This year’s Heaton Park silent film night is presenting what some would call the perfect pairing of one of the most beautiful and influential horror films of all time, with a new soundtrack performed live by Olivier-award winner and Tiger Lillies front man, Martyn Jacques.
Dating from 1920, the cult classic that is The Cabinet of Dr Caligari - Robert Wiene’s masterpiece of madness, murder and psychological horror - will be shown on August 26 at 8.30pm.
With its nightmarish quality, the film is famous for its spectacular warped sets and hallucinatory designs. It features some of cinemas most unforgettable scenes and one of the first great “twist” endings.
For this iconic film Martyn Jacques has created a new live score in which he accompanies his own falsetto vocals on accordion and piano. Jacques is the founding member and front man of the Grammy nominated punk-cabaret band The Tiger Lillies, and this is his first solo project.
Following its premier at London’s Soho Theatre, the Newcastle organisers of the event, which is supported by the City Council, say they are thrilled to be bringing this film screening concert to Newcastle for its second showing in Heaton Park.
Silvie Fisch, speaking on behalf of Friends of Heaton and Armstrong Park said: “I have always wanted to show ‘Caligari’ in the park, and I deeply admire Martin Jacques.
“When I heard that he has written a new score for the film, I knew that the right time had come. This is a perfect combination. And a rare chance to see the Tiger Lillies front man solo and live up here in the North.”
For his part, Martyn Jacques said of the project: “When I was 14, my childhood desire to play the piano was finally satisfied. My first teacher was Florence De Jong. This was forty years ago and Florence was a very old lady. She had been a famous theatre organist accompanying silent films. She was so good she made gramophone recordings.
“I’ve always remembered her and this is my tribute to her and the profession. Silent films were for me the golden age of film. They had a magic and enigma you don’t get with talkies. Dr Calagari is a fine example. A freak show in the fairground… wery Tiger Lillies!”
* The open-air screening of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari will take place on Tuesday, August 26 at the Pavilion in Heaton Park, Newcastle. Tickets are £5/£3 concessions and advance booking is advised at www.heatonparksilent.ticketsource.co.uk or in person at the Ouseburn Parks Visitor Centre in Jesmond Dene. In case of wet weather, the event will move to the People’s Theatre on Stephenson Road.