Playing The Thing

The History Of The Film

"Playing The Thing" is a remarkable film documentary about harmonicas and harmonica players. It was shot in 1971/72 by Chris Morphet assisted by a small group of friends. They were all young camera and sound professionals. It was a labour of love by a harmonica player for his favourite instrument. They filmed top performers and events in England, Holland, Germany and the USA. The resulting 30 min film was premiered at The Electric Cinema in Notting Hill London in 1973.

Chris recalls that he nearly brought off a coup with "Playing The Thing" as a short film to go out with Bugsy Malone. The director Alan Parker and his producer Alan Marshall loved it and would have been prepared to blow it up and put it on release with their Bugsy movie. It almost happened...

The film was shown by arts and university film clubs in the UK, the British Council and by the BBC and other educational TV stations around the world.

© Roger Trobridge

Here is a video of the film, "Playing The Thing" (1972).

You can see videos of the original interviews which contain the rediscovered and restored 16 mm film clips on this page as they are completed.

© Roger Trobridge