BBC Biggest Weekend

BBC Radio 1’s The Biggest Weekend features two days of live music and takes place across four locations including Titanic Slipways – Belfast, Northern Ireland, Scone Palace – Perth, Scotland, Singleton Park – Swansea, Wales and the War Memorial Park in Coventry, England, between Friday 25 May and Spring bank holiday Monday 28 May.

In Belfast, fans will be able to see Beck, Manic Street Preachers, Courtney Barnett, Franz Ferdinand, First Aid Kit, Ash, young Fathers, Lykke Li Neneh Cherry and Public Service Broadcasting. Meanwhile Perth will host Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Simple Minds, Emeli Sande, The Shires, Jamie Cullum, Nigel Kennedy and Amy McDonald. In Coventry, there will be performances from Liam Gallagher, Paloma Faith, Snow Patrol, Stereophonics and UB40.

Swansea, will play host to Smith, Ed Sheeran, Craig David, Jess Glynne, George Ezra, Years & Years, Liam Payne, Anne-Marie, Taylor Swift, Florence and the Machine, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Rita Ora, Nial Horan, Jason Derulo, Bastille, Wolf Alice, Chvrches, James Bay, Christine and the Queens, J Hus, Stefflon Don, Jorja Smith, Sigrid, Mabel, Panic! At The Disco, Jax Jones, Jessie Ware, Orbital, Underworld and Demi Lovato.

Lenny Kravitz

American singer-songwriter,multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actor and arranger Lenny Kravitz was born 26 May 1964. Kravitz began banging on pots and pans in the kitchen, playing them as drums at the age of three. At the age of five, he wanted to be a musician. He began playing the drums and soon added guitar. Kravitz grew up listening to the music his parents listened to: R&B, jazz,classical, opera, gospel, and blues. “My parents were very supportive of the fact that I loved music early on, and they took me to a lot of shows,” Kravitz said. Around the age of seven, he saw The Jackson 5 perform at Madison Square Garden, which became his favorite group.His father, who was also a jazz promoter, was friends with Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Short, Miles Davis and other jazz greats. Ellington even played “Happy Birthday” for him one year when he was about 5.

He was exposed to the soul music of Motown, Stax, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Gladys Knight, The Isley Brothers and Gamble and Huff growing up who were key influences on his musical style. Kravitz often went to see New York theater, where his mother worked. His mother encouraged his dreams of pursuing music.In 1974, the Kravitz family relocated to Los Angeles when Kravitz’s mother landed her role on The Jeffersons. At his mother’s urging, Kravitz joined the California Boys Choir for three years, where he performed a classical repertoire, and sang with the Metropolitan Opera. He took part in Mahler’s Third Symphony at the Hollywood Bowl. It was in Los Angeles that Kravitz was first introduced to rock music, listening to Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Aerosmith, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Cream, and The Who.”I was attracted to the cool style, the girls, the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle,” Kravitz said. Kravitz’s other musical influences at the time included Fela Kuti, Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye,Pharoah Sanders and Miles Davis; John Lennon and Bob Marley proved later to be influential as well.Kravitz attended Beverly Hills High School. Maria McKee, actor Nicolas Cage and musician Slash were his classmates. In 1978, Kravitz was accepted into the school’s well-respected music program. He taught himself to play piano and bass, and made friends with Zoro who would later become his long-time collaborator.

Kravitz wanted to be a session musician. He also appeared as an actor in television commercials during this time. Kravitz’ “retro” style incorporates elements of rock, soul, R&B, funk, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, folk and ballads. In addition to singing lead and backing vocals, Kravitz often played all the guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and percussion himself when recording. So Kravitz decided to record an album on his own. Kravitz had met recording engineer/keyboardist/bassist Henry Hirsch in 1985 when recording a demo at his Hoboken, New Jerseyrecording studio. Kravitz released his début album Let Love Rule on September 6, 1989, a combination of rock and funk with a general 1960s vibe. Music critics were mixed: some felt Kravitz was a gifted new artist, others felt he was overpowered by his musical influences.

