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Tea for Two

A romantic stroll by the sea turns into a violent struggle when there’s no table for tea in this silent film by Arts Award students in Weymouth.
Tea for Two - set in 1918 to mark the year of armistice and votes for women - is a comedy inspired by Charlie Chaplain’s The Immigrant. The film, shown throughout the summer of 2018 on the big screen in Brewery Square, Dorchester, was made by students with learning disabilities at Westfield Arts College in Weymouth for their Silver Arts Award in Film and digital production with ScreenPLAY.

The drama was planned and storyboarded, and the acting improvised. The film was shot over two days in the college theatre and on Weymouth seafront. The group were supported by arts professionals Sharon Hayden and Alastair Nisbet. 17 year old Jaxon who plays the waiter explained how they developed the plot: “We watched the Charlie Chaplain film The Immigrant which has a cafe scene with an waiter who is violent with his customers. We thought it would be interesting to have customers who get angry with the waiter.”

Moderator Jackie Calderwood from Trinity College, London said it had been “An excellent film-making project with young people working with professional artist filmmakers, exploring a range of techniques and artforms.”
Students at a screening loved the comedy. One commented: “The waiter spitting on the plates made me laugh - I was disgusted but in a funny way.”

Westfield’s Leader of learning Saira Sawtell said the film was “highly engaging”. “I particularly enjoyed the comedy and the chances for our students to practice facial expressions and gestures - the silent form really played to their strengths.”

ScreenPLAY’s Sharon Hayden said the students had grown as a group throughout their residency. “Westfield students have a unique approach to life and we have really enjoyed working with them. Hopefully the teamwork, leadership and filmmaking skills they have developed will help them on the next step of their journey. We are especially grateful to funders Trinity College, London and the Dorchester Market Car Boot Fund without whom this project would not have been possible.”

Music chosen by Charlie, the piano player, includes Fig Leaf Rag, a variation of Palm Tree Rag and Batty McFaddin - both by US musician Kevin Macleod.