Invitation to a Hanging

invitation to a hanging

drama documentary

1 x 90 mins

Juniper Television

RTS - Best History 2004

18th century reggae and blues?

The brief life of Jack the Lad, coincided with the birth of newspapers. Jack Shepperd's daring and ingenious escapes from prison filled the pages of the new media, making Jack a young star in 18th century London. The first working class hero. By the time of his hanging at only 23 years old Jack had become a star with 200,000 people, a third of the population of London, lining the streets as he was led to the gallows at Tyburn. Within four years of Jack's death, John Gay produced the Beggars Opera with the central character, Macheath,based on Jack Shepperd.

The easy thing to have done with the music would have been to plunder the music of the early 18th century but would this have conveyed Jack to the audience? After all, Jack didn't see himself as a historical figure. Cosy period music that would have distanced us from Jack, losing the sense of media notoriety and excitement he generated in his time. Instead the score uses jazz, blues, reggae and lyrical melodies to convey Jack the Lad and the energy, swagger and bravado of a young man born with nothing. A man who tried to acquire those things he could not have.

cast: Marcus McNicoll, Katrine Back, Christopher Ellison

crew: executive producer: Samir Shah, producer: John Toba, director: Justin Hardy, editor Michael Harrowes, composer: Christian Vassie

music to picture - video clips

All film clips, images & music © Drink Me Productions or original owners