For Better, For Worse
a story told in verse
For Better, For Worse, is a forthcoming film directed by George Rodosthenous, with cinematography by Patrick Bannon and starring Malcolm Webb. It is a collection of spoken word pieces written by Andrew Mills.
The film consists of several semi-autobiographical monologues delivered in a Talking-Heads style. These pieces deliver a powerful, and sometimes disturbing, account of the disintegration of a once-loving family, as seen through the eyes of a young boy growing up in England during through the 1970s and 1980s.
This film address issues arising from the toxification of a home environment through domestic violence and abuse, both physical and mental. However it does not set out with an agenda, nor does it seek to arrive at a conclusion. There is humour, hope, tenderness and a growing self-awareness. Set over a decade, the work also celebrates an individual’s ability to find ways of expression and self-worth through simple language.
Set in a seemingly imagined world where everyone drinks and smokes, no-one lets slip their inner dialogues in public, and nothing is explained, For Better, For Worse seeks to inform, represent, surprise and entertain. It observes, subjectively and objectively, mythologies of masculinity, of filial duty, maternal reverence and familial homily.
Its voice is first person monologue, and its words presented as those of a child. Its backdrops, of constant relocation, Saturday Markets, Wimpey bars, and Council Estates policed by closed-shop policies and the ghosts of razor-fisted bullies, blur like an over-exposed Kodak Instamatic Print.
But despite, or perhaps because of, their transient commonality, the pieces plait their ephemerality into a controlled whole that does not rely on nostalgia but, like a lived experience, learns to grow. Its message is no less relevant today that in its historical setting.
The Director: George Rodosthenous
George Rodosthenous is Associate Professor in Theatre Directing at the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds. His research interests are the body in performance, refining improvisational techniques and compositional practices for performance, devising pieces with live musical soundscapes as interdisciplinary process, theatre directing, updating Greek tragedy and the British musical.
He has edited the books Theatre as Voyeurism: The Pleasures of Watching (Palgrave), Contemporary Approaches to Greek Tragedy: Auteurship and Directorial Visions (Methuen Bloomsbury), The Disney Musical on Stage and Screen: Critical Approaches from Snow White to Frozen (Methuen Bloomsbury) and Twenty-First Century Musicals: From Stage to Screen (Routledge).
The Actor: Malcolm Webb
A First-Class Graduate of University Leeds, Malcolm Webb is a talented and hard-working actor, writer and director. He has appeared in film and theatre and has recently played the role of Jack Kerouac in “Kerouac Lives!”
Malcolm starred in George and Patrick’s Production of ‘Quinneys, the Film’ which had its London premier at The Victoria and Albert Museum in 2021.
We are very excited to have him as part of our company.
The Cinematographer: Patrick Bannon
Patrick is a professional commercial studio and event documentary photographer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
He regularly works across Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool.
He has worked for many large clients in both public and private sectors including MOBO Awards, HSBC, RBS, Lloyds Bank, Leeds City Council, Leeds and York Universities, Yorkshire Evening Post, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Yorkshire Bank, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Yorkshire and Humber NHS Trust, Pennine Care NHS Trust, Beacons Music Festival, Grace & Tailor, and many more. Patrick filmed and edited the 2021 feature “Quinneys, the Film”.
The Writer: Andrew Mills
After a decade in the Leeds alternative music scene, Andrew graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a First-Class degree in Media and Cultural Studies. When not at his day job, in theatre production, he is a still a musician, an amateur photographer with a love of vintage cameras, and writer.
For Better, For Worse is a semi-biographical account of his upbringing, and realised with the guidance of George, and Andrew’s sister.
All Production Rehearsal Photos
(c) Andrew Mills
1976 Olympus OM1(n) 50mm F1.4 Zuiko
1951 Leica 111f with 1934 5cm F2 Summar lens