Rare screening of William Haggar's silent movies

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If you're in or near Milford Haven this evening, you could enjoy a rare screening of some of the earliest silent movies to be made in Wales by one of the pioneers of British cinema.

This evening, the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven will be showing a rare screening of silent movies by William Haggar as part of the Pembrokeshire Schools Film and Animation Festival by the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales.

William Haggar was a larger than life fairground showman who made most of his short movies in the first decade of cinema history. Born in Essex, he lived and worked in Wales for much of his career.

He ran both a travelling cinema (then called a bioscope) and travelling theatre, performed as a stage actor and singer, staged most of his early cinema shows in the fairground and set up permanent cinemas across Wales.

The films that will be shown are A Desperate Poaching Affray, The Bathers' Revenge, The Life of Charles Peace, The Maid of Cefn Ydfa, A Message From the Sea and The Sheep Stealer.

Tonight's screenings will also have a live piano accompaniment and there will be a short talk about each film followed by a question and answer session with the audience. For more information, visit the Torch Theatre website.

Still taken from a William Haggar film. Image courtesy of the Torch Theatre

To find out more about William Haggar, browse an article written by film historian Dave Berry on the BBC Wales Arts website and read about Haggar's flea pit cinema on the BBC Wales History blog.

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