Mcr film company, Serious Feather, teases debut feature

I was going to put the title of the film in the title of this blog post. But this would have led to the piece being a little top heavy and in danger of being all title and no content.

Nobody Loves You and You Don’t Deserve to Exist

is quite frankly an excellent name for a film though.

But forgive any unintentional ‘glibness’, given that this story is semi-autobiographical.

The low-budget, experimental feature film is about a man who, following the death of his best friend, begins to experience psychotic episodes as he comes to terms with his past and his identity.

Brett Gregory, writer and director, tells how after a series of personal tragedies between 2010-2016 left him feeling like he had nowhere to go, cinema became his saviour,

There comes a time in your life when you’ve lost absolutely everything – that you just have to simply believe. So I chose to believe in cinema, the transformative and cathartic power of cinema.

A passion project indeed.

Worthy of our attention already, there’s a further element to this film though which all mancunians (actual and honorary) and mancophiles will appreciate, with the cinematography lending its focus to Manchester’s gothic architecture. canals, paths, streets and crevices.

I recall a visiting friend asking which Mancunian landmarks they should have their picture taken against.

No one landmark, I replied. The city itself is the backdrop.

How do I get all that in one selfie, she asked.

She had a point.

But it’s true – we don’t need one iconic building to scream ‘Manchester for us’.

Indeed the cityscape has never been so varied and exciting, but along the frequent newbies scraping the skies like never before, sits the old and the classic.

As visiting film crews setting up shop in Stevenson Square every other week will tell you, no soundstage in the world can live upto the buildings and streets of our lovely city in providing a natural backdrop to the dramatic tale.

And so it’s a joy that Manchester’s very own independent film crew, Serious Feather, are behind this self-funded film.

Freelance technicians, musicians. designers and university film graduates alongside an impressive range of North West professional and semi-professional actors (including David Howell – Brassic, Coronation Street, Hollyoaks; Julie Hannah – The Matriarch, Elizabeth is Missing; Wendy Patterson – Shameless, Coronation Street) collaborated on the no-pay project, even during a global pandemic that as we know is hitting the arts particularly hard and cruelly.

If all this isn’t enough to keep you in a holding position until the film comes out in early 2021, this dark, breath-holding trailer certainly will:

Can’t wait to catch this feature and, indeed, further showcase for the city we all know and love.

For more information…

Review: Bert and Nasi’s The End at HOME Mcr

So near yet so far. Live theatre disappeared then little by little started to tease us with a return this autumn, albeit with challenges and reduced audiences, and mask-wearing and…you don’t need me to tell you.

Well lockdown 2.0 came and it was a return to live-stream theatre and to be honest, with the right show, captivation, and strong-hold on you, this isn’t as remote a concept as you might imagine. It’s not the same as your nightly Netflix fix, especially when it’s a theatre you’ve oft-visited. You’re almost there. I mean you’re not, but you could reach in and touch the stage, feel ready to do the awkward half stand as people pass by to get to their seat, taste the red wine consumed in the bar beforehand.

I felt at HOME last night as I streamed from home The End, the first time that audiences have been able to see the show since it premiered at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

I will now heavily par-quote the press release as with all the synonym support in the world, I can’t sum it up better.

Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas dance the end of their relationship, imagining what a future without each other might look like. Above the stage and projected onto a screen, two parallel narratives run alongside each other: the end of the Earth and the end of their collaboration. In the vein of their previous work, it is a poignant, sad and funny account of the ongoing ecological crisis.

And it actually is.

I don’t sit and make notes during a performance, be it theatre, film, dance, art, talk, dinner even. I don’t want a chufty badge or to criticise those who do. Indeed the point is that I’m not a critic, but there to experience, enjoy, feel. In fact the only analysis that goes on is that of why I feel what I feel afterwards, for this here blog.

If a piece of art or indeed encounter or experience makes you feel anything, it’s a huge tick in the box. If it’s a feeling of enjoyment on some level, the tick is even bigger.