The album was a moderate success in the United States, but became an instant hit outside of the US, especially in Europe. Lisa Bonet directed the debut music video for the title track, “Let Love Rule.” Stephen Smith signed Kravitz with talent booking agency CAA, he was soon opening for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Bob Dylan and David Bowie. Kravitz also produced the song “Justify My Love” for Madonna, which he co-wrote with Ingrid Chavez. The song, which appeared on her greatest hits album The Immaculate Collection. .In 1991, Kravitz produced the self-titled album Vanessa Paradis for French singer and actress Vanessa Paradis. He also released his second album, Mama Said, which included Kravitz’s biggest single yet, “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over,”and the single “Always on the Run,” a tribute to his mother, featured Slash on guitar. “Stand By My Woman” and “What Goes Around Comes Around” followed.Sean Lennon co-wrote and played piano on the song “All I Ever Wanted”

In 1995, Lenny Kravitz released the album Circus, which went to number 10 on the Billboard chart on the back of his past achievement. However, the album only had two hit singles: “Rock and Roll Is Dead” and “Can’t Get You Off My Mind.”With 5 (1998), Kravitz embraced digital technology such as Pro Tools and samplers for the first time. 5 introduced his music to an even wider audience thanks to the hit single “Fly Away” being featured prominently in both car manufacturer and airline commercials. 5would reach number 28 on the Billboard 200, with “Fly Away” reaching number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 in the United Kingdom. He would win the first of his four consecutive Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance at the Grammy Awards of 1999.

Other hits from the album included “If You Can’t Say No”, that was also remixed by dance producer Brian Transeau, and “I Belong to You.” For the I Belong to You video Lenny can be seen without his signature dreadlocks. In 1999 he produced and sang with Cree Summer on her solo album Street Faerie.Kravitz worked on two songs for Michael Jackson’s Invincible album released in 2001; a snippet of “Another Day” has leaked, and the full version was officially released on the album Michael in 2010 .[14]Kravitz released a Greatest Hits album in 2000. It proved to be his most successful album, reaching #2 on the Billboard 200 and selling nearly 11 million copies worldwide and ultimately becoming one of the most commercially successful albums of the decade. The single “Again” earned him his third consecutive Grammy for the Best Male Rock Vocal in the Grammy Awards of 2001 and peaked at number 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Kravitz also co-wrote the song “God Gave Me Everything” with Mick Jagger in this period, appearing on Jagger’s 2001 solo album Goddess in the Doorway and in the film Being Mick.

On 2001, Kravitz released his sixth album Lenny and participated in a benefit auction for the Red Hot Organization, in conjunction with Amazon.com to increase public AIDS awareness, which ran from February 28 until April 11, 2001. The event featured rare RHO memorabilia and the work of Rolling Stone photographer Mark Seliger.In 1993, Kravitz wrote “Line Up” for Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, and appeared on Mick Jagger’s solo album, Wandering Spirit, in a cover of the Bill Withers soul classic “Use Me”, and played guitar on the title track of David Bowie’s The Buddha of Suburbia. That year Kravitz also got to work with idols Al Green and Curtis Mayfield.In 1993, Are You Gonna Go My Way was released, reaching number 12 on the Billboard 200 and Kravitz earned a BRIT Award for best international male artist in 1994. The title track won a MTV Video Music Award for Best Male Video for the video produced by Mark Romanek, in which Kravitz slung his dreadlocks and wore high-heeled platform boots.

During the presentation of the MTV Video Music Awards, he performed the song with John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin on bass. Several singles from the album would follow including, “Believe,” “Is There Any Love In Your Heart,” and “Heaven Help/Spinning Around Over You.” This album was the first to feature guitaristCraig Ross, who has also played on all his subsequent albums. One song, “Eleutheria,” was influenced by the island Eleuthera in The Bahamas where Kravitz built a house and recording studio. In 1993, he also released the EP Spinning Around Over You, which included four live tracks from his “Universal Love Tour”. A feature documentary about his 1994 tour entitled Alive From Planet Earth was directed by Doug Nichol and released.In 1994, Kravitz recorded a funk-rock version of the song “Deuce,” for the KISS cover album KISS My Ass: Classic KISS Regrooved. The track featured Stevie Wonder on harmonica and background vocals. This song was one of three radio singles from the album, and was also the album’s lead-off track.

