This special production from CINECITY was part of the series of events to celebrate the centenary of the Duke of York’s Picturehouse. The UK’s oldest purpose-built cinema first opened its doors on 22 September 1910. Appropriately BRIGHTON ROCK UNSEEN has echoes of the earliest days of the cinema; the very first screening was in fact a ‘Pictureplay’, a series of still images presented with live voice and music.
On stage in a new dramatisation of the 1938 novel, 7 actors perform 17 roles to microphone in a live radio play complete with jazz-inflected score performed by a 6-piece ensemble. On the big screen recently rediscovered images from the classic 1947 film noir found in the archives, reveal the hidden details and drama behind one of the country’s best loved crime thrillers, the film that put Brighton on the movie map. Featuring scenes deleted from the final film, colour lobby cards, on-set portraits and close-ups of extras and passers-by, the audience is moved from BRIGHTON ROCK’s recognisable iconography to a less familiar visual landscape.
From the opening images of some of the 120 extras employed in the scene at Brighton station, it is clear this is a previously ‘unseen’ BRIGHTON ROCK; an exploration of the no-man’s land between novel and film, pre-war and post-war, between the imagination and an established classic.