The study and appreciation of the life, works and times of Arnold Bennett

Piccadilly (1929)

Article Written:

Arnold Bennett 150th – PICCADILLY (1929) – with Live Piano Accompaniment

Biddulph Town Hall – 25 July 2017

Starts at 6.30pm and entrance fee is £4

Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek – 15 September 2017

Starts at 7.30pm and entrance fee is £5 – Book on line at

One of the pinnacles of British silent cinema, Piccadilly is a sumptuous show business melodrama seething with sexual and racial tension – with an original screenplay by Arnold Bennett. Chinese-American screen goddess Anna May Wong stars as Shosho – an exotic dancer who uses her wiles with the night club manager to advance from kitchen dishwasher to become the toast of London, but disaster awaits. Hollywood star Gilda Grey is a vengeful star dancer displaced by Shosho and Charles Laughton makes his impressive screen debut in a cameo role.

A stylish evocation of Jazz Age London, with dazzlingly fluid cinematography and scenes ranging from the opulent West End to the seediness of Limehouse. Beautifully restored by the BFI complete with vivid original tinting in sepia, blue and magenta for key scenes.

The screening will be accompanied on live piano with a original score by Ashley Thompson.




Share This Article