On the 10th of September I attended a performance of City Lights at the Cadogan Hall sponsored by Citi and organised by Edicis. The event was to celebrate 125 years of British film. City Lights is Charlie Chaplin’s silent masterpiece that was produced after the introduction of the Jazz Singer in the Autumn of 1927 – the first motion picture with synchronised sound that heralded the decline of the silent film era.
City Lights has it all; humour, slapstick, melodrama, pathos and a story line that does not leave a dry seat in the house. There is a superbly choreographed, side splittingly,uproariously funny boxing match that had me falling about in the aisles. With the absence of dialogue there is no language barrier giving the film, with Chaplin as “the tramp”, universal appeal. Chaplin also composed the music, albeit singing it to Arthur Johnson who notated it. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra played the score to the film and they played their socks off.
An incredible evening and I fervently wish that the sponsorship of this event for Citi’s clients could be extended to the wider public so they too could get a chance to experience the “shock of the old”.