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Helena Bonham Carter and Tobias Menzies reunite for poetry film

PA News
The cast of A Poem For Every Autumn Day (Allie Esiri)

The Crown stars Helena Bonham Carter and Tobias Menzies have reunited to make a socially distanced film to be shown at this year’s virtual Edinburgh International Book Festival.

They are joined by Hamilton star Jamael Westman for a film to accompany Allie Esiri’s new poetry anthology, A Poem For Every Autumn Day.

It includes works by Robert Louis Stevenson, John Betjeman, Amy Lowell, Paul Laurence Dunbar, William Shakespeare and Christina Rossetti, who sit alongside Seamus Heaney, Patience Agbabi and Imtiaz Dharker.

The film of actors performing works from the book was shot following social distancing restrictions in the garden of the home of director Paul Weiland in Bradford upon Avon.

Esiri said: “I have chosen poems and performers that will hopefully bring some light into our brave new pandemic-stricken world.

“The director, Paul Weiland, allowed us to film in his garden. Helena’s wit, Tobias’s well of talent and Jamael’s voice are heartening, healing and also fun.

“The selection of autumnal poems you will hear – and hopefully go on to read in the anthology – capture autumn in all its infinite variety and vitality.

“Each individual poem provides us with a different kind of illumination – emotional, spiritual, cerebral, social, political. There is variation fitting of autumn itself. Do please watch.

“I think if you are a poetry lover or don’t know the first thing about poetry, these actors have aimed this film at all of you.”

Menzies said: “It was a real pleasure to work with Allie Esiri on her beautiful collection of A Poem For Every Autumn Day and to join forces with Helena again and Jamael Westman and Paul Weiland to make this film for the Edinburgh Literary Festival and be part of their exciting line-up this year.”

The film, also called A Poem For Every Autumn Day, will be broadcast live on YouTube at 2.30pm on August 30 and the anthology of poems is out now, published by Pan Macmillan.

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