Vintage Adventures Pick of the Week: "The Entertainer"

9 April 2020

We're taking a step back into the #VintageAdventures archive, and found another classic for you to enjoy, with commentary from Matthew Bourne.

Here's a documentary that was made for BBC 4 in 2002 and presented by David Benedict. It features interviews with Matthew Bourne, his parents and Sir Cameron Mackintosh about Bourne's work, including footage from Nutcracker! and Swan Lake.

Here's an Introduction to "The Entertainer" from Matthew Bourne himself:

"Today’s treasure from the archive for our #VintageAdventures series is the 2002 BBC 4 documentary “The Entertainer” made by writer and journalist David Benedict. It comes at a time of massive change for the company as we launch our new version of the company, New Adventures, which until this point had been known as Adventures In Motion Pictures (or AMP). 

It was a very exciting time having just kicked off the new company with Play Without Words at the National Theatre and we were now preparing for the re-launch of our Nutcracker! (for its 10th Anniversary Season) at Sadler's Wells. It reminds me again of those early years when I did struggle to find critical acceptance, even though the public were always on side and several steps ahead! There was always a lot of discussion about if I was more of a Director than a choreographer? To the point where I am even saying it myself! Of course now I see them as one and the same thing... and you could add writer to that as I am mostly developing new stories too. 

However, more than that I feel that what New Adventures has developed over the years is its own genre of theatre or Dance/theatre or even musical theatre and the acceptance has followed, though one Ms Levene (seems here) still struggles to enjoy our work to this day! 

It’s interesting hearing Alastair Macaulay say here that I will discover that although I may try making a movie, I will discover that my real love is theatre. Well, I have never really made a movie but I did some years ago know that theatre and having a company were my true destiny and I’ve never lost that love or hunger for it.

I’m very grateful to David Benedict for filming my Mum and Dad as it feels very special to hear them speak here... and to catch glimpses of lost friends Scott Ambler, Neil Penlington and Philip Willingham.... along with my partner Arthur Pita in his last celebrated role with New Adventures as the “homme-fatale” Knickerbocker Glory!

Lastly, please forgive my rather odd shirt (which looks like I have a pashmina wrapped around my stomach!) and please enjoy this 18-year-old look back into some of our early adventures...."

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