A1: The Road Musical

A1:The Road Musical - Opening Sequence

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(Conceived, composed and directed by Benjamin Till - Endomol/Channel 4)

This half-hour documentary was made for the First Cut series of films on Channel 4.

The piece journeys from London to Edinburgh on Britain's longest road, stopping off to meet some of the interesting people who live and work on it.  All those featured in the film tell their own stories through music and song.

From a choir of former miners in Yorkshire, lamenting the death of their industry, to the man who wants Berwick Upon Tweed to be handed back to the Scots, all life is here.

Benjamin is incredibly proud of the film and feels very lucky to have met and worked with so many extraordinary people in the six months it took him to make the it. Broadcast on August 29th 2008, the film garnered the most incredible reviews from the press and became the 4th most successful television programme on Channel 4 in August, in terms of numbers of people phoning in to say how much they'd enjoyed it!

Camera: Andy Martin
Editor: Alan Mackay
Executive Producers: Catherine Welton and Sara Ramsden

Visit the A1: The Road Musical microsite for full details, and to watch the film. Alternatively, see the A1 page in the Composing section of this site.

Here are some quotes from the press:

"There's something remarkably touching about the amateurs singing their hearts out about issues they truly believe in. What emerges is a unique portrait of British life and the kind of original, risk-taking programme that C4 are good at - and should do more of. A great idea deftly executed, this heralds the arrival of an exciting new directorial talent" 
(The Mail on Sunday)

"A sublimely moving documentary portrait which plays like Mamma Mia as imagined by John Grierson" 
(The Scotsman, best documentary, pick of the week)

"Benjamin Till's project is inspired... for finding beauty in ugliness... The future looks bright for Till..." 
(Big Issue)

"Few chunks of telly leave you gob-smacked at their sheer cheeky brilliance, but this musical documentary about the A1 manages it. Yes we said "musical documentary". And yes, we said it was brilliant. And no, we haven't gone barmy. Just trust us on this one, okay?" 
(London Lite)

"A fine way to spend half an hour" 
(The Observer)

"Smart, funny, political and heart-clenchingly moving. Just try listening to the old men of a former colliery choir mourning the miners' strike without a tear in your eye" 
(Evening Standard)

"A beguiling documentary" 

Click here to visit the A1:The Road Musical microsite and see the film in full.