Give Me The Banjo

Film Title:

Give Me The Banjo


    Friday 5 October 20:45
    Sunday 7 October 12:15


84 mins

Director: Marc Fields Country: USA
Writer: Marc Fields Original Format: HD
Dir. of Photography: Bruce Petschek Print Source: Marc Fields
Producer: Marc Fields
Cast: Steve Martin, Earl Scruggs, Pete Seeger

International Premiere

Comedian, actor and banjo aficionado Steve Martin leads this PBS-produced documentary examining the evolution of the banjo and its complicated place in American history. America's only native musical instrument, the banjo developed on Southern slave plantations and was quickly adopted by the highly popular minstrel performers of the late

19th century, making the transition from black folk instrument to widespread acceptance in white-led musical forms such as country, bluegrass and revivalist folk.


Illustrated with old photos and documents, archival film, vintage sound recordings and live performances, this documentary traces two centuries of rediscovery and reinvention and gives voice to banjo makers, devotees, collectors, experts, ethnomusicologists, historians and, of course, musicians. It covers key moments in the history of the banjo, from Joel Walker Sweeney's popularisation in the mid 19th century, through to the rapid evolution of musical styles in the 20th via the blues inflections of Gus Cannon, the country/bluegrass

innovations of Charlie Poole, the democratising influence of Pete Seeger and the subsequent rediscovery by urbanite folk revivalists. Also profiled are legendary banjo players such as Earl Scruggs, Roscoe Holcombe and Dock Boggs, key evolutionary figures like Bill Monroe and Bill Keith, as well as members of the modern renaissance led by the likes of Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn.

Stephen Morgan

Tickets Weekdays Before 5:00 - £5.00
All Other Times: £10.00
Book in person at the cinema
Telephone Booking: call 0871 224 0242 - but don't delay. Screenings sell out.
*The cheapest way to Raindance is with a Friends Pass

Practical Information

All screenings at Apollo Cinema Piccadilly Circus
19 Lower Regent Street


View Larger Map