my greatest of thanks for your e-mail. I am really pleased at your response, it is exactly what we had hoped for. this will have to be a short response as i am just off out to meet with john and have printed your e-mail for him. We need a bit of a cheer up, we were really pleased with the show and the general response and the review in the metro, but unfortunately the only other e-mail we had was from William Haggar’s grand-daughter, who didn’t quite get our take on the missing films, accusing us of a) failing to mention his name and b) undermining his reputation with our obscenity and violence. hmm, still trying to get a decent response together for her – we really don’t want to go round upsetting 83 year old ladies, particularly as we would love to do the show again as a ‘night out’ tour of valley’s and west Wales venues of Haggars’ old Bioscope circuit.
Once again thanks very much Rachel.
On 1 Chwef 2008, at 18:43, Rachel Calder wrote:
I wish I’d written this immediately after seeing the show, whilst my experience of it was still fresh in my mind and I’d have had more to say.
Basically, I just wanted to let you and John know how much I enjoyed the performance. I already knew a bit about Hagger – a result of many a long conversation with Dave Berry – and have seen one or two of his films, but I certainly don’t think you’d have to know anything about him to appreciate and enjoy what you were doing.
For me, not only did the three of you managed to bring the films and their characters to life, you gave them reason and truth. It’s easy for us to dismiss old silent films as old fashioned, quaint, amateurish, unsophisticated… whatever, but most people presented with films like Sunrise, Metropolis or Battleship Potemkin are surprised and impressed by how modern and exciting they are, with filmmaking skills far superior to those of many of our contemporary cgi obsessed filmmakers. Ok so Hagger may not have been in the league of Murnau, Lang or Eisenstein and his shorts may not be masterpieces but they are amongst many cinematic gems which tell us everything about the culture and environment in which they were made.
All this may be by the by and nothing to do with your intent, but my experience was of a performance that, whilst thoroughly enjoyable, also successfully deconstructed the films to tell us everything about the people that made them, the time they lived in and the way they were presented. At one point I thought you were going to use one of us, the audience, as extra characters in the film, you didn’t, but I wish you had, maybe just once or twice.
But really just to say – humorous, imaginative, unpretentious and thought provoking, my kind of art.