Q&A with Sophie Neville at the Riverside Cinema ~ photo: Claudia Myatt
The screening of Swallows & Amazons (1974) on Sunday afternoon was sold out. 250 tickets. They were endlessly turning people away. ‘We should have shown it again in the 6.00pm slot,’ I told the manager. ‘Oh, we have American Snipper on then.’ It stars Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller. ‘How many have booked to see it?’ ‘Three.’
Delicious lunch served at the Riverside Restaurant
~ photo: Pandora Doyle ~
All age groups were represented in the audience who came to the event – a fundraiser in aid of the Nancy Blackett Trust. About 70% had seen the film of Swallows & Amazons before. Some knew it well.
Everyone loved seeing the original white elephant flag flown on Captain Flint’s houseboat that had been sent to me from America by the producer.
Swallow, the clinker built dinghy, originally built by William King and Sons at Burnham-on-Crouch and used in the 1974 film, was rigged up outside the cinema for everyone to meet. She has been appearing at a number of The Arthur Ransome Society’s events in Suffolk and Essex.
We used the best photo of Swallow under sail for the cover of the paperback on how the film was made, which was on display in the cinema lobby after the film. It is now available online or from the Aldebrugh Bookshop in Suffolk.
Someone asked if we had any disasters while making the film.
‘Swallow’s mast broke, we nearly sailed under the Windermere steamer and a cow fell down a bank onto the producer’s car.’ I couldn’t think of anything utterly disastrous from my own perspective except that I lost a tooth halfway through shooting a scene with Virginia McKenna, which was embarrassing. I can list other questions asked by the audience in the next post.
The Riverside Cinema in Woodbridge are thinking of showing Swallows & Amazons again in September to help them celebrate their centenary ~ ‘100 Years of Film’. Do add a comment in the box below if you would like to organise a screening of the film at a cinema near you.
You can read about the adventures had making the original film of Swallows and Amazons in these editions available online:
6 thoughts on “Sophie at the Cinema ~ Giving a Q&A about appearing in Swallows and Amazons (1974)”
Well done Sophie – and all. So sorry I couldn’t be there, Francis’s father’s 90th birthday HAD to count as a prior engagement
90th Birthday far and away more important. There my be another screening anyway! It is just the drive to Suffolk that is hard for me. The return journey took 6 hours.
I would love it if there was a screening in picturehouse in Cambridge. But, if that’s not possible a I think a number of the village secondary schools including ours can screen films.
Why not? The new 40th Anniversary cinema-scope Blu-ray looks wonderful on their big screens. I’m sure the Picturehouse would go ahead if you can convince them of full houses as they have the agreement with StudioCanal (the film company who now own S&A) and offer community screenings, saying:
£4 for all tickets.
To request a community group visit to a film in our main programme, please contact the Picturehouse Education department. https://www.picturehouses.co.uk/cinema/info/Arts_Picturehouse_Cambridge
You might be able to add a bit more to the price if fundraising for a charity or school. My publishers are based in Cambridge so might be able to offer ‘The Making of Swallows & Amazons’ afterwards. I live miles away but am coming up to Biggleswade on Tuesday 16th June if you want a Q&A.
What a lovely looking event. I love Woodbridge and the restaurant is one of my favourites!
It was amazing. Many thanks go to the organisers.