Unashamedly talking heads, proudly working class and totally unmissable, award winning* documentary The Acting Class comes back to Salford for a screening at the Working Class Movement Library on Wednesday 7th March at 6:30pm.
The film, which stars loads of famous and non-famous actors, writers, directors, producers and wannabe-but-can't-be actors, uses the frame of showbiz to turn up the volume of the class divide in this country; with Salford's Christopher Eccleston and Maxine Peake getting more and more angry about 'Downturd Abbey' et al as the documentary unfolds...
Christopher Eccleston reveals that Our Friends In The North – the best ever tv drama series, bar none – almost never got made because BBC bosses were worried that it had 'North' in the name.
"If you are a producer and say 'I want to do a six part series about Salford', you're not going to get it" he adds "But if you're going to do Poldark or Downturd Abbey – you're in!"
And Julie Hesmondhalgh doesn't hold back either... "If art is coming from one very narrow part of society, then the stories and the conversations are only going to be coming from that place, and they are only going to be about that place..." she says.
Meanwhile, Maxine Peake absolutely tears it up..."They've never wanted the working class to have any power; they don't want us educated, they definitely don't want us to have any artistic inspiration" she fumes "It's not just about getting into drama school; if any young working class person now wants to pursue any career that involves any form of further education they're screwed."
The documentary, directed by Deirdre O'Neill and Mike Wayne, of the same Inside Film team that produced the Engels-inspired The Condition of the Working Class a few years ago, also follows young working class people trying to get a foothold in the industry.
There's aspiring actress Amy Stout, who had to turn down offers from the famous Italia Conti Academy as she couldn't afford the fees, and Bolton's Tom Stocks, of Actor Awareness, who has to do a call centre job to make ends meet.
Tom goes along to £35,000 a year Eton to show the coat-tailed, privileged kids who have a 400 seat theatre, in-house directors, studios and thirty productions a year to get their acting teeth into. Plus all the connections that Eton brings.
This is contrasted with Salford's Libby Hall who says her school doesn't even have a drama teacher, just the English teacher doing it on the side. She attends acting classes at Salford Arts Theatre, which is trying to give a leg up to young people in the city. But the odds, as this film brilliantly shows, are totally stacked against them.
The Acting Class is vitally relevant to everyone – relevant to those who want to work in culture, and those forced to consume the Oxbridge led shit thrown at our screens.
As the Salford Star remarked in a previous review of this film; 'The ideological war on the working class isn't just being fought in the workplace, in the benefit offices and in the billionaire controlled media, it's also happening on a tv, cinema, stage and art house near you...'
Salford is really lucky to get a second showing of The Acting Class – do not miss!
The Acting Class
Wednesday 7th March at 6:30pm £5
Working Class Movement Library
Jubilee House, 51 The Crescent, M5 4WX
0161 736 3601
See a trailer for the film – click here
For more details also see the Facebook event page – click here
*The Acting Class won National Feature category prize at the 2017 London Labour Film Festival (LLFF).
**See previous Salford Star review of The Acting Class – click here