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BAZ BAMIGBOYE: Keira Knightley gives us Christmas … with a twist


Keira Knightley and the cast of Silent Night – the most amazing Christmas film of all time – are preparing to finalize the post-production of the film, which has been interrupted by the pandemic.

An unfinished version was shown privately to dealers this week at a series of Covid-safe demonstrations in Soho, London, which I snuck into … to keep my distance, of course.

Knightley and Matthew Goode are Nell and Simon, a privileged couple who live on a pile of land with their three sons.

Keira Knightley and the Silent Night ensemble are preparing the post-production of the film

Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode play Nell and Simon, a privileged couple who live on a pile of land with their three sons

Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode play Nell and Simon, a privileged couple who live on a pile of land with their three sons

The boys are played by Roman Griffin Davis (student star of director Taika Waititis Oscar-winning film Jojo Rabbit) and his younger twin brothers Hardy and Gilby.

The film is being made by her mother, Camille Griffin, a first-time feature filmmaker who also wrote the script.

Nell and Simon are preparing to welcome some old college friends, as well as their partners and descendants.

These include Sope Dirisu, Lily-Rose Depp, Annabelle Wallis, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Lucy Punch, Rufus Jones and Davida McKenzie (a golden find).

Roman Griffin Davis in the silent night

Roman Griffin Davis in the silent night

The film is partially inspired by conversations that took place in Griffin Davis's household, including about climate change and unconscious prejudice (especially racism and sexism). For good measure, Griffin takes a few sly blows on wealthy guys from both sides of the political divide.

Where is christmas Well, in the opening scenes, when guests travel to see Nell and Simon, there is a song called The Christmas Sweater that is gleefully played on the radio. It is sung by Michael Buble, who co-wrote it with Matthew Vaughn, Gary Barlow and Jane Goldman.

There is a Christmas tree and presents. And people sit down to eat turkey, although strangely enough there is only one potato at a time to go with the other ingredients. And what's wrong with the murky tap water? Don't worry because they push the prosecco back like there's no tomorrow. I'm not going to tell you much more because the film contains an incredible twist that becomes a mega-topic of conversation.

Suffice it to say that Silent Night is a brilliant Christmas satire that reflects the time we are in. And that Marv Films (run by Vaughn and Claudia Schiffer, along with producers Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray) wants it to open in cinemas across the Christmas holidays.

Silent Night was a temporary working title while filming the low budget offering. But Griffin and the producers decided to make it permanent. In the post-production stage, the actors will take care of the language work, further editing and finalizing the score.

No to dirty dancing, because even the stage floor gets a health check …

The choreographer Lynne Page is happy about the chance to be in a room with dancers again. But she treads carefully!

The prerequisites for rehearsing a new show that included Olivier Prize star Katie Brayben, four Royal Ballet artists, two of her closest professional dance colleagues, as well as a world-class string quartet and an acclaimed flute player, had to be Covid. secured. And then there was the dance floor.

Page and her staff have tracked down special performance floors with built-in antimicrobial properties. "I realized that dancers are first on the floor," she said. “You put your hands on the floor.

The choreographer Lynne Page is happy about the chance to be in a room with dancers again

The choreographer Lynne Page is happy about the chance to be in a room with dancers again

They move on and off the floor. And this cover is an additional protection. & # 39; In addition to the temperature, hand sanitization and other safety protocols directors and stage managers now need before a show can be performed in front of an audience.

During the lockdown, Page resented the legions of dancers she'd worked with over the years in West End and Broadway shows, Royal Ballet productions, and films and pop videos.

"You took dance lessons in a small space at home," said Page. "Like an Olympic athlete, when a dancer can't really stretch, like cage birds, they're trapped."

These thoughts formed the basis of a show she called Wingspan. Page remembered doing a community dance project in a new building called Bridgepoint in Rye last year. She reached out to Sarah and David Kowitz, her owners, who enabled her to turn Bridgepoint into a venue.

Page made sure that their group of freelancers on and off the stage get paid for the three performances through ticket sales. The rehearsals and the show will also be filmed

Page made sure that their group of freelancers on and off the stage get paid for the three performances through ticket sales. The rehearsals and the show will also be filmed

The Kowitzes also gave a lot of practical advice. Page has made sure that their group of freelancers on and off the stage is paid for via ticket sales for the three performances from September 26th (2.30pm, gala at 7.30pm and one last matinee show the following day).

The rehearsals and the show will also be filmed. Brayben will play two numbers, including The Birds by Elbow, which have been rearranged for a string quartet. Page has created a pas de deux for Royal Ballet artists Leticia Dias and Joseph Aumeer (who also performs for the Paris Opera Ballet) and new choreographic solos for Royal Ballet artists Ashley Dean and Francisco Serrano.

She and the dancers found the unusual circumstances liberating. "I've seen Ashley Dean do a lot of fairy solos so I said," What are you going to do ?! "We had this amazing day where she took off her pointe shoes and danced in her socks – she just let her hair down. She probably wouldn't be able to do that on the stage at the Royal Opera House."

Page was just as concerned with the safety of the audience as it was with the content of Wingspan.

She and others will act as security guards on performance days, handing out specially designed visors as they seat the audience at cabaret tables on stage.

Page is already planning another show in Rye. And she's hoping to get Rosalie Craig, another Olivier Prize winner, to perform.

Details at bridgepointrye.com

Watch out for…

Peter Dinklage (pictured), Tyrion Lannister in Game Of Thrones, and a member of Martin McDonagh's standout Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri screen company, will play Cyrano de Bergerac in Cyrano, which Joe Wright will be shooting in locations in Sicily next month.

Ben Mendelsohn and Brian Tyree Henry will also appear in the Working Title production with a script by Erica Schmidt (Dinklage's wife). Haley Bennett was cast as Roxanne.

Bennett can also be seen in the American South Gothic drama The Devil All The Time, which has just started streaming on Netflix. However, the film is owned by an impressive Tom Holland, the Spiderman star.

Peter Dinklage will play Cyrano de Bergerac in Cyrano, which will be filmed in Sicily next month

Peter Dinklage will play Cyrano de Bergerac in Cyrano, which will be filmed in Sicily next month

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