UWE Bristol to host Cary Grant walking tour for national humanities festival

Issue date: 02 October 2017


Cary Grant pictured on College Green

The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) will host a walking tour of Cary Grant's Bristol as part of the UK's only national festival of the humanities.

Named Looking for Archie, the tour will take place in November as one of hundreds of events being organised across the UK for the Being Human 2017 festival.

Hollywood's most debonair star, Cary Grant was born Archibald Leach in Bristol in 1904 and continued an enduring relationship with the city. The walking tour will retrace his hometown haunts and uncover Bristol's hidden cinema history, in the places where it actually happened.

The event was selected to be part of Being Human by the festival's organisers, the School of Advanced Study at the University of London, the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and the British Academy.

Run by UWE Bristol's Dr Charlotte Crofts, an Associate Professor in Filmmaking, Looking For Archie aims to engage with the public with Bristol's cinema history.

It builds on Dr Crofts' research on screen heritage and place-making which draws on the emerging discipline of New Cinema History, including her award-winning Curzon Memories App (Learning on Screen Award 2013) based at the Curzon Community Cinema in Clevedon and The Lost Cinemas of Castle Park App which uncovers Bristol hidden city centre cinemas - a project which emerged out of an AHRC REACT Heritage Sandbox, supported by the UWE Bristol's Digital Cultures Research Centre. Crofts is also founder of the Cary Grant Festival, which aims to celebrate Cary Grant's Bristol roots, develop new audiences for his films and recreate the golden age of cinema-going.

The walking tour will be held on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 November 2017, between 2pm and 4pm, starting at Bristol Cathedral and ending next to the Cary Grant statue in Millennium Square.

Dr Crofts said: “It is a privilege to have been selected to be part of the Being Human Festival which celebrates the humanities as an important, impactful and above all fun discipline. The Looking For Archie tour aims to make people aware of how Bristol shaped Archie Leach's incredible journey from Horfield to Hollywood, where he became global film icon Cary Grant. That journey can be inspiring for Bristolians and puts Bristol on the map as an internationally important screen heritage site and a city of film.”

As part of a nine-day national programme of big ideas, debates and engaging activities for all ages, the event aims to champion the excellence of humanities research being undertaken in the South West, help to demonstrate the vitality and relevance of this today and showcase how the humanities help us understand ourselves, our relationships with others and the challenges we face in a changing world. In 2016 Being Human encompassed a programme of 300 events in 45 towns and cities across the UK, with a total estimated audience of 33,000. The 2017 festival is themed around 'Lost and Found'.

Tickets for the walking tour are available here: https://beinghumanfestival.org/event/looking-for-archie-cary-grants-bristol/all/

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