Details from Heavenly Films about the screening of the Arena documentaries at the Regent Street Cinema (near Oxford Circus) London, on Friday August 24th:

“This August, Heavenly Films are proud to present a double bill of classic BBC Arena episodes. Both celebrate the outstanding work of young men who’s lives were cut short during 1967. Legendary producer Joe Meek and author/playwright Joe Orton. The Joe Meek documentary will be followed by a Q&A session with director Alan Lewens, drumming legend (and session player on many Meek recordings) Clem Cattini and Joe Meek aficionado Rob Bradford.

These seldom screened gems represent documentary film making at it’s finest and are not to be missed.

The Very Strange Story Of Joe Meek (1991) – starting at 7.30pm

A fascinating documentary that recounts the short but turbulent life of pioneering British record producer Joe Meek. From his farming background and determination to break into the record business to setting up his own recording studio and producing huge hits for the likes of The Tornados, The Honeycombs and even Screaming Lord Sutch. After Meek’s success during the early 1960’s his career hit a major crisis when he was arrested by the police for importuning at a time when homosexuality was a still a criminal offence. Paranoia, addiction to pills and dwindling chart success finally tipped Meek over the edge when he tragically took his life in early 1967.

Joe Orton: A Genius Like Us (1982) – starting at 9pm

A classic Arena programme from 1982 profiling the life and tragic death of author and playwright Joe Orton. Featuring frank and comic contributions from Orton’s sister and contemporaries including a sharp-as-lemons Kenneth Williams, and the librarian whose complains about Orton finally landed him in prison. This fascinating profile charts his journey from stifling family life in Leicester to the West End via RADA and jail. The focus falls inevitably on his murder by lover Kenneth Halliwell, but there is more here than this horrific act. It’s a glimpse into attitudes towards homosexuality during the 1960s and a serious exploration of Orton’s short life and career.”

Ticket prices are £12 (Concessions £11). https://www.regentstreetcinema.com/programme/

JMS AGM 2019

Next years AGM will return to Newent on 6th April for Joe’s 90th birthday and plans are being made to make this a two day event, if so, it’ll be named JOE90-THE MEEKENDER.