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Priory Court in the Act

A musical documentary inspired and performed by the community of East London’s housing estate, Priory Court, about life during the Covid-19 lockdown 2020.

When filmmaker Kate Hampel and composer Rex Horan were commissioned to collaborate on a crowd-sourced song about the Covid-19 lockdown in Priory Court, they had no idea what it would entail. All the usual modes of communication that they rely on, particularly when people are undergoing challenging situations, were unavailable. Instead of face-to-face chats, the creative relationship was forged over text messages and video calls. The traditional approach to filmmaking was turned on its head; this time the subjects filmed themselves.



“Working on Priory Court in the Act was an entirely new and unfamiliar experience for me as a collaborative songwriter. I found the remote nature of the work challenging in that so many communication cues that I rely upon, particularly when working with people experiencing difficult situations, were harder to grasp. These cues and clues are around body language, eye contact and the nuance of language. Whilst these challenges were evident, I was impressed and grateful that the participants were open to the project and trusting of both the team and the process. Their co-operation was inspiring and plenty of material was generated. It was a most rewarding and nourishing experience for me as a writer: and I hope and trust that those involved are proud of what we all made together.”




The film was produced and directed by Kate Hampel and edited by Dave O’Neill.

Rex Horan arranged and composed the score and members of the Priory Court Housing Estate community co-wrote and performed the song “Outside”.

The score also featured guitarist Adam Devlin, vocals and percussion from Mina and Sylvester Sigg-Horan.

It was commissioned by Waltham Forest Council as part of Waltham Forest Virtual Culture. Funded by the Great Place Scheme.

It was funded by William Morris Big Local’s Community Chest programme.

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