In June 2018, I took up an opportunity to play the character of Jimmy in a low-budget remake of the 1984 film Threads which is about a nuclear apocalypse and the subsequent impact on Sheffield. Written by Barry Hines (A Kestrel for a Knave), a common reaction to the film is one of sheer terror. I remember shaking whilst watching it. It wasn’t so much the bomb which terrified me, but the sterile electronic Protect and Survive bulletins which interject the narrative and the constant news updates which lurk in the background. These interruptions gesture towards the determinacy of the event, disrupting the routine performance of everyday life. As war becomes imminent, chaos ensues. Denuclearisation marches soon descend into riots and the fabric of society is ripped apart. The film is uncanny, and it filled me with dread that a nuclear war could happen and is becoming an increasingly likely prospect.
The Redux project originated from artist and director Richard DeDomenici and he produces low-budget, shot-by-shot remakes of famous films. Despite this, the production of Redux: Threads shared much with the original; Mick Jackson chose to cast local people instead of actors and some of whom also starred in the Redux, playing their original roles. Also, the Redux, which features alongside the corresponding scenes from the original, shows how Sheffield has changed over the past 34 years. The day’s filming was thrilling and I felt proud seeing my name in the credits at the premiere at The Leadmill the following Saturday.
You can watch Redux: Threads here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNkjqBmOmeA
Guardian article: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/jun/08/threads-terrified-a-generation-now-nuclear-war-is-being-restaged-in-sheffield