To celebrate Derek Jarman’s 80th anniversary on Monday 31st January 2022, Greenwich Theatre will host a special gala performance of the vibrant new solo play, JARMAN, which will celebrate the life of Derek Jarman and see significant figures who knew him to reunite to speak about his lasting impact has been announced.
Jarman is known as a film-maker, painter, gardener at Prospect Cottage, activist and writer. His influence remains as strong as it was on the day AIDS killed him in 1994. But his story, one of the most extraordinary lives ever lived, has never been told. Until now.
Written and performed by Mark Farrelly and directed by renowned cabaret performer Sarah-Louise Young, the play brings Jarman back into being for a passionate, daring reminder of the courage it takes to truly live while you’re alive. A journey from Dungeness to deepest, brightest Soho and into the heart of one of our most iconoclastic artists.
Farrelly grew up fearing Jarman, having watched him dying in the most harrowing way in newspaper photographs and on television. Jarman was one of the key public faces of the AIDS pandemic because of his courageous declaration of his illness in the late 80s, but to a teenage Farrelly he was a dangerous image of contagion. It wasn’t until Farrelly read Jarman’s diaries in 2018 that he saw the true Derek Jarman – vibrant, beautiful, witty, fun and relentlessly inspiring – and began to explore his films, writing, paintings and his hypnotic garden in Dungeness.
After the interval at Greenwich Theatre, a number of significant figures from Jarman’s life will be speaking including human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, actor and composer Simon Fisher-Turner, electronic music producer and performer Matthew Hodson, writer and director David Mansell, actress Jenny Runacre, journalist and author Paul Burston, garden photographer Howard Sooley, Scottish film director and producer Don Boyd, actor David Meyer and singer Sarah Jane Morris. There will also be pre-recorded messages from award-winning filmmaker John Maybury and theatre and opera director Robert Chevara.
JARMAN will be raising money for the Terrence Higgins Trust.