BLUE NOW – a live performance of Derek Jarman’s final film, BLUE

An all-star cast including Russell Tovey, Jay Bernard, Neil Bartlett and Joelle Taylor will perform a live version of Derek Jarman's BLUE, 30 years after it was first released.

Titled BLUE NOW, this live performance of Derek Jarman’s final film will be in Manchester for one night only, on Sunday 21 May 2023.

BLUE NOW will feature performances from Russell Tovey, Jay Bernard, Neil Bartlett and Joelle Taylor. They will be accompanied by live music from the original composer, Simon Fisher Turner.

Completed in May 1993 just months before Jarman’s death from HIV/Aids related complications, BLUE is a 74 minute piece that features an unchanging screen of deep celestial blue, which directly references artist Yves Klein’s evocation of the void using the colour International Klein Blue.

This highly moving piece is accompanied by voices including those of Jarman and long term collaborators Tilda Swinton, Nigel Terry and John Quentin, who deliver a collage of fragments from Jarman’s diary.

The extracts describing the gradual onset of blindness as Jarman battles with HIV and as his daily life is stripped away, only the essentials remain.

A haunting, poignant piece of cinema produced months before he died, BLUE was created during the height of the British AIDS epidemic and bears witness to its creator’s remarkable courage, and the rage and loss of an entire generation.

Portrait of the actor Russell Tovey. Russell is a white male with short grey hair, a dusting of stubble on his chin and is wearing a green grey top. He is stood in front of a cream coloured brick wall.

‘Derek Jarman is my hero, and I feel the power of his work more so than ever today. BLUE NOW will be a gift from Derek, to us, and I cannot wait for it to happen’ – Russell Tovey.

This will be the only live performance in Manchester and is part of a national tour that includes performances in Margate, London and Brighton.

Tickets for this one-off event will be on sale soon.

We’ll be updating our website in the next few days with details on how you can buy tickets.
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As an addition to the live performances, WeTransfer has commissioned a digital iteration of BLUE NOW to appear on its arts platform WePresent. This version will not copy the original BLUE but instead pay tribute to the original artwork and its creator Derek Jarman through the words and voices of contemporary LGBTQIA+ artists.

WeTransfer presents


in association with Fuel and Basilisk Communications

A film by Derek Jarman, performed live

Live event commissioned by WePresent by WeTransfer

Directed by Neil Bartlett

Performed by Russell Tovey, Jay Bernard, Neil Bartlett and Joelle Taylor

Soundmusic by Simon Fisher Turner

Produced by Fuel