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3rd September 2002
Once Upon A Time At A Film Premiere
Alan Clifford, Shane Meadows and Rhys Ifans
BBC Radio Nottingham's Alan Clifford fights it out with film director Shane Meadows and actor Rhys Ifans

"What a shambles" and "talk about cowboys."

Luckily these aren't comments about the new big film to come out of Nottingham, just about the English premiere of Once Upon A Time In The Midlands.

Nottingham gets ready for film premiere
Shane Meadows fact file
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Film director Shane Meadows was born in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire but brought up in Nottingham.

Once Upon A Time In The Midlands is his third major feature film after TwentyFourSeven and A Home For Romeo Brass.

Stars in Once Upon A Time...include Robert Carlyle, Rhys Ifans, Kathy Burke and Ricky Tomlinson.
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It was supposed to be a glitzy occasion to rival anything that London's West End could put on but in the event Nottingham's big film premiere turned out to be something of a damp squib.

The film in question was Once Upon A Time In The Midlands, the latest movie from Nottingham director Shane Meadows.

It's a spoof spaghetti Western. Unfortunately the problems with the premiere organisation prompted calls of "talk about a cowboy movie" and "what a shambles."

Trouble began when, 30 minutes before the show was due to begin, the auditorium at the Showcase cinema was already nearly full.

Heavily perspiring attendants encouraged guests to move up and fill all the empty seats.

But it was soon obvious the cinema chosen was simply too small to house such a prestigious event.

The film was 15 minutes late starting and matters weren't helped when a cinema representative said "If during the evening you require anything...

....a seat," came the swift reply.

"It was a complete shambles. Film Four said they'd given out too many tickets because they didn't expect that many people to turn up."
Dave Harper, who failed to get into the premiere of Once Upon A Time In The Midlands

By this time some 30 guests, including some from the evening's sponsors BMI, had been ushered out of the auditorium.

Dave Harper was one of those who'd been looking forward to the premiere and takes up the story:

"All the officials were terribly embarrassed. The people from Showcase apologised and then Film Four (the makers of Once Upon A Time In The Midlands) said they'd given out too many tickets because they didn't expect that many people to turn up.

They gave us a free drink and said they'd come back and have a chat. I waited for an hour and a half and no one did.

Credit to Shane Meadows who came and chatted to some of those who hadn't got in.

It was a complete shambles. My hopes are that Film Four will do something as they took everybody's e-mail address."

For those lucky enough to see the film, director Shane Meadows was able to shed more light on the problems.

"Only 16 people turned up to my last premiere (for the film A Room For Romeo Brass). They'd all gone by the time I was ready for a question and answer session."

He hopes the turn out for Once Upon A Time In Midlands is a good omen:

"My first two films have only really been seen in Nottinghamshire. I want to make one that's seen by a wider audience."

Fingers crossed for the film when it goes on national release on Friday 6th September.

Shane and his cast (including Robert Carlyle and Rhys Ifans) will hope it does better than the organisation of the English premiere of the movie.

London's Leicester Square has nothing to worry about.

Were you turned away from the premiere? Tell us your experience.

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