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Aldeburgh Music

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Centenary News

31 July 2013

Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh beach: in UK cinemas from 5 September

In cinemas from Thursday 5 September 2013

“one of the most exhilarating opera events I have experienced”  
Sunday Express

“a remarkable and surely unrepeatable achievement”
The Guardian

“an open-air production that fought the elements and won”
The Times

From Thursday 5 September “the most talked about event of the summer” - Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh Beach - will be showing in over 70 UK cinemas.

Filmed in June during three extraordinary performances that took place during the Aldeburgh Festival, Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh Beach, takes place in the heart of the town that inspired it and is the film interpretation of Britten’s Peter Grimes, the most successful opera of post-war Britain. 

Based on George Crabbe’s 1810 poem ‘The Borough’, Britten’s powerful and masterful evocation of the North Sea in all its moods has become inextricably linked with the Aldeburgh that was home to Crabbe in the late eighteenth century and Britten in the twentieth, and where both poem and opera were written. 

Conceived and hosted by the Aldeburgh Festival, the performances of Peter Grimes were directed by Tim Albery who placed the audience on the beach watching the story of Peter Grimes unfold as dusk fades over the sea.  As cast and audience are engulfed by darkness and the thunder of the sea, the connection between the world of Peter Grimes and the local community that branded him a murderer and hunted him down, is tangible.

The cast and chorus, with Alan Oke in the eponymous role of Peter Grimes, Giselle Allan as Ellen Orford, and David Kempster as Captain Balstrode, sing live with amplification, while the Britten-Pears Orchestra under the baton of Britten expert Steuart Bedford is pre-recorded. 

Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh Beach is directed for cinema by Margaret Williams, whose recent credits include George Benjamin’s and Martin Crimp’s Written on Skin for Royal Opera House/BBC4 and The Royal Ballet Dances Frederick Ashton.  Her film of Britten’s Owen Wingrave (2001) for Channel 4 was hailed by the Telegraph as “probably the best film version of an opera yet made”.

Produced by Anne Beresford and Debbie Gray, Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh Beach is made possible by Aldeburgh Music, supported by Arts Council England's Britten Centenary Commission Fund, and the Low Carbon Innovation Fund.  This is LCIF’s first investment within the creative industries sector.  Executive Producers are Aldeburgh Music and Genesius Productions.  The film will be distributed by Picturehouse Entertainment, one of the UK’s leading homes for alternative content.

“When Peter Grimes was premiered in 1945, it was credited with re-inventing a genre, with bringing new audiences and a new voice to a tired medium.  Soon to be released in cinemas, Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh Beach may yet do the same, proving that just occasionally ‘stepping outside the box’ of theatre can be more than a cliché.”
New Statesman


Alan Oke    Peter Grimes
Giselle Allen    Ellen Orford 
David Kempster   Captain Balstrode
Gaynor Keeble    Auntie  
Alexandra Hutton   First Niece
Charmian Bedford   Second Niece 
Robert Murray    Bob Boles 
Henry Waddington   Swallow
Catherine Wyn-Rogers  Mrs Sedley  
Charles Rice    Ned Keene 
Christopher Gillett   Rev Horace Adams
Stephen Richardson   Hobson  
Steuart Bedford    Conductor

Britten-Pears Orchestra
The Chorus of Opera North
Chorus of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Directed for the screen by Margaret Williams
Live production directed by Tim Albery
Set and Costume Design  Leslie Travers
Lighting Design   Lucy Carter
Film produced by   Anne Beresford and Debbie Gray


From Thursday 5 September 2013

View map fullscreen

Please check local listings for detailed information

London  Barbican
London  Curzon Chelsea  
London  Cineworld Fulham Road
London  Cineworld Haymarket
London  Clapham Picturehouse
London  Greenwich Picturehouse
London  Hackney Picturehouse
London  Phoenix East Finchley
London  Renoir
London  Curzon Richmond
London  Ritzy Cinema, Brixton
London  The Gate, Notting Hill
London  HMV Curzon Wimbledon
London  Watford Palace Theatre

Aldeburgh Aldeburgh Cinema
Braintree Cineworld Braintree
Bury St Edmunds Abbeygate Picturehouse
Cambridge Arts Picturehouse Cambridge
Cromer  Regal Cromer
Haverhill Haverhill Arts Centre
Huntingdon Cineworld Huntingdon
Ipswich  Ipswich Film Theatre
Lowestoft The Marina Theatre
Norwich   Cinema City Norwich
Peterborough Showcase Peterbourough
Saffron Walden Saffron Screen
Stevenage Cineworld Stevenage

Bath  The Little Theatre Cinema
Cornwall Phoenix Cinema
Devon  New Carlton Cinema
Exeter  Exeter Picturehouse
Redruth  Regal Redruth
Yeovil  Cineworld Yeovil
Ashford  Cineworld Ashford
Brighton Duke of York's Brighton
Cheltenham Cineworld Cheltenham
Chichester Cineworld Chichester
Didcot  Cineworld Didcot
Dorking  Dorking Halls
Eastbourne Cineworld Eastbourne
Henley/Thames The Regal, Henley
High Wycombe Cineworld High Wycombe
Isle of Wight Cineworld Isle of Wight
Milton Keynes Cineworld Milton Keynes
Oxford  Phoenix Picturehouse
Southampton Harbour Lights Picturehouse
Witney  Cineworld Witney
Woking  Ambassadors Cinema

Birmingham Cineworld Birmingham
Coleford Studio Coleford
Great Malvern Forum Theatre, Malvern
Hay-on-Wye Richard Booth’s Cinema
Northampton Errol Flynn Filmhouse
Shrewsbury Old Market Hall
Solihull Cineworld Solihull
Stafford Curzon Stafford
Stratford/Avon Picturehouse
Tenbury Wells Regal Tenbury

Chesterfield Cineworld Chesterfield
Didsbury Cineworld Didsbury
Hemsley  Hemsley Arts Centre
Hull  Cineworld Hull
Keswick  Alhambra Cinema
Knutsford Curzon Knutsford
Leeds  Showcase Leeds
Liverpool Picturehouse at FACT
Sheffield Cineworld Sheffield
York  City Screen Picturehouse

Cardiff  Cineworld Cardiff
Llandudno Cineworld Llandudno
Newport  The Riverfront
Aberdeen The Belmont Picturehouse
Dundee  Dundee Contemporary Arts
Edinburgh The Cameo
Glasgow  Cineworld Glasgow Renfrew

NB above information accurate at time of issue