'The Nation's Ukulele Orchestra'
BBC News, Radio 4, 23rd September 2014
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Alternative Show - Ukulelescope

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain has collaborated with the BFI (British Film Institute) National Archive to find a host of unusual and little seen gems from the early days of silent film. The Orchestra has sculpted them into a delightfully eclectic evening of music, film, comedy and pathos. This mixed bill combines short films and clips including adverts, singing pictures, ‘actualities’, dramas, science and nature, hints and hobbies and documentary footage to amaze, amuse and baffle. All of this, of course, presented in the Ukulele Orchestra’s own inimitable style, and set to a programme of original music, as well as carefully chosen old favourites from musical history.

Instead of taking a feature film, or, indeed, several short films, the idea was to take clips and short items of no longer than 7 minutes. This was partly a nod to the mixed bills of evenings from the early 1900s, where audiences would enjoy a variety of entertainment which included music, ‘interest films’ (educational or informative), adverts, comedy and drama. It was also an attempt to marry what the UOGB already does, as a band, with the task of providing music for silent film. As a result, we have a show in two halves, made up of pieces of music lasting between 3 and 9 minutes, each with its own piece of film. And so, neither a traditional film evening, nor a traditional music evening. Ukulelescope was debuted at Slapstick 09 in Bristol as part of the re-opening season at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre. It was an instant sell-out, and was described by the BFI as “a triumph”.

The show was created and produced by Hester Goodman, original music by Hester Goodman and George Hinchliffe, performed and arranged by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

UkescopeJamming UkescopeBow UkescopeTulips UkescopeWitches