Kravitz’s seventh album Baptism was released in May 2004. The first single was “Where Are We Runnin’?”. The single “California” failed to be commercially successful, but “Storm”, featuring Jay-Z, reached the charts. “Calling All Angels” was successful in various countries and a huge hit in Brazil, however it was “Lady” that became the album’s surprise hit, making the US Top 30 and propelling Baptism to gold status. He also appeared on N.E.R.D’s album Fly or Die. During 2005, Kravitz toured all over the world with the tour Electric Church, which ended at the Brixton Academy, London in July 2005. Kravitz toured alongside Aerosmith on their autumn 2005 tour, starting at the Mohegan Sun Arena inUncasville, Connecticut. The night before that tour started, October 29, 2005, Lenny’s father TV Producer Sy Kravitz died. During that first show, Lenny broke the news to the stunned crowd and stated it was not a time to be sad but rather a time to celebrate because he is now in Heaven. Lenny then dedicated Let Love Rule to his father. That tour was so successful that it was extended through February 25, 2006 and ended in Anaheim, California. In January 2006, Kravitz contributed “Breathe” to absoluttracks, a project sponsored by Absolut Vodka. Lately, Kravitz has founded a design firm named Kravitz Design, stating if he hadn’t been a musician he would have been a designer. Kravitz Design, focused on interior and furniture design, has designed residential spaces, as well as a chandelier for the crystal company Swarovski, named “Casino Royale”.

In 2007, Kravitz performed at the Brazilian leg of Live Earth in Rio de Janeiro, making him one of three major international rock stars to perform two huge free concerts at the world-famous Copacabana Beach along with Macy Gray and the Rolling Stones. Also in 2007, Kravitz released a version of “Cold Turkey” by John Lennon on the charity CD Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. Kravitz also spent time recording the album, It Is Time for a Love Revolution, released February 5, 2008. He also performed on the 2007, the Fats Domino tribute album “Goin’ Home ; A Tribute To Fats Domino” on the song “Whole Lotta Lovin’” along with Rebirth Brass Band, Troy “Trombone Shorty” On July 15, 2008, Lenny was honored in Milan, Italy with the key to the city in a special toast ceremony for his work with the United Nations Millennium Campaign to end world poverty. Kravitz’ next album, tentatively titled Funk, was tentatively re-titled Negrophilia Featuring the songs ”Stand”, “Super Love” “Come on Get It” and “Life Ain’t Never Been Better Than It Is Now” Eventually the album was later named Black and White America. On May 23, 2011, Lionsgate announced that Kravitz would be joining the cast and crew of The Hunger Games, as Katniss’ creative stylist, Cinna.

Kravitz has won many awards including the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance four years in a row from 1999 to 2002, breaking the record for most wins in that category as well as setting the record for most consecutive wins in one category by a male. He has been nominated for and won other awards, including American Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, Radio Music Awards, BRIT Awards and Blockbuster Entertainment Awards. On December 1, 2011, Kravitz was made an Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He plays the role of Cinna in The Hunger Games film series. Kravitz was honored with one of the highest cultural awards in France when he was made an Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by French cultural minister Frederic Mitterrand in Paris.

Stevie Nicks ( Fleetwood Mac)

Stevie Nicks musician with Fleetwood Mac was born 26 May 1948. Fleetwood Mac were formed in 1966 in London, they were originally named The Bluesbreakers and Founder Peter Green named the group by combining he surnames of two of his bandmates (Fleetwood and McVie). Christine Mcvie joined the band in 1970 while married to John McVie, Green asked if drummer Mick Fleetwood could join having already been in two bands with Fleetwood. The Bluesbreakers now consisted of Green, Fleetwood, John McVie and Mayall. Green contacted Fleetwood to form a new band and wanted McVie on bass guitar even naming the band ‘Fleetwood Mac’ as a way to entice him. The band made its debut in 1967 at the Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival. Feetwood Mac’s first album, Fleetwood Mac, was a no-frills blues album. The band soon released two singles “Black Magic Woman” (later a big hit for Santana) and “Need Your Love So Bad”.The band’s second album, Mr. Wonderful, was released in August 1968. Like the first it was an all-blues album, Then next album was Then Play on”.

Sadly Peter Green left and Fleetwood Mac released Kiln House which was more rock. Spencer’s wrote the country-tinged “Sun Sound” meanwhile Christine contributed to Kiln House, singing backup vocals, and drawing the album cover. They also released a single “Dragonfly” b/w “The Purple Dancer” . Christine McVie, made her first appearance with the band in 1969 and played her first gig as an official member on 6 August 1970 in New Orleans. An album of previously unreleased material from the original Fleetwood Mac called The Original Fleetwood Mac was also released, Then While on tour in 1971, guitarist Jeremy Spencer disappeared and After several days of frantic searching, the band discovered that he had joined a religious group, the Children of God. So the band hired Bob Welch as Guitarist. In September 1971, the band released “Future Games” and “Bare Trees” six months later. This featured the songs “Sentimental Lady”, &“Spare Me a Little of Your Love”, sadly whilst on tour Danny Kirwan developed an alcohol dependency and Fleetwood fired him. In September 1972, the band added guitarist Bob Weston and vocalist Dave Walker and also hired Savoy Brown’s road manager, John Courage.

