The Benny Lynch Story
Updated: Apr 11, 2019
Every once in a while something happens and you need to pinch yourself to make sure you aren't dreaming. That happened to both of us recently when we were asked to film a series of trailers for an upcoming play, which is about to go on national tour. It's a play about the rise and fall of Scotland's first World Champion boxer Benny Lynch, who many claim to be Scotland's best ever fighter.
This project brings Tall Tale Films not quite full circle, but definitely somewhere close to a semi circle in our own story. Let me rewind a little and explain.
Back in the summer of 2017, Andy was an accomplished wedding photographer, who had an interest in cinematic filming but had never done anything of note. An old friend had written a play about the history of Greenock Morton Football Club (our local team, don't hold it against us) and also wanted to put on an exhibition to coincide with the play. The exhibition featured lots of memorabilia, but the centre piece would be a documentary focusing on past players and stories. Andy was asked to film the interviews and put together the documentary for the exhibition, he needed a licenced drone operator and Alan had just returned from Australia. This was the very start of Tall Tale Films, the rest, they say is history. Fast forward 18 months and that very same old friend and writer has written another play, this time it's called The Benny Lynch Story and this time it has a cast that could choke a donkey, so when we were asked to film the promotional trailers, we jumped at the chance. Thank you David Carswell.
We were absolutely honoured to be part of the process on the day, working with David Hayman Jr was a joy. It's incredibly easy to buy into someone's creative vision when it is explained so clearly and you can picture exactly how it is going to look on screen. A few months before the shoot, we all met for coffee and what I had in my mind that day, is scarily close to what the finished trailer looks like today.
Wee Shellsuit Bob (Stephen Purdon) was born to play Benny Lynch. I mean just look at him!?! I'm convinced he's a long lost son of the man himself. The wee man has put in an absolute shift to get fighting fit for the tour. He's being trained by one of Scotland's best boxing coaches who has already produced a world champion. Who knows, we might see Stephen lifting a world title one day.
David Hayman the man, the legend. He's worked with Bruce Willis and Richard Gere, and here he is working with the one and only Tall Tale Films. Davie plays Sammy Wilson, Benny's manager/trainer. The casting of these two together is a stroke of genius, they both have a striking resemblance to their parts and work perfectly together. There was a scene in the trailer where Sammy is watching Benny run up and down the terracing at Cathkin Park, where Benny actually fought and trained, I have been involved in the production of amateur dramatics for a number of years and Davie's face, done more acting in those three minutes, than the entire am-dram crowd have in the last twenty years. It was amazing to watch and film, there's something in his presence that makes you believe.
We only briefly met the lovely Holly Jack, who plays Benny's wife in the play. I can only imagine how difficult a part she has to play, but if the tension and suspense she brought to the trailer is anything to go buy, she's going to knock it out the park.
The play is going on national tour for two months in May, and is put on by Simon Weir and Cathkin Park Ltd. Just don't mention the opening scene of Trainspotting: T2 (if you haven't go and watch it right now.)
Details of dates, venues and tickets can be found at www.thebennylynchstory.co.uk