April 2015 sees the release of Tin, Miracle Theatre’s feature film about love, greed and opera in a Cornish mining town – made entirely in Cornwall. The film will have its World Premiere at Newquay Lighthouse Cinema on Sunday 12th April followed by its London Premiere on Tuesday 14th April before being released in cinemas from 17th April. www.tinmovie.com
To tell this very Cornish story, the cream of the region’s acting talent, including Ben Dyson, Jason Squibb, Dean Nolan and Steve Jacobs, were joined by Jenny Agutter, Dudley Sutton and Redruth-born opera star, Benjamin Luxon.
Tin has been made with support from the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, Heritage Lottery Fun, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. Miracle is regularly funded by Arts Council England and Cornwall Council.
The micro-budget film tells the story of a weather-beaten opera company, which arrives to perform in the town hall and becomes tangled up in a scam to offload shares in the ailing tin mine. When the mine unexpectedly offers up new treasures, reputations crumble, fair play is abandoned and the fate of the whole community rests on the courage of one feisty young maid.
“The film brings a chapter of our mining heritage to life in a unique way which will have special appeal to lovers of Cornwall, while the human story at the heart of the film should charm audiences everywhere,” says writer and director, Bill Scott.
The film was shot over 15 days in 2012 in a purpose-built green screen studio in Redruth, using meticulously constructed model sets. The film has a quirky, heightened style that adds to the melodramatic nature of the story.
The story of this film began 130 years ago when Richard Boyns, a much-respected grocer, farmer, bank manager and mine owner in St Just, published a novel called Tin, about his father’s involvement in a notorious swindle by a local bank. Though names were changed, the characters were easily recognisable and the novel caused outrage. The bankers were so incensed by the allegations that they bought up and burned as many copies of first edition as they could find. Fortunately a few survived.
“There was something extraordinarily moving about filming at Botallack” continues Bill, “not just because of its archetypal Cornish landscape, powerful and packed with remnants of a glorious industrial past, but because the real-life characters described in the novel Tin actually lived, breathed and schemed on that very spot, over a hundred years ago.”
“The Cornish Mining World Heritage Site commissioned Miracle Theatre, in collaboration with English Touring Opera, to produce the original, highly acclaimed, stage production of Tin, recognising its vital role in bringing part of Cornwall and west Devon’s mining story to life, along with the experiences of the people who shaped it,” said Deborah Boden. “We were delighted to partner with them again in bringing the story to the screen, enabling it to reach an even wider audience, especially those communities that are part of the Cornish mining diaspora. We have already had a warm response from our contacts in the Cornish Associations overseas, and really look forward to sharing this with them.”
Jenny Agutter, who joins Miracle to play the part of Mrs Dawson, the manager of the traveling opera company said of the project “I loved the production ofTin, which I saw in a domed tent on the coast at Botallack Count House. This was an extraordinary and appropriate setting for the play, surrounded by ruined tin mines, one could easily imagine this fantastic tale taking place. The theatrical production was magical and I’m looking forward to seeing these great characters fully transferred onto the big screen. What I have seen looks great!”
In 2014, for the final stages of post-production, Miracle worked with Spider Eye, an international animation company based in St. Just, the historic location of the Tin story. On a tour of Spider Eye’s studios, the Tinteam found themselves standing in the very room where the blatant swindle at the centre of Tin’sstory had taken place 130 years before. If you look closely at the granite lintel above the window you can see the screw holes that spell out the words ‘Consolidated Bank’.
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