Mick, John, Christine, Welch, Weston, and Walker recorded the album “Penguin”. After the tour, the band fired Walker The remaining five recorded “Mystery to Me” six months later containing the song “Hypnotized” . However, things were not well within the band. The McVies’ marriage was under a lot of stress, aggravated by their constant working together, and John McVie’s considerable alcohol abuse. During the tour, Weston also had an affair with Fleetwood’s wife, Jenny Boyd Fleetwood, the sister of Pattie Boyd Harrison. Fleetwood soon fired Weston and the tour was cancelled and in one of the most bizarre events in rock history, the band’s manager, Clifford Davis, claimed that he owned the name Fleetwood Mac and put out a “fake Mac”. Nobody in the “fake Mac” was ever officially in the real band, Fans were told that Bob Welch and John McVie had quit the group, and that Mick Fleetwood and Christine McVie would be joining the band at a later date. Fleetwood Mac’s road manager, John Courage, hid the real Fleetwood Mac’s equipment, which helped shorten the tour by the fake band. But the lawsuit that followed put the real Fleetwood Mac out of commission for almost a year. The issue was who actually owned the name “Fleetwood Mac”. Unfortunately Fleetwood and McVie, had signed contracts forfeiting the rights to the name. The “real” Fleetwood Mac were in fact Fleetwood, Welch and the McVies. While this did not end the legal battle, the band was able to record as Fleetwood Mac again.

Fleetwood Mac decided to manage themselves and released Heroes Are Hard to Find in September 1974 and added a second keyboardist Doug Graves. After Welch left the band, Fleetwood began searching for a possible replacement. While Fleetwood was scouting Van Nuys, California,Mick Fleetwood heard a song titled “Frozen Love” by an American band, Buckingham Nicks. Fleetwood liked it, and invited the guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and his musical partner and girlfriend, Stephanie “Stevie” Nicks, to join Fleetwood Mac. In 1975, the new line-up released the eponymous Fleetwood Mac which contained Christine McVie’s “Over My Head”, “Say You Love Me”, and Stevie Nicks’ “Rhiannon” and “Landslide” .

Sadly the breakdown of John and Christine McVie’s marriage, Mick Fleetwood and Jenny’s marriage and Buckingham and Nicks’ long term romantic relationship, plus creative and personal tensions, fuelled by high consumption of drugs and alcohol, created problems within the band. This resulted in the album Rumours, in which they laid bare the emotional turmoil experienced at that time. Critically acclaimed, it was the recipient of the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for 1977. Hit singles included Buckingham’s “Go Your Own Way”, Nicks’s U.S. No.1 “Dreams”, and Christine McVie’s “Don’t Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun”. Buckingham’s “Second Hand News”, Nicks’ “Gold Dust Woman” and “The Chain”. ’Buckingham pursuaded Fleetwood to make the next album more experimental and the result was the quirky 20-track double album, Tusk. It spawned three hit singles; Lindsey Buckingham’s “Tusk” Christine McVie’s “Think About Me” and Stevie Nicks’ 6½ minute opus “Sara” .Tusk remains one of Fleetwood Mac’s most ambitious albums to date. The band also recorded music for the Fleetwood Mac Live album, which was released at the end of 1980.The next album, 1982′s Mirage, followed solo albums by Nicks (Bella Donna) and Buckingham (Law and Order). Mirage was a return to the more conventional sound to recapture the huge success of Rumours. Its hits included Christine McVie’s “Hold Me” and “Love In Store” Stevie Nicks’s “Gypsy”, and Lindsey Buckingham’s “Oh Diane”, “Eyes Of The World” and “Can’t Go Back”.

Following Mirage, the band members went on to pursue solo careers. Stevie Nicks released two more solo albums (1983′s The Wild Heart and 1985′s Rock a Little), Lindsey Buckingham issued Go Insane in 1984, the same year that Christine McVie made an eponymous album (yielding the Top 10 hit “Got A Hold On Me” and the Top 40 hit “Love Will Show Us How”). However, during this period, Mick Fleetwood filed for bankruptcy, Nicks was admitted to the Betty Ford Clinic for addiction problems, and John McVie had suffered an addiction-related seizure—all attributed to the lifestyle of excess afforded to them by their worldwide success and It was rumoured that Fleetwood Mac had finally broken up. Fleetwood Mac recorded the album, Tango in the Night, in 1987. The album went on to become their best-selling release since Rumours, Itcontained four hits: Christine McVie’s “Little Lies” and “Everywhere” (the former being co-written with McVie’s new husband Eddy Quintela), Sandy Stewart and Stevie Nicks’ “Seven Wonders”, and Lindsey Buckingham’s “Big Love”. “Family Man”, “Isn’t It Midnight”, Lindsey Buckingham left and Following his departure, Fleetwood Mac added two new guitarists to the band,Billy Burnette and Rick Vito. Vito, was a Peter Green admirer, and had played with many artists from Bonnie Raitt to John Mayall, and even worked with John McVie on two Mayall albums.

Capitalising on the success of Tango in the Night, the band continued with a Greatest Hits album in 1988 which featured singles from the 1975–88 era, and included two new songs: “No Questions Asked” , and “As Long as You Follow” . It was dedicated to Buckingham. Fleetwood Mac then recorded the album Behind the Mask, which included McVie’s “Save Me”. The subsequent “Behind the Mask” tour saw the band play sold out shows at London’s Wembley Stadium, and on the final show in Los Angeles, the band were joined onstage by Buckingham. The two women of the band, who, had both decided that the tour would be their last though both stated that they would still record with the band. However, in 1991, both Nicks and Rick Vito left Fleetwood Mac altogether. In 1992, Fleetwood himself arranged a 4-disc box set spanning highlights from the band’s 25 year history, titled 25 Years – The Chain. The box set, included brand new songs, “Paper Doll”, “Heart of Stone”,”Love Shines”, and “Make Me a Mask”, Mick Fleetwood also released a deluxe hardcover companion book to coincide with the release of the box set, titled My 25 Years in Fleetwood Mac, which features many rare photographs and notes (written by Fleetwood himself) detailing the band’s 25 year history.

Inspired by the new interest in the band, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Christine McVie recorded another album as Fleetwood Mac, with Billy Burnette The band, minus Christine McVie, toured in 1994 performing classic Fleetwood Mac songs from the initial 1967–1974 era. On 10 October 1995, Fleetwood Mac released Time and disbanded. Bramlett and Burnette subsequently formed a country music duo, Bekka & Billy. Just weeks after disbanding Fleetwood Mac, Mick Fleetwood announced that he was working with Lindsey Buckingham again. John McVie was soon added to the sessions, and later Christine McVie. Stevie Nicks also enlisted Lindsey Buckingham to produce a song for the Twister film soundtrack. This eventually led to a full Rumours line-up reunion when the band officially reformed in March 1997. The regrouped Mac performed a live concert and from this performance came the 1997 live album The Dance. They also released the 20th anniversary of their Rumours album. In 1998, Fleetwood Mac (Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and performed at the Grammy Awards program that year. They were also the recipients of the “Outstanding Contribution to Music” award at the BRIT Awards. In 1998, Christine McVie left the band permanently, Her departure left Buckingham and Nicks to sing all the lead vocals for the band’s 2003 album,Say You Will, although Christine did contribute some backing vocals and keyboards. The album yielded chart hits with “Peacekeeper” and the title track.”Fleetwood Mac toured in 2009, The tour was branded as a ‘greatest hits’ show entitled Unleashed, Stevie Nicks also premiered part of a new song that she had written about Hurricane Katrina. The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac was re-released And an episode of Glee entitled “Rumours” which featured six songs from the band’s 1977 album was also broadcast sparking renewed interest in the band, Rumours also re-entered the charts, the same week Stevie Nicks’ new solo album In Your Dreams. Fleetwood Mac reunited for 2013 minus two of the orginall members: late guitarist and singer Bob Weston and late guitarist Bob Welch and performed two new songs (“Sad Angel” and “Without You”),

Matt Sone (South Park, Team America)

Best known for being the co-creator of South Park along with his creative partner and best friend Trey Parker, the American actor, voice artist,animator, screenwriter, director, producer and musician, Matthew Richard “Matt” Stone was born May 26, 1972 in Houston, Texas, he attended Heritage High School and graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder,becoming their first student to double major in film and mathematics. Matt Stone and and his friend Trey Parker launched their largely collaborative careers in 1992, making a holiday short titled Jesus vs. Frosty. Their first success came from Alferd Packer: The Musical, subsequently distributed as Cannibal! The Musical. From there he made another short entitled Jesus vs. Santa, leading him and college friend Parker to create South Park. He has four Emmy Awards for his role in South Park, winning for oth “Outstanding Programming More Than One Hour” and “Outstanding Programming Less Than One Hour”

In 1992, Stone and Parker created the short film Jesus vs. Frosty, which included four boys, two resembling Stan Marsh and Kyle Broflovski, one called Kenny who looked likeCartman, and a fourth unnamed boy who looked like Kenny. Both Jesus and Cannibal! The Musical were made while they were students at the University of Colorado film school, studying under both Stan Brakhage and Jerry Aronson. After the duo releasedCannibal! The Musical, they were asked to make another animated short. They came down to two ideas: one a sequel to Jesus vs. Frosty, and one about a character that would later be recurring in South Park, Mr. Hankey. They chose to write about the four boys, and Stone and Parker produced 13 episodes for season 1. The video landed in the hands of Comedy Central who thought it was hilarious and South Park is currently still under contract.

In 1999, Stone and Parker made South Park bigger, longer and uncut and the film’s music was nominated for an Academy Award.As of 2007, Parker is credited with directing and writing the vast majority of South Park episodes, and voicing most of the regular and guest characters, leading fans to question Stone’s involvement in the creative process. On September 25, 2013, South Park’s seventeenth season will premiere. In 1997, they also released Orgazmo and In 1998, they starred in (but did not write or direct) BASEketball, another feature film, while being renewed for a second season of South Park. In 2001, the duo announced they would do 39 shorts between the lengths of 2 and 5 minutes. Although originally thought to be South Park related, they decided they would do something different. The result was the shorts Princess. The content was so extreme that it was cancelled after two shows aired. In 2001, they also created That’s My Bush!, another television series, which was cancelled after one season. In 2004, they made a film, titled Team America: World Police.

Stone is also a member of the band DVDA with Parker, for which he plays bass and drums. DVDA’s songs have appeared in many of the duo’s productions, including Orgazmo, BASEketball, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, and Team America: World Police.On January 14, 2013, Stone and Parker announced that they would be starting a film production company called Important Studios. Inspired by the production work of Lucasfilm and DreamWorks,

Dracula

The classic gothic horror novel Dracula by Bram Stoker was first published 26th May 1897. it features an Estate Agent named Jonathan Harker who is dispatched to Transylvania to finalize the move of a mysterious and enigmatic and charismatic Romanian nobleman called Count Dracula, who is intending to move to England. Unfortunately this proves to rather dangerous. Meanwhile the Count leaves Transylvania and travels to England aboard the vessel Dimeter, and all the crew mysteriously vanish and the ship runs aground at Whitby. Having arrived in England Dracula successfully purchases multiple estates under the alias ‘Count De Ville’ throughout London. Whilst in Whitby Dracula then encounters Lucy Westenra, who also lives in Whitby, and who soon begins suffering from mysterious episodes of sleepwalking and dementia which baffle every doctor. Then Lucy begins to waste away suspiciously for no apparent reason. Meanwhile Dracula communicates with Seward’s mentally unstable patient Renfield, who also worked as as an Estate Agent and was also sent to Transylvania before Harker but has never been the same since he returned.

Mystified, by his daughter’s illness Seward invites his old teacher, Abraham Van Helsing, who immediately determines the true cause of Lucy’s condition. He diagnoses inexplicable blood loss. Helsing prescribes numerous blood transfusions to which Dr. Seward, Helsing, Quincy and Arthur all contribute over time. Helsing also prescribes flowers to be placed throughout her room and weaves a necklace of withered Garlic Blossoms for her to wear as well. She however continues to waste away – appearing to lose blood every night. Then Lucy and her mother are attacked by a wolf; Mrs. Westenra, dies of fright. Van Helsing attempts to protect her with garlic. The doctors find two small puncture marks about her neck, which Dr Seward is at a loss to understand. Helsing then places a crucifix around her neck, but soon after she is discovered dead with the crucifix missing.

Following Lucy’s death, the newspapers report children being stalked in the night. Van Helsing, knowing Lucy has become a vampire, confides in Seward, Lord Godalming, and Morris. The suitors and Van Helsing track her down and confront her. Meanwhile Jonathan Harker arrives from Budapest, where Mina marries him after his escape. They team up to clobber Dracula however Dracula learns of the group’s plot against him, and attacks Mina on three occasions, and feeds Mina his own blood to control her. This curses Mina with vampirism but does not completely turn her into a vampire. Van Helsing attempts to cure Mina and hypnotized her into revealing Dracula’s whereabouts. Having discovered their actions Dracula flees back to his castle in Transylvania and They pursue him under the guidance of Mina leading to an exciting final showdown.

Bram Stoker was born 8 November 1847 in Clontarf, Dublin Ireland and was bed-ridden until he started school at the age of seven, when he made a complete recovery. Of this time, Stoker wrote, “I was naturally thoughtful, and the leisure of long illness gave opportunity for many thoughts which were fruitful according to their kind in later years.” He was educated in a private school run by the Rev. William Woods.After his recovery, he grew up without further major health issues, even excelling as an athlete (he was named University Athlete) at Trinity College, Dublin, which he attended from 1864 to 1870. He graduated with honours in mathematics. He was auditor of the College Historical Society and president of the University Philosophical Society, where his first paper was on “Sensationalism in Fiction and Society”.

Stoker became interested in the theatre while a student through a friend, Dr. Maunsell. He became the theatre critic for the Dublin Evening Mail, co-owned by the author of Gothic tales Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. Stoker also wrote stories, and in 1872 “The Crystal Cup” was published by the London Society, followed by “The Chain of Destiny” in four parts in The Shamrock. In 1876, while a civil servant in Dublin, Stoker wrote a non-fiction book (The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, published 1879), which remained a standard work . Furthermore, he possessed an interest in art, and was a founder of the Dublin Sketching Club in 1874. On 31 December 1879, Stoker became acting manager and then business manager of Irving’s Lyceum Theatre, London, he became involved in London’s high society, and met Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (to whom he was distantly related)

Managing one of the most successful theatres in London made Stoker a notable if busy man. In London Stoker also met Hall Caine who became one of his closest friends – he dedicated Dracula to him. Although Stoker travelled the world, he never visited Eastern Europe, a setting for his most famous novel. Stoker enjoyed the United States,While working as a manager, secretary and director of London’s Lyceum Theatre, he began writing novels beginning with The Snake’s Pass in 1890 and Dracula in 1897. During this period, Stoker was also part of the literary staff of the London Daily Telegraph and wrote other fiction, including the horror novels The Lady of the Shroud (1909) and The Lair of the White Worm (1911). In 1906, he managed productions at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Before writing Dracula, Stoker spent several years researching European folklore and mythological stories of vampires. At the time of its publication, Dracula was considered a “straightforward horror novel” based on imaginary creations of supernatural life. “It gave form to a universal fantasy and became a part of popular culture.” Stoker’s inspirations for the story, in addition to Whitby, may have included a visit to Slains Castle in Aberdeenshire, a visit to the crypts of St. Michan’s Church in Dublin and the novella Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu.

Coincidentally The late great English Actor Peter Cushing OBE (Who starred in many film adaptations of Dracula was born on May 26th in 1913. He debuted in The Man in the Iron Mask, then returned in 1941 after roles in several films. In one, A Chump at Oxford (1940), he appeared alongside Laurel and Hardy. His first major film part was as Osric in Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet (1948). During the 1950s, he also worked in television, notably as Winston Smith in the BBC’s adaptation of the George Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four and the films The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and Dracula (1958). He has also played the vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing many times, and the distinguished-looking but sinister scientist Baron Frankenstein amongst many other roles, often appearing opposite Christopher Lee, and occasionally Vincent Price. A familiar face on both sides of the Atlantic, his most famous roles outside of “Hammer Horror” include his many appearances as Sherlock Holmes.

Peter Cushing also appeared as the villainous Imperial Officer Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars episode IV, which came out 25th May 1977 and which celebrates the 40th Anniversary of its release in 2017. His likeness was also digitally created for the film Rogue One. Cushing also starred as the mysterious Timelord The Doctor in the film Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks – Invasion Earth 2150 AD in 1965 and 1966, both based on Doctor Who. Cushing is best rememberes for his association with the roles of Baron Victor Frankenstein and Van Helsing in a long string of horror films produced by Hammer Film Productions, in which He was often cast opposite the actor Christopher Lee, with whom he became best friends and who also starred in Star Wars episodes II and III.