So this little story starts with a pub…
It’s all about the pub isn’t it? Corrie has the Rovers, Emmerdale the Woolpack, George Orwell created the Moon Under Water, then there’s the Crow and Crown from Withnail and I… hell even Star Wars had the Mos Eisley Cantina (and believe me I’ve drunk in pubs where the clientele are not that dissimilar!)
…so this little story starts with a pub ….The White Lion in Hebden Bridge …that’s where team Act4tv (that’s Michael, Vickie and me) arrange to meet writer/director Paul Murphy in his home town to talk about a project he wants to start.
Drinks are ordered and we get down to the serious business of chatting. It was the first time I had met Paul – he wanted to arrange this meeting following a wonderfully successful weekend workshop he had done for us, and the feedback was so positive, from both sides, all the actors who attended were buzzing about it; “When’s he doing another Joe?” “Can I book on the next one now?” and equally Paul said he was so bowled over by the talent that had attended, that he wanted to see how we could work together.
So, off we popped to Hebden, tucked away in the West Yorkshire Calder valley, a place immortalized in Sally Wainwright’s Happy Valley (though considerably less grim in reality).
It’s lunchtime in the 16th century inn and there’s Timothy Taylors Landlord on draught… I wasn’t going to… but, well I was never NOT going to was I?
We chat and we chat and we laugh… you know as people do in a pub, and Paul tells us the project will be a feature film about a bunch of people ‘crashing a bus for cash to save a pub!’… (it turns out I’ll be driving the bus!!!) and from that… THIS. The Claimants, The Penguin in Pearls (the name of our pub), this incredible (bus) journey, a journey that so far would include Paul Heaton, Steve Evets, Liam Fox, Erin Shanagher, interest from producers, the building of a website, a social media campaign, funding, the shooting of a trailer involving a crew of 45, BAFTA winning editor (Mark Hermida) and the passion from all concerned to get this bus rolling… it all started in a pub, with a chat over a pint (or two!)
So here’s to the pub , the heart of the community, the place where revolutions are talked up and talked out, where friends. lovers and strangers all meet so raise your glass …TO THE PUB!