South Yorkshire is at the very heart of two stories we’re bringing to the big screen this coming week at the Showroom Cinema. The first is an exciting new adaptation of Ken Loach’s classic film Kes, told through contemporary dance, puppetry and music.
Originally released in 1969, Loach’s film tells the story of a young lad from the South Yorkshire mining town of Barnsley who finds escape from his tough day to day life through his discovery of a small kestrel, and the world of falconry.
Kes celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, so the time feels especially right for Barnsley born choreographer Jonathan Watkins to showcase his latest project, Kes: Reimagined. The project is a brand-new filmed version of Watkins’ stage production of Kes that premiered to widespread critical acclaim at The Crucible in 2014.
The show was inspired by Barry Hines celebrated novel A Kestrel for a Knave, as well as Loach’s film, and Watkins always hoped to be able to bring a version of it to cinemas. After a year of planning, and four days shooting at a studio in Wakefield, Watkins has been able to realise his dream, and the film is due to screen at several regional cinemas this week - with its Sheffield premiere at the Showroom on Friday the 8th November at 8.30pm.
The screening of Kes: Reimagined will be followed by an in-person Q&Awith Watkins, as well as actor Chester Hayes (who plays lead Billy Caspar) and puppeteer Barnaby Meredith.
Also focusing on this great county of ours, and exploring its social and industrial heritage, is award winning Sheffield writer Paul Adam’s fascinating documentary on the River Don.
Quiet Flows the Don is a feature length look at South Yorkshire’s great industrial waterway. The Don was once the filthiest river in Europe, but it’s now at the heart of one of Britain’s most remarkable environmental success stories.
In the film, which screens at the Showroom on the 14th November at 6pm, Paul travels the length of the Don, from its source high on the bleak moors of the Pennines to its mouth at Goole. In a journey rich with insight into the history and landscape of the region, he explores the key landmarks along the river, talking to the people who make it special. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Paul himself, hosted by Simon Ogden from Sheffield's Waterways Strategy Group and the Sheaf and Porter Rivers Trust.