28th August, 2019
Last night saw the stars arrive in MediaCityUK for the Gala Premiere of Mrs Lowry and Son at The Lowry Theatre.
“We know from reading the social history that Lowry was at his happiest when he was in the city of Salford” – Paul Dennett, The City Mayor of Salford said as he welcomed guests before the film screening in The Lowry galleries.
Mrs Lowry & Son depicts the relationship between L.S. Lowry, one of Britain’s most iconic artists, and his mother Elizabeth, with whom he lived until her death. Spall plays Lowry and Redgrave his over-bearing mother. The film, which stars Academy Award® winner Vanessa Redgrave and BAFTA® Nominee Timothy Spall in the title roles, depicts the complicated relationship between the two in 1930s Salford.
Radio Two’s Mark Radcliffe hosted an on-stage ‘In Conversation’ with the film’s director, former Royal Shakespeare Company director, Adrian Noble, and lead actors Timothy Spall and Vanessa Redgrave.
Timothy Spall said: “I’m delighted to be bringing this film back to Lowry’s hometown of Salford, and I am thrilled that the premiere is taking place in the building where his work is on display for all to enjoy.”
Debbie Gray, producer of Mrs Lowry & Son, said:
“The gala was at The Lowry because It was the natural home for a film about LS Lowry. The film based on the screenplay of Salford born Martyn Hesford is a love letter to LS Lowry and Salford. We shot the film in and around Salford and Manchester to create authenticity. Lowry embraced the environment in which he found himself. He came to it without prejudice. He had a vision of how he wanted to represent an industrial landscape and it was important that we captured the essence of this in the film.”
L.S. Lowry became internationally famous for his depictions of 20th century industrial life in the North West of England, and the legacy of his work remains a huge presence in the region, not least at The Lowry, a purpose-built art gallery in Salford Quays. Such was his eventual success that he was offered five honours over his lifetime, including a knighthood in 1968 – all of which he rejected – and his work was displayed in a retrospective, record-breaking exhibition at the Tate. His work now sells for millions.
Commenting on their hosting of the Gala Premiere, Julia Fawcett OBE, chief executive of The Lowry, said:
“We’re absolutely thrilled to showcase this very powerful yet humorous insight into the relationship between Lowry and his mother to a home audience here in the heart of Salford. Lowry is a much-loved artist but there’s so much more to him than many people know. I think cinemagoers will be surprised to see some of the struggles he faced throughout his career, not least of all his mother’s criticism of his work.”
The film follows Lowry in the beginnings of his career, as he yearns for his work to be appreciated in London. However, his disdainful mother, Elizabeth actively tries to dissuade her bachelor son from pursuing his artistic ambitions. Elizabeth never fails to voice her opinion at what a disappointment he is to her. At the same time, the film explores how Elizabeth is the very reason Lowry paints anything at all, as he desperately seeks to create something, anything, which will make her happy, creating a clever layer of tragic irony. This powerful, yet humorous story imagines the impact this obsessive mother and son relationship had on the great artist. Love is at the very heart of this film.
The Lowry is home to the world’s largest public collection of paintings and drawings by the Salford artist. It provides critical and curatorial analysis of his work and seeks to raise his profile as an artist of international stature.
Their permanent exhibition, LS Lowry: The Art & The Artist, features more than 160 paintings and drawings from a collection of over 300 works held in trust on behalf of the people of Salford.
Open daily and free of charge, it currently features a display dedicated to Mrs Lowry & Son, including behind the scenes photographs, props, film clips, mood boards, shooting schedules and the final screenplay signed by the cast
Mrs Lowry & Son opens in cinemas nationwide on Friday 30 August.