Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Cutting Brighton Rock

A slightly different tone for the blog today - away from politics and towards art.

I’m working on an adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel BRIGHTON ROCK. This is going to be performed in Brighton in September as the culmination of a week’s celebration of the centenary of Graham Greene’s birth. It’s a multi-media performance.

The performances should be quite exciting. They’re taking place in the Duke of York’s - and old, still working, cinema. A group of actors will read the adaptation into microphones while images from the Attenborough film (scripted by Greene) will be projected on the cinema screen. A live jazz group will be part of the performance, too. The whole is being called BRIGHTON ROCK UNSEEN.

These days we’re all used to the idea of psychological profiling (I’m a great fan of CRIMINAL MINDS.) So Greene’s study of Pinkie Brown, the psychopathic anti-hero of BRIGHTON ROCK can readily be seen for the triumph it is. A serious and founded psychological study written in a popular form. I think you can already see Greene’s cinematic skills developing too.

Of great interest to me, personally, is that, not only does Greene explore in intriguing ways the effect of Catholicism on Pinkie, but Greene also sets Catholicism (retributive religion) against love of life (in the character of Ida.) I’m hoping to bring this debate really to the fore in the adaptation. And also we (the team) want to ensure our Pinkie is around 17 and our Ida in her 30s . . . and very sexy, which is the way Greene portrays her.

My adaptation at the moment is 140 pages long and I’m endeavouring to prune some 20 pages from it. A task I have to succeed at! It’s an absorbing process, but a slow one. If only I had Joe Orton’s editing skills.

I’ve an automatic bias against ‘famous’ books - which is stupid really. From Pride and Prejudice to The Hobbit, I’ve always enjoyed them when I’ve read them. Brighton Rock is no exception . . . it’s an easy read, but a brilliant one.

And if you’re in Brighton in September, BRIGHTON ROCK UNSEEN is having two performance on Sunday 26 September.

Now back to the script . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment