It’s a testament to cross-cultural pollination -and its impact -that when the Exeter Bike Shed Theatre announced that it was going to close, intrepid filmmakers got together to capture the moment, the thoughts, and emotions of those involved. That short documentary, entitled Curtain Call, will get its premiere airing at Studio 74 at the Exeter Phoenix. We caught up with producer Richard Knox to find out what inspired the film
‘As an actor I’ve always been fascinated by filmmaking, the processes behind the magic, and over the last year or so I’ve felt a real desire to make a film of my own,’ Richard told D&CFilm.
‘I wanted to make a film that was important to me and so when I heard about The Bike Shed Theatre’s closure, I felt a real instinctive calling to document a subject that I am deeply passionate about, the theatre. In many ways, Curtain Call is the perfect merging of my two greatest passions -theatre and film.
D&CFilm: What’s your relationship with the Bike Shed?
Richard Knox: The Bike Shed has been in Exeter the whole time I’ve lived here. In fact I moved to Exeter in 2010 just as the theatre opened its doors for the first time. Throughout those eight years I, like many, have enjoyed numerous performances and made many memories but my greatest regret is not actually performing on the Bike Shed Theatre stage itself. I’ve performed a scratch night or two but not a proper production, so in a way, Curtain Call is my time with the Bike Shed. A time I’ve cherished even more by the potency of its closure.
D&CFilm: How easy was it to get people to talk to you?
Richard Knox: The people of Exeter have been tremendously warm, generously giving up their time to talk to us. Every conversation is a dialogue, it’s a two way exchange, even more so when you’re talking about something you love. The Bike Shed Theatre has meant so much to so many people, performers and audiences alike, so many heart-warming conversations were had.
D&CFilm: Who else was involved in making the film?
Richard Knox: We are a small core team of three -Justin Carter (Director), Christopher Paul Williams (Photographer), myself (Producer), as well as additional assistance from Jim Elton.
Over the past few years we’ve worked together on a number of award winning short films -PORTENT, ME and ZED, produced by Oddhaunts films.
Without the constant and technical support of both Justin and Chris, I certainly wouldn’t have been able to make Curtain Call, their experience and skill have been instrumental in creating a film that perfectly captures the Bike Shed’s unique essence.
D&CFilm: Who’s going to be at the Q&A after the screening?
Richard Knox: Justin, Chris and myself will be at the Q&A session after the screening. We’ll talk about the filmmaking process and be more than happy to answer any questions the audience present to us.
D&CFilm: And without giving too much away, what’s can we expect -is it happy or sad, a celebration of the work of the Bike Shed or regret at its closure?
Richard Knox: Theatre is fleeting, it lives and it dies in the moment, an ephemeral experience cherished by a live limited audience. Using the medium of film, we’ve been able to capture The Bike Shed Theatre’s final curtain call, to be enduringly cherished by the many not the few.
We think Curtain Call beautifully capture’s the Bike Shed’s warm enduring spirit, a spirit we hope to share and celebrate with as many audiences as we can. So in that light, the documentary is very much a love letter to The Bike Shed Theatre, it’s bar, it’s staff, and it’s patrons.
D&CFilm: Thank you Richard! Looking forward to seeing the film and Q-ing you some more at the premiere!
Curtain Call premiere
On the night of March 31st this year The Bike Shed Theatre in Exeter closed it’s doors for the last time. This beloved arts venue provided great support to fledgling performance groups, and a unique theatre experience for all it’s audiences.
Curtain Call is the latest film from the award winning makers of PORTENT, ME and ZED. This new documentary is a love letter to The Bike Shed Theatre, it’s bar, it’s staff, and it’s patrons.
Curtain Call will receive it’s Premiere screening on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at the Exeter Phoenix. The screening will take place at Studio 74.
Doors Open at 4pm with the screening to begin shortly after. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmakers. Tickets are free but limited.