost £10 adults and £8 concessions.