How we use Cookies

What's On

Your guide to everything in Solihull

Nosferatu at Birmingham Town Hall, October 31

IT was a deeply dark night; the wind howled, shards of rain biting at our exposed skin as we sought sanctuary from the wretched weather.

IT was a deeply dark night; the wind howled, shards of rain biting at our exposed skin as we sought sanctuary from the wretched weather.

Gangs of ghostly figures surrounded us from all sides, we dashed quickly into a menacing building, tall pillars looming over us, where finally we could catch our breath. We'd made it.

Hallowe'en night in Birmingham saw all manor of creatures brave the cold to either trick or treat, or perhaps, more comfortably, sit in the refurbished Town Hall to watch Nosferatu.

This silent film directed by F.W. Murnau will always have a place in history, it was the first film adaptation of Bram Stocker's Dracula story, and was made way back in 1921.

It follows the story of a naïve young property agent named Hutter who goes to great lengths in an attempt to sell a deserted house in his home town to a Transylvanian Count.

He travels on a long journey to the Carpathian Mountains in order to persuade the Count to sign the documents (maybe today's estate agents could learn a thing or two from his efforts?).

You can imagine where it goes from there, the Transylvanian Count seems less interested in property deeds and more in young Hutter and his beautiful wife. After Hutter shows him a picture of the maiden, the pointy toothed Count remarks simply: "Your wife has a lovely neck."

Eventually the hapless Hutter concludes that there's something not quite right about the Count sleeping all day in a coffin, and he must head home to warn the townfolk and in particular his wife with the lovely neck.

Considering the age of the film, it was surprisingly creepy, however this was in no large part to the incredible skill (and stamina) of organist Nigel Ogden, who accompanied the entire 88 minutes of the film.

Sounding out doom-laden tones from the terrific organ pipes that are resident in the Town Hall, it contributed immensely to the atmosphere of the film.

It was a superb idea to combine the tremendous organ of the Town Hall with a film such as Nosferatu, and it felt like a truly unique way to spend Hallowe'en.

An evening of trick and treaters may be something to dread for many people but with great events such as these taking place in the city, it's a fantastic excuse to be out of the house.

 

Journalists

Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
Full newsroom contact details
Tell us what's happening in your area.