Thursday, 20 November 2008

The South Bank Show/Messiah (3)

Greetings from Hebden Bridge. This is our fourth trip up to Yorks for the above. Our initial plans go to pot almost the moment we arrive. We were supposed to spend the day with one of the tenors from Keighley Vocal Union. But soon after Sheffield we're told the poor guy is in hospital, ironic really given he's one of the younger members of the choir. Still, fleet footed as is necessary in this television business, we change course for the picturesque village of Bradley near Keighley where we meet Frank Smith, the KVU's choir master. He's just come down off the moor when we roll up and he is promptly sent back up again by yours truly so we can get some pretties of the surrounding area. It's stunningly beautiful. Frank does everything asked for him. It looks good although I'm worried it might come across as an advert for pensions. Later we film Frank and the choir rehearse Messiah. Nice and friendly. The next morning - this morning - we film Caroline from Huddersfield Choral teaching children from Denholme Primary School. She gets them to warm up with a the words 'chicken tikka chicken tikka'. I might suggest that one to Highbury Chamber Choir. Later, and quite unexpectedly, we're allowed to film at a former Methodist chapel in Keighley which is now a mosque. The elders there couldn't have been more helpful as we interview Ruth, one of KVU's sops, about her memories of hearing the Messiah in that building when she was a little girl. Gradually this programme/film seems to be acquiring a few themes and ideas that we can build on. Trouble is, do we have the time and budget?

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