I was in London last month to see Big Society the Musical open the London Labour Film Festival. Big Society was written and produced in Liverpool by over three hundred and fifty people, who gave their time over three years to make a statement. It seemed a long time since eight writers got together in a room off Hope Street, Liverpool to thrash out a story. Our inspiration, David Cameron’s Big Society speech. When he delivered it, he made it sound like it was his idea, when all over Britain, the ethics of the Big Society had been practised for centuries but then how can someone who has never experienced poverty understand what it’s like. As a line in Big Society goes, it’s ” …. falling like change through a hole in a rich man’s pocket.”
The Festival opened with a speech from Unison Northwest Regional Manager, Lynne Morris who introduced the film with passion and commitment and explained how important it is that trade unions invest in the arts and in creative responses such as ours. The screening of an extract from the recent Tony Benn film which followed, was the perfect empowering short to be played ahead of “Big Society” and set the tone for our anti-austerity musical. Tony Benn’s message expressing the need for the people’s voices to be heard could not have been a better lead-in. As one character in Big Society the Musical says, “If they don’t hear us shout, then we’ll sing.”
After our screening there was a Q&A with our Director Lynne Harwood, leading lady Paula Simms, performer Joe Maddocks and composer Andy Frizzell, kindly chaired by Carl Roper, National Organiser for the TUC.
Read a review of what Trade Unionist blogger Jon Bigger thought of the screening here
The screening was attended by Industry professionals, trade unionists, filmmakers and independent cinema owners and the production team were excited to have forged a number of exciting partnerships off the back of the screening…. more will be announced in the near future but in August the team behind this exciting piece plan a one day mutli-cinema mass audience event… to be sure there is a screening in YOUR area sign up for a screening here:http://www.first-take.org/screenings#/
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