Winged Bull takes flight

17th February 2018

Control room at National Gallery

Above is the temporary control room we have built for the weekend of 17-19 February at London’s National Gallery. We are shooting a complex and ambitious Performance Live film titled Winged Bull in the Elephant Case which will be shown on BBC Two in early March as part of BBC Television’s Civilisations Festival.

Here’s the outline from the press release for that project:

As the Second World War broke out and bombs menaced London, the National Gallery’s art collection was evacuated to Snowdonia, buried for safe-keeping deep in the Manod slate mines. Winged Bull in the Elephant Case dramatises the journey of a lost painting that takes human form, as it strives, with help from its friends, to get back to the National Gallery. Combining extraordinary dance forms, filmed underground and in the National Gallery, this immersive performance for the screen questions how far we should go to preserve our cultural heritage in the face of violence and aggression.

Winged Bull in the Elephant Case is produced by Studio Wayne McGregor. The production is written and directed by Robin Friend, directed by Wayne McGregor CBE, and the live screen director is Rhodri Huw. The music is composed by Joel Cadbury.

The programme features new choreography by Wayne McGregor, Charlotte Edmonds, Botis Seva and Bonetics. The programme is part of the Performance Live strand – a collaboration between Arts Council England, BBC Arts, and Battersea Arts Centre which brings some of the most innovative live theatre, dance, comedy and spoken word to BBC television.

The Executive Producer for the BBC is Emma Cahusac and the Strand Producers are Battersea Arts Centre and Andrew Fettis.

Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man: available on DVD and Blu-ray

1st November 2017

We are pleased to announce the DVD and Blu-ray release of Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man in conjunction with New Adventures. First seen in 2000, this production was filmed by Illuminations for Sky Arts in 2015. The DVD will be available on 20th November and the Blu-ray to be released on 11th December.

Inspired by both the book and film adaptation of A Postman Always Rings Twice and based loosely on Bizet’s opera Carmen, The Car Man swaps the 19th Century Spanish cigarette factory for a 1960s greasy garage-diner in mid-west America. The Car Man is a story about greed, lust, betrayal and revenge that is brought about when the introduction of a handsome stranger perturbs the townsfolk of Harmony.    

The original production won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Outstanding Musical Event and was a followed by a worldwide tour. Similarly, the 2015 production received glowing reviews and was screened worldwide in cinemas throughout 2016.

DVD extras include The Making of the Car Man that features interviews with key cast and crew including leading dancers Zizi Strallen and Chris Trenfield, Terry Davies and New Adventures’ founder, Matthew Bourne.  You can read more about the DVD and purchase it here or the Blu-ray here.

The release of The Car Man on DVD and Blu-ray coincides with Matthew Bourne’s adaptation of Cinderella which opens in December at Sadler’s Wells and will be touring the rest of the country into next year. 

Announcing Basquiat documentary

17th August 2017

To coincide with the opening in September of the first large-scale exhibition at London’s Barbican Gallery of iconic American painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, we are pleased to announce the release of a DVD documentary, Jean-Michel Basquiat: A Life, directed by Jean-Michel Vecchiet.

Offering a dazzling chronology of Basquiat’s journey from humble teenager in downtown 1980s New York towards artistic glory in just 7 years, Vecchiet constructs a dramatic narrative via a whirlwind of images, literature, music and personal testimonies to reveal the explosive creativity of this self-taught.

DVD extras include interviews with Glenn O’Brien, Maripol, Suzanne Mallouk, Agnes B and Enrico Navarra. Jean-Michel Basquiat is produced by Arte and distributed in the UK by Illuminations.

You can read more about the film and purchase the DVD here.

Jean-Michel Basquiat is also featured in our exciting and challenging documentary series, The State of the Art, available as a 2-disc DVD set.

Filmed in Europe, the United States and Australia in 1985-6, the six programmes feature many key artists including Joseph Beuys, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cindy Sherman, Antony Gormley, Hans Haacke and Eric Fischl.  Each film adopts a thematic approach, with episodes looking at History, Value, Imagination, Politics, Sexuality and Identity.


New Architectures titles

28th July 2017

We are pleased to announce the release of four new products in our best-selling Architectures series. To complete the series, Volumes 9 and 10 and a bonus film, Paris, are now available either separately or as an 11-DVD box set.

Complete Series 11 DVD Boxset

The set features all 11 Architectures films including newly released volumes 9 and 10 alongside a bonus film, Paris.

