Vamp up the volume

Well, what with the monthly fundraiser organised at St Mary’s in Upper Swainswick, l am well aware of a church becoming a temporary pub, but hosting a cinema? That’s a new one on me.

Apparently, 2022 is the 100th anniversary of Nosferatu – that classic silent German expressionist horror movie. Made in 1922 by director F. W. Murnau and based on Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, it tells the story of Count Orlok (Max Schreck), a vampire who preys on the wife (Greta Schröder) of his estate agent (Gustav von Wangenheim) and brings the plague to their town.

It is one of the most influential films of the silent era, providing a template for all the horror films that followed, and it’s going to get a screening at Christ Church on Bath’s Julian Road – with a live organ accompaniment.

The man on the keys will be David Bednall who was Organ Scholar at The Queen’s College, Oxford and then at Gloucester Cathedral where he also spent periods as Acting Director of Music and Acting Assistant Organist and was closely involved with the Three Choirs Festival.

He won prizes in Improvisation and Performance at the examination for Fellow of The Royal College of Organists and has given recitals at La Trinité, Paris, and many English Cathedrals. In June 2008 he gave a recital at Notre Dame de Paris. He has performed all the major works of Messiaen and his debut solo recording and CD of improvisations with Malcolm Archer have received excellent reviews.

He has improvised on live radio and in concert. He has also appeared as stunt-organist on BBC TV’s Dr Who. David is most prominent as a composer and his works are widely performed and recorded, and regularly broadcast on Radio 3, 4, and Classic FM. 

With these live film improvisations, he brings together all of his exceptional organ playing and compositional skills to provide a unique live soundtrack to classic silent films.

The screening is on Monday, November 21st with doors open at 7pm.

Tickets are available from Bath Box Office: