Sunday, September 13, 2015

Rick Mayall Presents: Horse Opera

Rik Mayall Presents: Horse Opera – British title

A 1993 British television production [Initain Film and Television (London)]
Producer: Debbie Mason
Director: Bob Baldwin
Story: Jonathan Moore
Teleplay: Jonathan Moore
Photography: Edward Lachman [color]
Music: Stewart Copeland
Running time: 60 minutes

Johnson – Michael Attwell
Wyatt Earp – Rik Mayall (Richard Mayall)
Sandra/Marion – Gina Bellman
George – Philip Guy-Bromley
Colin – Silas Carson
Jesse James – Stewart Copeland
Teresa – Siobhan McCarthy
Billy the Kid – Jonathan Moore
Preacher – Edward Tudor-Pole
Chorus – William J. Fisher
Indian warrior – Jon Proudstar

Set in the badlands of the American west, where men were men and women got slapped a lot. Horse Opera is a strange journey through the mind of George, a minor clerk in the Tax office, and chairman of Nottingham cowboy society. As the boundary between fantasy and reality blur George stumbles through the myth of the heroic west. The made for TV movie was filmed in Old Tucson and Benson, Arizona with interiors filmed at Blackheath, London, England.

To put Horse Opera in context, it was part of a series of contemporary operas specially created for UK Channel 4. It was scored by world-famous percussionist and composer Stewart Copeland; starred amongst others Rik Mayall, Silas Carson, Michael Attwell, Edward Tudor-Pole and Gina Bellman; was shot on location in both London, England and Tuscon, Arizona; and featured luscious, richly-detailed American sets. And all this from a broadcaster known within its home market for being impecunious and having to constantly innovate to plug the financial gap between it and its competitors, the ingenious 1992 acquisition of the UK broadcasting rights to Italian football being one such example.

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