A unique 24 hour Twitter adaptation of Sillitoe’s Saturday Night & Sunday Morning
I’m me and nobody else. Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not.
The first-ever Live 24-hour Twitter adaptation of Alan Sillitoe’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Paul Fillingham and James Walker, allows us to step into the shoes of Arthur Seaton, the rebellious anti-hero from the 1958 novel. Originally released on Saturday 22nd November 2014, part of ‘Being Human’ – The UK’s First National Festival of the Humanities.
BeingArthur: the Twitter adaptation of Saturday Night & Sunday Morning is set in Nottingham in 1958.
The opening shot of Karel Reisz’s ground-breaking film adaptation of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) was filmed in Nottingham’s Raleigh Cycle Factory where we listen-in to Arthur’s thoughts as he ‘slugs out his guts’ on a factory lathe.
Our Twitter adaptation also starts in the Raleigh Factory where Arthur is working overtime in anticipation of another great night out in Nottingham. Arthur is used to things going his way but the next 24 hours may prove to be quite a challenge.
Coming up in our Twitter adaptation of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning…
Part 1 – #Factory
12.00 noon Saturday. Arthur is looking forward to the end of his shift at Raleigh, earning overtime to pay his board and fund his excesses. His mind will be wandering as he completes the monotonous production-line tasks. He’ll be counting out the metal widgets at his lathe. Our modern day Arthur @thespacelathe will be asking the question whether present day working practices are any better than those of the 1950s, whether we have merely swapped one type of lathe for another?
Part 2 – #Home
17.00 Saturday – Like many adults today, Arthur lives at home with his parents and is acutely aware of the generation gap that exists between them. He resents their slavish devotion to domestic tasks and to the ‘goggle-box’ in the corner and offers plenty of backchat. Arthur’s mind is on escape and escapism via Nottingham’s nightlife. He’s a smart-dresser and goes through an elaborate ritual to rid himself of his factory grime, refocusing his mind on the evening’s adventure. Nearby, the neighbours curtains are twitching and it’s that nosey Ma Bull ready to spoil his fun.
Part 3 – #Square
20.00 Saturday Night – Arthur takes public transport from the suburbs into the city. He’s arranged to meet Doreen by the Left Lion in the Market Square and is hoping that Brenda doesn’t show. Or worse still her husband Jack’s squaddie mates – still intent on giving him a good-hiding for his misdemeanours. He’s heard a rumour they’ve been flown out to Korea, but he can’t be sure. It’s raining and the nights are drawing in as he watches the crowds assemble for a good night out.
Part 4 – #Drink
22.00 Saturday Night – Arthur is in the White Horse entertaining people with his banter but the drink is about to change all of that. Conversation is replaced by competitiveness. Drinking games and bravado clouding his vision, perhaps enough to fall down those stairs again?
Part 5 – #Midnight
00.00 Midnight – Arthur is alone on the streets and he’s being followed. He’s looking dishevelled and the taxis won’t accept his fare. There is an air of menace and he’s not quite sure whether the city is a more dangerous place than it used to be? His imagination is playing tricks and Jack’s squaddie mates appear to be stalking him along the three miles walk to his bed. It’s a walking nightmare. Will Arthur get home unscathed?
Part 6 – #Embankment
10.00 – Sunday Morning. Fishing along the Trent has a calming influence on the young Arthur, it’s where he confides in his friend Bert. Tall tales and anecdotes are interspersed with deep and meaningful reflections on life. Moments of tranquility such as these are rarely possible in a digital age where employers no longer organise their workers leisure activity on the scale of that existed in the post-war years. For a few hours the anglers feel liberated but Arthur knows he’s hooked like the rest of us and reality is about to reel him in. Will Arthur offer any resistance or will he simply go with the flow?
Part 7 – #Suburbia
11.00 – Sunday Morning. Arthur contemplates his future with Doreen. She’s brought along a few brochures and has dreams of her own. Arthur remains unconvinced by the utopia painted by estate agents and marketing executives. Will Arthur heed the well-meaning advice offered by elders like Aunt Ada to ‘settle down’? Will Arthur finally abandon his rebellious tendencies or is he destined to a life of adversity and resistance. Our modern day Arthur @thespacelathe will be asking the question – Do utopian visions of family life hold up in society today? What kind of world are we constructing for the families of tomorrow?
The 24 hour Twitter adaptation of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was also shown on public screens outside the Broadway Cinema and the New Art Exchange in Sillitoe’s Nottingham and additional ‘Screens in the Wild’ located in London at Leytonstone Public Library, and The Mill, Walthamstow. Read the Blog or follow @BeingArthur for production info.
BeingArthur now (2014).
Our parallel Twitter feed brings Arthur into the present day: @thespacelathe was originally launched as part of the Sillitoe Trail (Arts Council England/BBC) in 2012 but continues to give a contemporary voice to Nottingham’s roguish rebel Arthur Seaton.
The Sillitoe Trail was serialised on the experimental digital arts platform The Space in 2012-13 and subsequently appeared on BBC TV’s Inside Out programme and Radio 4’s Saturday Live with John McCarthy who visited Sillitoe’s Nottingham in 2013. An iPhone App was launched at a celebration of Alan Sillitoe’s work at Nottingham Contemporary in 2012.
The Sillitoe Trail explores five key themes and locations from Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, we will link to relevant sections throughout our BeingArthur festival event.
Arthur is of course, belligerent, fiercely individualistic, subversive and rebellious. He has an opinion and an answer for everything and he wants everyone to know about it. Members of the public are encouraged to join in the conversation: @thespacelathe using hashtag #beingarthur
Interactive Movie Database Saturday Night & Sunday Morning – film synopsis
Being Arthur – University of Nottingham – School of Humanities.
Sillitoe’s Nottingham on ‘The Space’ The Sillitoe Trail
Wikipedia Entry – Alan Sillitoe
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning BFi Film Store DVD/Blu-Ray .
BeingArthur is Produced by Paul Fillingham Creative Director at Thinkamigo Digital and James Walker Literary Editor at LeftLion Magazine and Chair of the Nottingham Writers’ Studio. Being Arthur is made in association with the Centre for Advanced Studies for the Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Nottingham. Part of Being Human, the UK’s first national festival of the humanities, led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. ‘Screens in the Wild’ is an experimental network of interactive screens operated by the University of Nottingham and University College London. The Sillitoe Trail produced in 2012 by Paul Fillingham and James Walker was originally commissioned by Arts Council England and the BBC