The Arena is part of the multi-award winning short film trilogy Time and Tide.
Greta Scacchi stars in this story of a gladiator fighting for his life, while his mother watches on, unable to protect him. While trying to distract herself from the danger he is in, she is reminded of happier times when he was a child under her care, free from responsibility. Greta’s performance creates an air of intimacy, drawing attention to the emotion that she shows in the moment, while she narrates the story in such a way that brings the past to life.
Dreamlike sequences of a child, played by Dan Newman, intercut the central performance, with the connection between the boy on the beach and the gladiator in the narrative coming together at the very end.
Lucy Nordberg wrote Time and Tide to explore our experience of time, as we live our individual lives while subject to the wider influence of society and history.
Behind the Scenes
Filmed during Covid19 restrictions, the closed and limited nature of the set with a minimal crew helped to produce the concentrated atmosphere necessary to create the film. Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, West Wittering beach is an idyllic sandy beach located at the entrance to Chichester Harbour, chosen for this film as a place that could easily bring to mind childhood memories of the seaside – in fact writer Lucy Nordberg had spent time there as a child, playing freely but watched over by her mother, a memory of which inspired the piece. Cast and crew enjoyed their time on the beach working outside as a break from lockdown.
As Greta has played parts in French and Italian films – aside from learning German for one role – we filmed an additional version of the film in Italian, separate to the English version. The poem was translated, and had a different feel in performance.
Cast & Crew
|Irene Cotton, CDG
|Justin Spray & Marc Green
|Sound Design/Dialogue Editor:
|Nordberg & Green
|Translator for Italian version:
|With special thanks to:
|Lynne Senior and the West Wittering Estate