This theatrical melodrama takes place in a 19th century Cornish mining town (yes, that does sound a lot like Poldark – ask your mum). When a touring opera company arrives to give a performance in the town hall, it finds itself tangled up in a scam to offload worthless shares in the mine. But then the mine unexpectedly yields new treasures…
What strikes you first is how distinctly un-cinematic Tin is; am-dram acting, flimsy sets and dodgy green-screen mean it wouldn’t even make it into the Sunday evening ITV schedule. To be brutally honest, this is the kind of thing you got shown at school to learn about the Victorian times that looks like it was made in the seventies.
But there’s a reason for that.
Tin is a micro-budget adaptation of a stage play, brought to the screen by various cultural organisations and public funders in a noble attempt to introduce the performing arts to new and wider audiences. It’s a definitely a commendable intention, but the execution is so amateurish, and the story so dull, that it’s hard to imagine this inspiring anyone to rush out to their local arts centre.
Even worse is that it completely loses what makes theatre so special – that frisson of energy, passion and danger you get with live performance.
UK theatres are currently full of vibrant and visceral stage plays, any number of which could be adapted for the screen to engage diverse audiences, but Tin is simply preaching to the middle-aged, middle-class choir.
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