Architectures 9

Comprising of 6 x 26 minute films about The Glass Galleon, France; The French Communist Party’s headquarters, France; The Glasgow School of Art, Scotland; The Unal House, France; Itimad-ud-Davlah, India; The Van Nelle factory, The Netherlands.

Architectures 10

Comprising of 6 x 26 minute films about The Wa Shan Guesthouse, China; Roissy 1, France; The Iron House, Belgium; The Philips Exeter Academy Library, USA; The Home for All at Rizkuzentakata, Japan; The Hotels de Soubise and de Rohan, France.

Paris (bonus volume)

Forming the 11th volume in the complete box set, this is the story of how Paris became a vibrant metropolis told through two films: Paris, The Invention of the Modern City (black and white, 49 mins) and Paris Ring (colour, 54 mins).

Richard II released

20th December 2016

We are thrilled to announce that Richard II directed by Deborah Warner with Fiona Shaw as the king is now available on our DVD label and can be purchased here for £17.99. Twenty years ago we produced this television version of the ground-breaking 1995 production at the National Theatre, but it has not previously been released in any video format. As Peter Kirwan writes in a generous review

The timing of the release couldn’t be better, coming as it does hot on the heels of the Royal Exchange’s Hamlet, the RSC’s Cymbeline, the Old Vic’s King Lear and the Donmar’s Shakespeare trilogy. The ‘moment’ of women playing Shakespeare’s leading male roles on a widespread scale has finally arrived, and as such it feels fitting that Fiona Shaw’s breath-taking Richard II can now also reach a broader audience, twenty years on.


‘Illuminations deserve some kind of medal’

15th September 2016

We’re absolutely delighted that Robert Hanks has written a review for the October issue of Sight&Sound our DVD box set of 1965 BBC-RSC History plays cycle, The Wars of the Roses. More details of the set, as well as the opportunity to purchase it, can be found here.

I hope that Sight&Sound will forgive us for reprinting the review (as it’s not online), which begins by comparing the series with the recent trilogy The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses: (more…)

The Wars of the Roses redux

14th July 2016

We are delighted that our DVD box set of the BBC-RSC co-production The Wars of the Roses has been reprinted and is back on sale both here and on Amazon.

Among the dozen or more 5-star Amazon reviews is this one:

Thank you BBC for at last releasing these gems. You’ve made my decade. I saw them at 15 and am now 75! A very long wait indeed.

A regrettable production error meant that the discs were wrongly labelled in some of the first copies. If you are unfortunate to have one of these, please mail with your postal address and we will send you replacement discs.

Natalia Osipova at Sadler’s Wells

9th July 2016

A week ago we were thrilled to record for Sky Arts Natalia Osipova’s trio of new contemporary dances at Sadler’s Wells. Osipova was joined on stage for two of the pieces by Sergei Polunin, which was the first time that they have danced together in the UK. The programme will be transmitted as part of the Hot Ticket strand on Sky Arts on Monday 18 July. Inspired by Osipova, the dances were commissioned by her from the leading contemporary choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Russell Maliphant and Arthur Pita. Produced by Sadler’s Wells these performances marked the world premiere of each piece, and they will be seen again at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh as part of the 2016 Edinburgh International Festival from 12 – 14 August 2016. (more…)

The Wars of the Roses – grrrr!

1st July 2016

We have discovered that a number of the first box sets of The Wars of the Roses include mis-labelled discs. This is especially disappointing for us given how much effort has gone into their production. The duplication facility has ackowledged their mistake and are rapidly re-printing corrected versions. We hope to have to have these new sets of discs within a week. If you discover that you have such a set, in which the disc label and the contents do not match up, please send your postal address to and we will send out a new version to you within a few days. And please accept our apologies for this screw-up.

The Wars of the Roses release

15th June 2016

We are delighted to confirm that our exclusive 3-disc DVD of The Wars of the Roses will be released on Tuesday 28 June. Adapted from the Henry VI plays and Richard III by William Shakespeare, this is the Royal Shakespeare Company production filmed by the BBC in 1964 and available for the first time since their broadcast on BBC 1 in 1965. One of the greatest achievements of the RSC and of British television in the 1960s has been digitally restored and is at last available on DVD.

‘A monumental production. One of the mightiest stage projects of our time, a production to remember all our lives.’
Bernard Levin writing for the Daily Mail in July 1963

The 3 discs contain 505 minutes including extras and retail at £29.99. (more…)