Russell Tovey to star in live performance of Derek Jarman’s Blue Now directed by Neil Bartlett

Neil Bartlett will direct a live performance of Derek Jarman’s film Blue Now starring Russell Tovey, Travis Alabanza, Jay Bernard and Joelle Taylor.

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the completion of Jarman’s seminal film, the four actors will deliver Jarman’s powerful words accompanied by a new live score from the film’s original composer Simon Fisher.

Blue was Derek Jarman’s final film. Completed in May 1993, just months before his death, it is his testament. For 74 minutes, an unchanging screen of celestial blue is accompanied by voices which deliver a collage of fragments from Jarman’s diary, describing the gradual onset of blindness as he battles with HIV. As his daily life is stripped away, only the essentials remain.

Russell Tovey‘s recent work includes Years and Years, American Horror Story, Angels In America, Allelujah and The History Boys; Travis Alabanza has appeared in Sound of the Underground, Burgerz, Overflow; Jay Bernard won the Ted Hughes Award (2017) for Surge: Side A; work include Poet Slash Artist and Joint; and Joelle Taylor (C+nto and othered poems) is a TS Eliot award-winning poet and acclaimed spoken word performer.

Presented by WeTransfer, the live performances will take place at Brighton’s Theatre Royal as part of Brighton Festival, Turner Contemporary in Margate, HOME in Manchester and Tate Modern in London.

Russell Tovey said: “Derek Jarman is my hero, and I feel the power of his work more so than ever today. BLUE NOW will be a gift from Derek, to us, and I cannot wait for it to happen.”

Neil Bartlett said: “I was lucky enough to know Derek Jarman. He was – and is – an inspiration, not just to me but to people around the world. I am proud to be bringing his words alive again by collaborating with this extraordinary team of artists.”

BLUE was created during the darkest days of the British AIDS epidemic, and bears witness not just to its creator’s remarkable courage but also to the rage and loss of an entire generation. Thirty years to the month after it was completed, this new live rendition of the film will be a chance to hear afresh its inspiring message of compassion, love and dignity under fire. Revisiting the piece now creates an opportunity to both revisit the pioneering contribution of the LGBTQI+ community to national life over 30 years and how different generations have dealt with the trauma of the AIDS epidemic. It paints a lasting picture of struggle and resilience at a time when the whole world has been figuring out how to survive in the face of a global pandemic.

As an addition to the live performances, WeTransfer has commissioned a digital iteration of BLUE NOW  to appear on its arts platform WePresent.

Cast & Creatives of Blue Now live performance

Blue Now Performance schedule

Brighton Festival
7 May 2023

Turner Contemporary, Margate
13 May 2023

HOME Manchester
21 May 2023
Please note that Travis Alabanza will not perform at HOME. Their role will be performed by Neil Bartlett for this show.

TATE Modern
27 May 2023

WePresent by WeTransfer
7 March 2023

Sign-up for news and booking alerts about these shows and more:
👤 📅23 February 2023
Tags: , ,

Related News

More >

Latest News

More >

Leave a Review or Comment

Comments and reviews are subject to our participation guidelines policy, which can be viewed here. Our policy is for readers to use their REAL NAMES when commenting.