Notting Hill Silents Presents...
Directed by Anthony Asquith
A subterranean tale of love, jealousy, treachery and murder...
With Church Organ Accompaniment
By Donald MacKenzie, resident organist at the Odeon Leicester Square
Saturday 20 October at 8.00pm (doors open 7.00pm)
At St John's Notting Hill, London, W11 2NN
Part of St John's Organ Project
Tickets £10: scroll to bottom of page
The classic British silent film Underground will be accompanied by acclaimed organist Donald MacKenzie. Donald will be improvising an original score on the restored church organ. He is returning to St John's Notting Hill after playing at nine previous shows.
Popcorn and a bar will be available on the night and the church will be candlelit. Don't miss this special event!
Doors open at 7.00pm for an 8.00pm film start.
Film running time: 93 minutes
Age rating: PG
Seating is unreserved - good sight lines are available throughout the church. Despite being heated the church may be cold in the evening so please wear warm clothing.
A woman's chance encounter with two men on the tube leads to a tale of romance and violence in this classic thriller. The film is set in the London Underground, where crowds jostle awkwardly and dark shadows loom behind closed-door spaces, and also takes in London's pleasant parks and raucous parks.
It ends with a hair-raising foot chase, starting in the now disused Lots Road power station (which formerly powered the London Underground), then moving across rooftops before descending again into London's subterranean world for a menacing finale in an underground lift.
"Anthony Asquith's Underground (1928) is part expressionist-influenced thriller, part time capsule: a riveting film from one of the silent era's most ambitious British directors, and an intriguing portrait of 1920s London. The underground in Underground is more than a metaphor for the repressed passions of four "ordinary workaday people", it is integral to the plot, and its shadowy locations set the film's tone." Silent film critic Pamela Hutchinson in The Guardian. Read her full article for the film here.
The film stars Brian Aherne, Elissa Landi, Cyril McLaglen and Norah Baring and is directed by Anthony Asquith.
For a full list of cast and crew credits see:
Clips from previous screenings
In July 1992 Donald began his long association with the Odeon Leicester Square Compton organ by playing to previews of 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Chaplin'. He was later appointed House Organist and has appeared regularly at film premières, special events and organ concerts. He has broadcast from the Odeon on BBC Radios 2, 3, 4 and the World Service, has featured on a number of television programmes and has played for numerous Royal Film Performances, including four in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen. His now renowned film accompaniments have led to numerous bookings throughout the UK, Europe and the USA.
The Organ at St John’s Notting Hill, originally built in 1793, was fully restored and remodelled in 2013-14 by T. W. Fearn & Son Organ Builders. The firm specialises in the restoration of old mechanical pipe organs and have undertaken to retain every original pipe and piece of mechanism, seeking not to modernise it but to retain its original character.
The case surrounding the organ and the bird sculpture atop are both new, designed and created by architect Simon Ablett and artist Ali Henham respectively.
The restoration and new works were made possible via the many donations from individuals and organisations, including a £373,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in March 2013.
Use the links on this website to find out more about the organ and the restoration project.
Tickets are just £10. All profits go to putting on more silent film nights and to organ tuning and maintenance. Use the Paypal button to purchase tickets. You do not need a Paypal account for payment, you can select the 'Checkout as Guest' / 'Pay by Debit or Credit Card' option on the payment screen. Tickets are not issued; instead names are recorded on a list which will be at the door on the evening. This means we avoid charging an extra booking fee. All ticket buyers will receive an email confirming their purchase, sent to the email address used at payment. Email email@example.com with any questions.