The Magazine of Lenton Local History Society

The Filming Of Saturday Night And Sunday Morning - 1960

Nottingham Evening Post
Friday 6th May 1960

A Familiar Face

Michael Sillitoe (right) coaches Albert Finney
for a scene in the film.

When the film of Alan Sillitoe’s book "Saturday Night end Sunday Morning” is completed you may think, when you go to see it, that the drummer in one of the pub scenes looks vaguely familiar and rather sick. You win be right in both cases.

He is Michael Sillitoe of Old Radford, Nottingham, the twenty-year-old brother of the author. Mike first went down to for the sound recording of the scenes - shot with Johnny Dankworth’s pianist, Dudley Moore - then returned for his sister’s wedding.

When he returned for the filming he had influenza and felt as low as that particular virus seems able to bring you.

I talked to Mike in the Nottingham Castle recently while actors and technicians wandered around looking despondently at the teeming rain. The nearest he had been to the production of a film before this, he told me, was when he was fifteen and left the Radford Boulevard Secondary School to work in the projection room of a cinema.

He soon grew tired of this and went to work at Raleigh - he was to return there the day after I met him. But not to his old job, instead he went with the film unit to do the job he has been doing for the last couple of months helping with the organisation of the extras.

About his plans for the future, Mrs Sillitoe’s youngest boy was a little unsure. Earlier I had seen the smart drum kit which he keeps in the front room of their house in Beaconsfield Terrace, and said that if he did not get called up for his National Service he would like to be a professional drummer.

Mike was taught by Joe Hodson, Billy Cotton's drummer, and has so far, in his spare time, played with an Ilkeston dance band and at the Canadian Airbase at Langar.

He is hoping to broaden his experience, so if any local jazz group needs a drummer?

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