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April 17, 2009 -- 9pm

The Liberty of Norton Folgate at LIFF 2009

 
Liberty of Norton Folgate
Starring Madness
Fri, Apr 17, 9pm at the Coronet
-- Buy tickets here

"Above all, Norton Folgate is a state of mind as much as a place,
a celebration of difference, of variety, of the human spirit -- a slice of urban magic."

In the year that marks 30 years of Madness, film director Julien "Swindle" Temple, working in
collaboration with theatrical wizard Luke "Stomp" Creswell, brings you The Liberty of Norton
Folgate.

A film spectacular unlike anything that has gone before, which will enthral, enrapture, even exhilarate
and undeniably entertain.

Filmed in the apposite surroundings of London's Hackney Empire and in the very streets of London old and new, we tell tales of a city born in blood, mud and immigrant dreams. The inherent pop sensibility of Madness is woven through a sinuous journey of cultural reference and influence, to deliver a truly new chapter of pandemonium!



Join artistes, musicians, orchestral ensembles, top hatted scoundrels, pearly kings & queens, ladies of
the night and hundreds of dancing, skanking Londoners on a journey through Madness's musical past, present and future, culminating in a celebration of difference, of variety, and of the human spirit a slice of urban magic.
Directors Statement:

Madness are about to release a new album after 16 years, which consists of an interrelated, song cycle
about London called 'The Liberty of Norton Folgate'. Although the songs are on one level about
different areas of London, they focus musically on the waves of immigration to the city - Irish, Jewish,
Caribbean, Asian etc and the musical legacy they have contributed to the city.

Although a concert film, it hopefully has more ambition than the genre usually allows. We mounted
the concert at the Hackney Empire and tried to create a show with powerful connections to the grand
Music Hall traditions of the place, reaching back to Marie Lloyd and Dan Leno, situating Madness
where they belong, clearly within a uniquely English Popular Musical Culture with its roots in the
Victorian period.

To achieve this, Music hall and old London Street characters were placed within the audience reacting
to the show and at times, performing on stage with the band. Working with the East London artist
collective Legun, we created complex projected images to accompany each song which reflect the
evolving history of popular London culture. These played behind the band, commenting on and
provoking questions about each song.

Weaving through the concert, Suggs and Carl, take us back in time to the London of Karl Marx and
Jack the Ripper. Humourously introducing the subject of each song, they take us on a tour through the
psycho geography of the Old East End, Spitalfields, Smithfield, Wapping, Bethnal Green, ending
down on the beaches of the Thames beyond Tower Bridge.

Finally, once we had an edit of the concert we took the film out on to the streets at night and re filmed
it, projected on walls, pavements, textures, bridges, alley ways, old cinemas, musical halls and pubs
etc. As a result the concert reaches out into the city, allowing Madness to perform their songs about
London's past on parts of the city which have survived into the present, to a passing flow of modern
Londoners below.


 



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