Community Film Project Presents The Tempest

Birmingham youth film project premiers its take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest next month

16 September 2013

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s community film project, Urban Voices, which aimed to bring Shakespeare’s work to the city, will be getting its premier next month. The project co-ordinated by the charity based in Stratford-upon-Avon was aimed at 13-16 year-olds from the Birmingham area who teamed up with film industry professionals and devised, edited, and acted a 30-minute version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The project was also supported by youth and community groups including the Scouts Association and Birmingham group the Social Inclusion Race Empowerment Network, SIREN.

Eleven youngsters from across the Birmingham area were selected at auditions for the project which started in March and included four weekend sessions and two days of filming. The group were given a choice of three Shakespeare plays – Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth or The Tempest and were given master classes in how to create and adapt their take on the play, edit scenes and act in their own film based on the Shakespeare play.

An array of local talent including James Clarke of ClarkeCreative, who co-produced a short film called Space Dance which was shown at the Birmingham International Film Festival, Birmingham-based  script-writer and drama teacher Andrew Cowie, whose play My Life In Art was Time Out Critics’ Choice and has been translated into several languages including Finnish and Greek and Jennifer Stone, Manager of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s resident acting troupe, Shakespeare Aloud!, were all on hand to help the youngsters explore England’s most famous playwright and create their production.

Elizabeth Dollimore, Outreach and Primary Learning Manager, said, “We are really proud of the Urban Voices project and of the all youngsters involved who used their own time to not only create a film, but to also learn more about what a fantastic story-teller Shakespeare is.”

“The Tempest is a mythical magical play which speaks to any generation from any walk of life about the fragile relationships between people and human nature. Urban Voices was about using film-making as the catalyst to get future generations learning not only new skills, but to also show them just how creative, contemporary and inspiring the works of Shakespeare can be.”

The film will be premiered on 17 October at the Stratford-upon-Avon’s Picturehouse cinema as part of the Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust’s Shakespeare on Film Festival, which has as its patron top film director and actor Sir Kenneth Branagh.

In partnership with Stratford-upon-Avon’s Picturehouse cinema the second festival will host a feast of Shakespeare related films including the RSC and Imagineer production of Hamlet starring David Tennant, Baz Luhrmann’s iconic Romeo and Juliet starring Leonardo DiCaprio, children’s favourite Gnomeo and Juliet, Leonard Bernstein’s 1960s classic interpretation of Rome and Juliet West Side Story, as well as a contemporary take on Taming of the Shrew10 Things I Hate About You. Visit the What’s On page of,uk for more details.




Notes to editors:
Press release date: 16 September 2013. For more information please contact Press and Public Affairs Officer Nurinder Mantell or call 01789 207136.

Press invite: Press are being invited to attend the premier of The Tempest at The Stratford-upon-Avon Picture House Cinema on 17October at 7pm followed by drinks. Please email Nurinder Mantell to book your place. 

Pic cap: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s community film project, Urban Voices, which aimed to bring Shakespeare’s work to the city.

Get a sneak preview of The Tempest by Urban Voices here.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is the independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites in Stratford-upon-Avon, and promotes the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times all over the world. The charity runs formal and informal educational programmes for people of all ages. It holds the world’s largest Shakespeare-related museum and archives open free to the public, a collection which is designated as being of international importance. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust receives no public subsidy or direct government funding; it depends on income generated through the support of visitors, donors, volunteers and Friends.