"Play On! Silent Shakespeare" film screening

Tickets for Ekaterinburg
26 June, 19:30

Tickets for Saint-Petersburg
28 June, 19:00

70 mins / b&w with colour/ Cert: U
Featuring: Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, Dora Senior, James Fisher

A new compilation of silent Shakespeare shorts with a newly commissioned score by The Globe Players. The score will be performed by the Moscow based ensemble Persimphans.

This new programme brings together a wide range of early film adaptations of Shakespeare from the BFI National Archive. An international programme, with a particular emphasis on British work, among the highlights will be King John (UK, 1899), the world’s earliest surviving Shakespeare adaptation; extracts from early versions of Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Richard III and cartoon parodies of Shakespeare’s plays by British animation pioneer Anson Dyer. The programme also visits Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, as seen through the eyes of filmmakers in the 1920s.

About the ensemble

“Persimfans” was founded in 1922 by an outstanding violin player, professor of Moscow Conservatory Lev Tseitlin and his colleagues. The best Moscow musicians: the Bolshoy theatre soloists and leading professors of the Conservatory, - were once part of this legendary ensemble. The main idea is the ensemble performs symphonic music not as an orchestra, but as an ensemble without omitting any instruments. “Persimfans” are the first conductorless orchestra in the world to perform symphonic music.

The methods that were originally developed by the ensemble were ahead of their time. For instance, key to conductorless performance is special orchestral seating: the musicians sit in circle to meet each other in the eye. To its fifth anniversary in 1927 Persimfans received the “Honored ensemble of the Republic” award. Its concerts were broadcasted on radio; it became possible to invite foreign musicians. Besides classics, the ensemble performed pieces by the new generation of composers; moreover, it was by “Persimfans” invitation that Sergey Prokofiev visited the USSR in 1927.

In 2008 “Persimfans” was reborn by Russian composer and multi-instrumentalist Petr Aidu, a grandson of Mikhail Kurdiymov, who in his turn was a student of Lev Tseitlin, the founder of the first Persimfans.

Since the first performance it was obvious that the ensemble is united by the enthusiasm and the joy of co-creation. By the effort of “Persimfans” exhibitions and performances were successfully shown not only in Russia, but also abroad – in Norway, Germany and France. Today “Persimfans” is a universal combination of different forms of art.

“Persimfans” is not only a reconstruction; it is an attempt to continue a very important and necessary cause, started before us. It is such a powerful force that it was crucial to keep the work of its developers going. “Persimfans” must exist, just like the Bolshoy or Conservatory. It is an achievement of our culture, found nowhere else in the world” – Petr Aidu.