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Trinity Theatre
Church Road
Tunbridge Wells
Kent, TN1 1JP

Buster Keaton's The General + LIVE Pianist


  • Category: Film

Full Description

Join us for a journey into cinema history as we screen Buster Keaton’s 1926 Silent Classic, ‘The General’ with captivating freestyle live piano accompaniment from Stephen Horne.

“Stephen Horne is an artist who consistently raises the bar. ARIETY AND STELLA DALLAS (PERFORMANCES AT THE HIPPODROME FESTIVAL OF SILENT FILM 2016)

For any cinema lover, whether you enjoy a star-studded action-packed adventure or a slice of realism from a foreign country, seeing a silent film on the big screen with live accompaniment is an absolute must. There is something so magical about being sat in an audience watching a film that was created and intended for audiences nearly a century ago; it’s a reminder of not only how far the cinema experience has come but also highlights that Cinema has always been just as spellbinding, as at the heart of any good film is a great story, beautifully told. With the addition of a live performed soundtrack before your very eyes, you find yourself beautifully suspended between the past and present simultaneously.

‘With his athleticism, precision and comic timing, Keaton more or less invented the action movie here and, despite its modest running time, this has an epic ambition.’ The Guardian

Keaton’s The General is often lauded as one of the funniest films of all time whilst others celebrate its ingenuity as a Civil war parody and its skill for sustaining a sense of fun-filled wonder throughout. Part comedy, part historical, part chase movie, and inspired by true events, the film follows a hapless Southern Railroad engineer during the American Civil War as he is forced to rescue not only the woman, he loves but also his cherished engine, The General, from enemy forces. From visual gags, slapstick and stunts, The General demonstrates all of Keaton’s skills at once, who is now often celebrated as the cinephiles’ favourite Silent Era Clown even over the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd.

But! This evening would not be complete without the pure mastery of Stephen Horne at the keys providing breathtaking live accompaniment. Stephen has long been internationally considered one of the leading silent film accompanists. A house pianist at London’s BFI Southbank for thirty years, he has played at all the major UK venues and recorded music for many DVD releases of silent films. Although principally a pianist, he often incorporates other instruments into his performances, sometimes simultaneously. He regularly performs internationally and in recent years his accompaniments have met with acclaim at film festivals in Pordenone, Bologna, San Francisco, Telluride, Paris, Cannes, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Shanghai, Seoul, Istanbul, Berlin, and Vienna. For six years, from 2014 to 2019, he won in the category ‘Best Screening with a Single Accompanist’ in the Silent London end-of-year poll, while in the 2020 poll he was named in the category ‘Best Online Silent Film Screening’. Stephen’s skill to transport and envelop you into the film’s world creates an incredible cinematic experience. And, if you really want to be impressed, wait until you realise that Stephen rarely brings a score to play from!


Whether you are a Silent Film Fanatic or just looking for a good night out, why not join us for a unique experience!


Dates & Times

  • Date: Wed 2 Mar 2022Time: 19:30Book Now


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