This show will make you feel.

We’re introduced stat by projected (in every way) stat to a sense that we’re a teeny, tiny part of history. Even though this year holds some significance in certainly the history of the 21st century, thousands of years, millions of years, trillions of years, everything we know (and haven’t yet come to know) will be gone. Including James Corden. But here we are.

Once you’ve been brought back to the now, Bert and Nasi dance their way through a further projection of their own future lives and indeed relationship as friends. As they skip, leap, roll, balance (you can almost hear your mum saying ‘you’ll fall and crack your head open’ during this bit), and canter (it really felt like a canter), I tell you, the rhythm is gonna get you.

Juxtaposed with a narrative on the screen behind of lives not yet lived, and with delicious detail of the seemingly ordinary observations that are the fabric of our encounters (we’re told Bert’s funeral is held in a place where the staff weren’t particularly friendly), it all makes sense in the moment. And is incredibly moving (and at times funny too).

With so much time on our hands (relatively) and a sense of that time being wasted at the moment, there is too much opportunity (and not enough distraction) for thinking of our lives in finite terms (alright Laura, calm down, it’s Friday). But this 45 minute show reminds us of both how fragile life is (sad), but also how we’re not quite at the centre of the universe too. And how that’s a good thing.

Also it was bloody good and you should live stream the experience either tonight, Friday 13 November, or tomorrow, Saturday 14 November – at 7.30pm.

Details of the pay-what-you-decide tickets, (including free), can be found at

The show is commissioned by The Place and Warwick Arts Centre

A collaboration with Laura Dannequin

Further details of the artists:

  • Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas are two performance makers that have been working together since 2015.
  • Creating work in an age of austerity and about austerity their work is stripped right back and sits somewhere between live art and theatre, but if you held them against a wall they would probably say it’s theatre.
  • Together they first created the trilogy EUROHOUSE, PALMYRA and ONE which explored power dynamics and political themes on a micro, human level, and complex political and social questions – Greece’s relationship with the EU; the Syrian crisis; the rise of the ultra right – in an accessible, immediate form. Using humour and the dynamics of their onstage relationship, Bert and Nasi undercut and explore the darker aspects of contemporary subjects in work that questions both their own – and the audience’s – role as ‘active’ spectators in global conflicts.

FilmFear festival returns to Manchester – tickets now on sale

It’s back. FilmFear returns to HOME this Hallowe’en and this year, slightly beyond, with an extended programme of chills, thrills and downright blood spills.

Running from Wednesday 28 October to Thursday 5 November, Film4 and HOME have co-curated a line-up (coined Scream Now, Think Later) of modern genre classics that sink their teeth into politics, race, sexuality, social issues and more. But most of all scare the pants off you (put them back on though please, nobody needs that – we’ve enough going on).

Included in the fright fest (oh come on, it was only a matter of time before I used the alliterative scary mainstay of ‘fright fest’ – 3rd paragraph, not bad), this year is:

Wes Craven’s The People Under The Stairs, a savage slice of Regan-era urban gothic (oh yes) and Philip Kaufman’s 1978 sci-fi thriller, the classic Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, starring Donald Sutherland and legend in his own lifetime, Jeff Goldblum.

Parasite Oscar winner, Bong Joon-Ho brings The Host, an aquatic creature feature (I love that phrase, wish it was mine), and there’s a London Underground creature feature (not quite the same ring to it) from the 1972 film Death Line, starring Donald Pleasence and Christopher Lee. And you thought you had it bad having to wear a mask on the Metro.

Whilst the remake should have hit cinemas this month (you’ve gone too far this time Covid), the classic Candyman, will be playing, all restored, pretty and downright polished.

The programme also crosses over with HOME’s Viva! Spanish and Latin American Festival with a celebration of Spanish horror maestro, Chico, including a double bill of El asfalto and La Residencia.

Tickets and full details of FilmFear 2020: Scream Now, Think Later can be found here.

Interested in FilmFears gone by? Check out my reviews and write-ups below: