The Read Series 1

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Arts Documentary hosted by Danielle Vitalis and Callum Scott Howells and Mark Benton and Liv Hill, published by BBC in 2022 - English narration

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Image: The-Read-Series-1-Cover.jpg

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A series of four creative performance readings of iconic British novels. Each episode is directed by exciting, emerging talent from BBC Arts' and Art Council England's successful New Creatives scheme. The Read gives audiences the chance to discover or reconnect with the novels through some outstanding British performances, the best of literature brought to life on screen.

[edit] Chapter 1: The Lonely Londoners

The Lonely Londoners portrays the experiences of a group of Caribbean immigrants, known as the Windrush Generation, who arrived in London in the late 1940s and 50s searching for work and a prosperous future. Instead, they have to face the harsh realities of living hand to mouth, racism, bleak British weather and bleaker prospects. And though friendships and family flourish among these lonely Londoners, can they learn to survive?

The Lonely Londoners is performed by Danielle Vitalis and directed by Yero Timi-Biu who juxtapose modern imagery and fascinating archive footage to reflect on how Sam Selvon's 1956 novel shaped the London of today.

[edit] Chapter 2: On the Black Hill

Based on the novel published in 1982 by Bruce Chatwin, On the Black Hill is about identical twin brothers who grow up on a farm in rural Wales and never leave home. They till the rough soil and sleep in the same bed, touched only occasionally by the advances of the 20th century. By depicting the lives of Benjamin and Lewis, and their interactions with their small local community, Chatwin comments movingly on the larger questions of human experience.

On the Black Hill is a novel that portrays themes of unrequited love, sexual repression and confusion, social, religious and cultural repression, hate, and the historic social values of rural Britain.

Narrated by Callum Scott Howells and directed by Luke J Collins, the film combines a performance reading with flashback imagery.

[edit] Chapter 3: The Day of the Sardine

Set in a working-class community in Newcastle upon Tyne at the very beginning of the 1960s, The Day of the Sardine is a powerful novel of disaffection, which charts a young man's uneasy passage into adulthood. Harsh, and at times comic, the story of its protagonist, Arthur Haggerston, takes place against the background of a young workforce absorbed into tedious, repressive employment where the only outlet comes from street violence and gang warfare.

As Arthur reflects on his search for a moral framework within the anarchy of modern society, he speaks for all of us, poetically and passionately, in a way that feels as true today as the period in which the tale is set.

[edit] Chapter 4: A Vision of Loveliness

Liv Hill performs A Vision of Loveliness from the novel by Louise Levene, a darkly comic work that reveals the seedy underbelly of London in the 1960s, rich with period detail. We follow a young woman's rise through the social ranks of her peculiar world. A Vision of Loveliness is a novel grounded in the grubby glamour of the 1960s, but it speaks sharply to the societal, financial and aesthetic pressures of being a woman today.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x265 CABAC Main@L4
  • Video Bitrate: CRF 21 (~1472Kbps)
  • Video Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Frame Rate: 25 FPS
  • Audio Codec: AAC-LC
  • Audio Bitrate: q91 VBR 48KHz (132/200Kbps avg/peak)
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 4 x 59 mins
  • Number Of Parts: 1 (4 chapters)
  • Part Size: 2.64 GB
  • Source: HDTV (1080i/h264 3175Kbps VBR 6.39GB)
  • Encoded by: JungleBoy

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