Barbara Thompson: Playing Against Time

Sunday 19 February



BBC Four’s Jazz Weekend comes to an end with the first television broadcast of Barbara Thompson: Playing Against Time, a moving and powerful exploration of Parkinson’s disease, seen through the prism of music. Featuring the virtuoso UK jazz saxophonist/composer Barbara Thompson and her husband, the brilliant jazz-rock drummer Jon Hiseman.

Interweaving musical and medical sequences and directed by the award-winning arts documentary film maker Mike Dibb, the film follows five years of Barbara’s inspiring struggle with Parkinson’s and her search for various available treatments which, until now, have allowed her to continue to play with her own band Paraphernalia and Jon’s rock band Colosseum.

Featuring a remarkably intimate look at Jon and Barbara’s daily life, as well as following the couple through their consultations at London’s King’s College Hospital, the film also shows Barbara performing at various Parkinson’s events and as the composer of orchestral, chamber and choral music for classical musicians.

She talks eloquently about living with Parkinson’s and the importance of music and creativity to the way she copes, while Jon talks candidly about how it affects their personal and professional lives.