Alan Sillitoe will always be remembered first and foremost for his debut novel, and its subsequent screen adaptation, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. But his second published work, The Loneliness of The Long Distance Runner, ain’t half bad either. In fact, it’s on a par.
The Alan SIllitoe Committee have been organising events across Nottingham as part of a year long celebration of his life and works, and to tie in with the fiftieth anniversary of its release, Broadway are screening Tony Richardson’s adaptation of the novella TLOTLDR. A story about a young lad, Colin, who has been sent to Borstal for burglary; a juvenile delinquent, but one with a talent for running. A classic anti-establishment story, Colin finds solace and freedom while he runs cross-country, and the time and head-space to dream of revenge.
The film will be preceded by not one, but two, special events: Billy Ivory, a Nottingham scriptwriter, will be introducing the film at 1pm. This will be followed by the big-screen premiere of Donkey Stone filmmaker Sam Derby-Cooper’s short film Mimic, which is based on a short story from Sillitoe's collection Men, Women and Children. Mimic is additionally special because Alan Sillitoe, before his death in 2010, mentored the filmmakers through production and sanctioned the film for distribution. If that's not the ultimate seal of approval you can get, I don’t know what is.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner + Mimic and introduction by Billy Ivory is at Broadway on Sunday 16 September at 1pm. The second annual Sillitoe Day will be held at Nottingham Contemporary on Saturday 27 October.
Alan Sillitoe Committee website This book along with others by Alan Sillitoe is being tweeted by TheSpaceLathe