Derek Jarman’s 1993 film Blue was a moving exploration of the blindness he experienced as he battled with HIV. It encapsulated the emotions of a generation in the darkest days of the British AIDS epidemic. Now, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its completion, we’ve commissioned a live performance, directed by Neil Bartlett and with Jarman’s words delivered by actor Russell Tovey, writer Travis Alabanza, artist Jay Bernard, and award-winning poet Joelle Taylor.
If I lose half my sight, will my vision be halved ?
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.
For this very special live screening, a cast of four actors including Russell Tovey (American Horror Story, Angels in America), writer and theatre-maker Travis Alabanza (Sound of the Underground, Burgerz), artist Jay Bernard (Surge: Side A) and award-winning poet Joelle Taylor (C+nto and othered poems) will deliver Jarman's powerful words, directed by Neil Bartlett; the film's original composer, Simon Fisher Turner, will accompany them with a new live score.
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.
Venue: Turner Contemporary, Margate
Date: May 13th