Lord of the Rings actress Morfydd Clark to play Scotland’s superstar percussionist Evelyn Glennie in feature film
The Lord of the Rings star Morfydd Clark is to play the trailblazing Scottish musician Dame Evelyn Glennie in a new movie exploring how she managed to overcome losing her hearing to become a world-leading percussionist.
The Aberdeenshire-born star is part of the team involved in the biopic Making Noise.
It will be directed by Edinburgh-based filmmaker Hope Dickson Leach, who hailed Glennie – a double Grammy winner – as ”a rock star of classical music whose fire continues to burn bright”.
Glennie, 58, is said to be acting as a musical consultant and a coach for the 33-year-old Welsh actress, who plays Galadriel in the Amazon Prime fantasy series. Making Noise is expected to recall how Glennie started losing her hearing when she was eight and was profoundly deaf by the time she was 12.
Glennie gained a place at the Royal Academy of Music in London at the age of 16, where she studied percussion and piano. She became the first ever musician to sustain a full-time career as a solo percussionist and played the first percussion concerto in the history of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in 1992.
Glennie, who has worked with musicians like Bjork, Mark Knopfler, Bela Fleck and Bobby McFerrin, has recorded more than 40 albums to date, and performed at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, where she led a 1,000-strong ensemble of drummers.
Making Noise is described as "a vibrant, exhilarating story of how the world fell in love with a woman who broke all the rules”. Pre-production is already underway on the biopic, which was announced at the Toronto Film Festival, with filming due to start in the spring.
Clark was previously best known for her leading role in the British horror Saint Maud before appearing in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. She is also due to play Ophelia in a new feature film version of Hamlet set in modern-day London.
Discussing the prospect of playing Glennie on screen, Clark said: “She doesn’t fit into her world, but, instead of adapting herself to fit it, she figured out how to change the world to make space for her. No-one, but Evelyn could have changed music the way she did.”
Hope Dickson Leach recently directed a new “hybrid” theatre-film version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s gothic horror story The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, which was filmed at Leith Theatre and screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival last month.
Leach said: “Making Noise will be as original and unique as the woman at its beating heart. A woman who changed music forever. An artist who refused to be ignored. The turmoil of creation and the ecstasy of the transcendent — that is the story I fell in love with when I was introduced to Evelyn’s life.
“We are used to seeing the world of classical music as one of high culture, but we will resist that. Evelyn is a rock star of classical music whose fire continues to burn bright. Her story will command an audience’s attention until the last euphoric note is struck."
Glennie said: “I have never lost my respect for an audience and always wanted my music to be recognised.”
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