Wednesday, December 6

The Kid – HOME, Manchester

Charlie Chaplin is one of those iconic movie characters that I am embarrassed to admit I’ve never seen on screen until Manchester Camerata’s live orchestral accompaniment of The Kid. The beauty of his movies is that a story can be followed without the use of dialogue.

At first, I thought this would be screened on one of the cinema screens at HOME, however it took place in their main theatre space. The movie is projected onto a screen at the back of the stage.

Given the movie was originally released in 1921, the person who managed to digitally restore and bring it up to viewable quality should be applauded.

The movie, as you can imagine, is silent. Yet it is filled with humour from beginning to end.

Obviously for the movie to work without any dialogue it does rely quite heavily on slapstick elements.

The plot of the movie is fairly basic but may have been creative for its time. You don’t always hear about single men adopting a child as their own and bringing them up.

Musically I felt the Manchester Camerata Orchestra accompanied the movie well. Some pieces were timed to perfection – or at least seemed that way. Did it add anything special to it? Unfortunately, I have to say no. I think I would have enjoyed the movie just as much if the orchestra weren’t playing. That’s not to say they’re not a talented group – they clearly are. I think I would have chosen a different movie where the music really adds to it.

Reviewer: Brian Madden

Reviewed: 16th June 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★