Exactly three years ago, I was just beginning to transcribe Dick Perceval’s diaries. I used dictation software and spent the first few months of 2018 speaking Dick’s words into a computer. Since that process began, Dick Perceval has been my constant companion and my thanks go to his sister's descendants who gave their permission for the making of To Be Continued.
We are a small team and I am very grateful to everyone who has helped me explore my obsession. My thanks to producer Claire Soper who did a great job of explaining this unusual project to people, unlocking funding, and a number of opportunities for me to share the work with a wider audience. Thanks also to Rowena Price who found us valuable press exposure.
It has been an absolute privilege to work with Gerard Bell, who does so much more than simply give voice to Dick’s journals. Gerard has self-directed his contribution to the project, which is fortunate because I know absolutely nothing about directing actors/performers to deliver text. Nothing at all. I have relied heavily on Gerard’s generosity in sharing the knowledge he has gained over decades of theatre and screen work. When Covid prevented him from traveling to record the final 3 months of diary entries, he became sound-recordist too, building a sound booth out of duvets and a clothes dryer so that To Be Continued could continue.
When I finish editing each episode, I hand over the slightly dull and dry film to sound designer Scott Smith, and he fills the film with life. Film is an audiovisual experience, but we are a very visually led species, so we speak of ‘watching’ a film and often forget that we are also listening to a film. These films are made by both of us, and I am so grateful that he has dedicated so much of his time to bringing the work to life. Without his tremendous generosity, the series would not have been made.
Huge thanks go to all at Screen Archive South East for their support, enthusiasm and for allowing me to make use of their wonderful archive. Do check out their website – it’s a thing of wonder!
None of it would have been possible without financial support from Arts Council England, and I thank them for not only supporting To Be Continued but also for supporting the previous projects that led to this project. I also want to thank them for fighting so hard to save the arts in the UK in this time of absolute crisis, and for responding rapidly to artists' needs this year.
Thank you to you too, if you have watched an episode or two. You are a small audience, but I do know that there are some of you who are very dedicated to keeping up with Dick’s adventures! Much gratitude to those of you who have taken the trouble to share the series through your social media networks – it really is a huge help!
Finally, I have to thank Dick, Sorina and Sheila. None of them agreed to being a part of this, but I hope that my fondness for them all is evident.
I dedicated the film series to the memory of Dick Perceval – a thoroughly decent chap, with a great talent for telling a good story.
I dedicate this blog to the memory of Sorina Perceval. We will never know her side of the story. Our view of her will always be blurred by Dick’s unhappiness, and so, in this series, she appears as the villain. I want to take this moment to celebrate all that I imagine was great about Sorina. I think that she was very clever and curious and infectiously enthusiastic about life. I imagine that she was dazzling, with the capacity to charm almost anyone (except Dick’s family). I bet she was great fun at a party. I think that she was a strong-minded woman who was desperate for her independence and to live a life full of adventure and passion – but she was born in 1887, and so her options for doing that were very limited. I do hope she wasn’t too unhappy.