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Bringing remarkable lives to screen

April 16 2020

From code-breaking German secrets during World War Two to contemporary experiences of the prison and care systems, this week's Culture in Quarantine recommendations from Arts Council England focuses on the inventive ways real-life experiences are captured on screen.

Toybox: Memories of care experience

Toybox is a a 22-minute visual spoken word album with music and puppetry, looking at experiences of British childhood.

The short filmed poems set to original music were created and produced by Kamari Romeo in collaboration with five care leavers. These original works highlight how childhood experiences and traumas may affect us, shaping the people we become.

He says: "After my mother died suddenly in April 2018, I began to take an interest in the idea of deconstructing my childhood through the perspective of a child, piecing together the memories of my care experience. It suddenly felt more important than ever to delve into my history as a second-generation Zambian immigrant, growing up in England, playing with Chinese toys and watching American TV to figure out what parts of my multi-cultural upbringing I would hold on to as an adult out of the system."

To Be Continued: An ordinary man with an extraordinary story

22 years ago, a collection of diaries was found in a pile of rubbish in Brighton. These notebooks vividly record the life of Dick Perceval - his passions, adventures and tragedies from 1925 to 1976. Heartbreak, wartime service at the famous Bletchley Park code-breaking centre, the moon-landings and a European referendum all feature.

His experiences are being brought to life in 2020 through a new web series called To Be Continued.

Video artist Becky Edmunds, along with sound designer Scott Smith and actor Gerard Bell, is re-appropriating archive footage from old Hollywood films, public information broadcasts, cine club creations and home movies to tell the extraordinary story of one ordinary man.

Key Change: Illuminating portrayal of the lives of women in a British prison

First broadcast as part of a global campaign to end violence against women Key Change is an all-female prison drama from Newcastle's Open Clasp Theatre Company.

It was devised by female prisoners in HMP Low Newton and based on their real life experiences. Raw, powerful and funny, it's an illuminating portrayal of the lives of women in a British prison and is a unique opportunity to hear their voices.

Culture In Quarantine