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Promoted to Glory

Redbridge set to appear on the television this Xmas — in Salvation Army guise.


Eight players from Redbridge Brass, will be appearing on prime time TV this Sunday 21st December, 9pm, ITV1. The trailers have already started and the ensemble appears on them too! They were booked to take part in five filming sessions in London last December. This comprised three consecutive 13-hour night shoots near Brick Lane and two individual day shoots at other locations in the Capital.

This was all part of a new ITV Drama entitled "Promoted to Glory" starring Ken Stott, Lesley Manville and Kevin Whately.

The following is an extract from The Guardian:
Stott will star in Promoted to Glory as a down and out who falls for a Salvation Army worker, played by Lesley Manville. "Ken Stott plays a derelict, a reformed alcoholic, who gets picked up by the Salvation Army," said ITV drama controller, Nick Elliot. "It's a kind of love story between him and Lesley Manville's lady captain in the Salvation Army. Kevin Whately plays a nasty bit of work who is Manville's fiance and runs the Salvation Army operation,". "It's quite tough, but romantic as well. It has the feel of a Jimmy Stewart film, something like It's a Wonderful Life.

It was a great experience for the players and provided a fascinating insight into the world of TV filming. It is amazing how much effort, time and money goes into shooting these things. For instance, it took nearly three nights to run "Ken Stott" over (or was it his twin brother?!) with a double decker bus... a key scene in the drama but presumably over in a flash once it's screened. It suddenly makes you realise what a huge industry it is — you can easily take it for granted when you just sit down in front of the box. There was more than one offer from the players to take over the driving of the bus though — to get the job done quicker!

When the players weren't filming they were busy writing Christmas cards, drinking tea and sharing anecdotes on the cast double decker bus parked around the corner. When they were on set it was another world... a very professional attitude, extreme patience, witty one-liners to keep the team in good humour and lots of jumping on the spot to try and keep their feet warm!! The stars jumped into moon boots and had duvet coats wrapped around them in between shots ... no such luxuries for the band.... in fact the girls in the band had to wear tights and a skirt as part of the Salvation Army uniform... their feet were freezing!! At one point it got so cold that everyone cut up a cardboard box to make extra inner soles for their shoes.

They had a great time though, despite the cold, and were thrilled to hear that the result of their endeavours is going to be screened at such a prime spot in the festive calendar. They were involved in three scenes — one at night, one inside and a daytime shoot in a park.

The last time the band appeared on TV was in "The Lost World" that was screened at Christmas a couple of years ago. This starred Bob Hoskins, James Fox and Tessa Peake-Jones (Delboy's girlfriend) together with a bunch of dinosaurs from South America. Redbridge Brass are the reigning London and Southen Counties Champion band and played Elgar's Enigma Variations at the National Brass Band Championships at The Royal Albert Hall on 18th October. Three weeks later they transformed into a Glenn Miller tribute band and raised £1200 in aid of the Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall renovation project.

"The players love the variety of antics we get up to and we're, understandably, very excited to hear that we're going to be on TV again at Christmas!", said Alan Roberts, Band Manager (Sawbridgeworth).


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Mike Sheppard

B.A. (Hons) Music
Composer, conductor, teacher, author