A Suffolk première of Tony Hawks’ recently released film, Playing the Moldovans at Tennis, followed by an entertaining talk from the comedian on the trials and tribulations of translating two of his best-selling books to the Big Screen. Part of the Halesworth Arts Festival.
Tony is well-known for his appearances on radio panel game shows, such as I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, Just a Minute and The News Quiz, as well as on television programmes Have I got News for You and Grumpy Old Men.
About Tony Hawks' film
Tony is also a celebrated author; his first book Round Ireland with a Fridge sold over 500,000 copies and was followed by another best seller, Playing the Moldovans at Tennis. Both books, based on true stories, have been turning into films with the latest being co-directed by Tony and Mikolaj Jaroszewicz, the Polish cinematographer on the Oscar winning Peter and the Wolf.
The script sticks very closely to the original story when Tony, as he watched TV coverage of England beating Moldova 4-0 in football, made a wager with his friend (comedian Arthur Smith) that he could track down all 11 of the Moldovan football players and beat them at tennis.
As he attempted this unlikely feat, his journey took many unexpected turns and along the way Tony discovered that he may have bitten off more than he can chew; in Europe's poorest country, which endures daily power shortages, gangsters, and a lawless breakaway republic, he finds that it is not that easy to coax footballers onto a tennis court. Playing the Moldovans at Tennis is a warm and moving film, described by The Guardian as: “Unbridled amusement value.”
After the Event
As always the Halesworth Arts Festival was a resounding success and the WLT Charity Night with Tony Hawks was a highlight for us. Tony spoke with humour, wit and humility about his experiences shooting his latest film in Modova, about the people he met and the trials and tribulations of translating his books, "Playing the Modovans at Tennis" and "Round Ireland with a Fridge" to the Big Screen. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed watching his new film, "Playing the Modovans at Tennis".
Tony generously donated all his costs in support of the World Land Trust (WLT), and we also benefitted from ticket money on the evening; over £1,500 was raised for the Trust's urgent work. Tony was also delighted to collect £210 for the Modovan Children's Home that he supports. Thank you to Tony and to everyone who came along on the evening.
Tony supports WLT in many ways and donates the Public Lending Rights of all his books through WLT's Green Ink programme and often takes part in fundraising events. Tony said:
"I genuinely see what the charity does and I just think that it's a very good idea. Buying land to stop it being destroyed; once you've done that, there's no better way of protecting animals."
World Land Trust (WLT) was very pleased to be associated with Halesworth Arts Festival who are to be congratulated on a wonderful programme of events which welcomed a wide range of people from across the country.
- This event was part of the Halesworth Arts Festival (HAF); a major force in the arts in North Suffolk, HAF attracts capacity crowds every October, who come for the chance to see top quality artists in small, intimate surroundings. WLT would like to thank Halesworth Arts Festival for giving us this slot in the busy two-week schedule.
- Read an interview with Tony Hawks about his adventures at WLT’s conservation project in Paraguay