A special screening of the classic silent film Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde will be presented accompanied by a live score in the splendor of Coventry Cathedral in April. Accompaniment will come from multi-instrumentalist Stephen Horne and pianist Meg Morley.
The acclaimed musicians have composed a score for John Barrymore’s 1920 film version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s original short story which will include exhilarating use of the cathedral’s epic organ suite. With over 30 film adaptations (four in 1920 alone), this film version was stage actor John Barrymore’s big-screen breakthrough, playing a visionary scientist attempting to unravel the human mysteries that lead to a life of sin.
His performance is famous for some of the finest face contortions to ever grace the silver screen. The film’s pioneering makeup artists also deserve significant credit, with Barrymore’s transitions from Jekyll to Hyde becoming increasingly visceral and sinister.
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This special presentation is one of CineCov’s final events for Coventry’s year as Britain’s City of Culture. BFI film curator and event producer Miranda Gower-Qian, who will be presenting the performance, said: “One of the wonderful things about silent film is that we can engage with it in a much more intimate way when is screened with a live musical. accompaniement.
“The element of improvisation creates a kind of conversation that involves a different form of audience engagement. I’ve always wondered how a silent film would feel if it was accompanied by two musicians – two interpretations – two voices, and if an experience like this could compliment, even elevate a film.
“In Meg and Stephen, A Piano and an Organ, I believe we have found the perfect combination to interpret the disparity and ever-changing themes of morality and vice that exist within Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.”
This special event is presented as part of CineCov, presented by Flatpack on behalf of Film Hub Midlands with the support of the BFI thanks to funds from the National Lottery. GO CV members can also redeem an exclusive BOGOF ticket offer for this event. Simply log in to your GO CV account to access the promotional code. The performance will take place on April 29 from 8:30 p.m.