Benjamin Britten’s life in focus at film premier

Filming gets underway at Gresham's School for the film about Benjamin Britten. Writer/director Tony

Filming gets underway at Gresham's School for the film about Benjamin Britten. Writer/director Tony Britten (centre) with lead actor Alex Lawther as Benjamin Britten.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

The life of renowned composer Benjamin Britten will be celebrated next month at the school where he was educated.

Benjamin Britten - Peace and Conflict, directed and written by Tony Britten, was created by Capriol Films and will be premiered at The Auden Theatre at Gresham's School, Holt, on Saturday February 9 at 1pm.

A literary celebration of the composer's life, who was born 100 years ago, will also be presented at the same event in partnership with Holt Bookshop.

Benjamin Britten expert Paul Kildea has written a biography of the composer, which is due to released by Penguin on February 7.

Tickets for the whole event cost £18 and can be bought from The Auden Theatre box office by ringing 01263 713444.

The feature length drama-documentary film was partly filmed at Gresham's School last year.

Benjamin Britten – Peace and Conflict, addresses for the first time on screen the crucial importance of pacifism in the composer's life and work.

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The dramatic elements of the film illustrate Britten's time at Gresham's School and were performed by Gresham's pupils, who also provided some of the musical excerpts.

They joined actors such as rising star Alex Lawther, who portrays young Ben and celebrated musicians such as tenor James Gilchrist and pianist Iain Burnside.

The film is narrated by legendary actor John Hurt.

Following the screening a buffet and drinks will be served in the theatre foyer, followed by a discussion of the book between Mr Kildea and Mr Britten in the theatre.

Coffee with then be served in the foyer where there will be an opportunity to buy the book, meet the author and have your copy signed.

The film will then be screened in the theatre, which will be followed by a short question and answer session with the film director and the author of the biography.

Benjamin Britten was at Gresham's Prep School between 1928 and 1930, where his budding pacifism was formed. It was during that time when he wrote an essay against hunting in all its manifestations, including war.

The cast was a combination of up-and-coming young actors and established artists.

For more information about the film visit