2009 Angel Film Awards Monaco International Film Festival angel awards




Rick Friend is a British playwright, filmmaker, director, author, poet, actor, composer and singer.

Theatre: Friend's first play Stuck, starring Olivier award-winning actress, Sara Crowe, received Time Out critics' choice for Best Plays in London.
His stage show Victory?, a musical dealing with the Arab-Israeli conflict (wrote, directed and composed music for) was staged at London's prestigious Donmar Warehouse Theatre in 2004. It brought together major actors: Raza Jaffrey, (leading man of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Bombay Dreams and the film Eastern Promises); Juliette Caton (leading lady of the film Courage Mountain opposite Charlie Sheen, the young lead in Martin Scorsese's Last Temptation of Christ and lead in Cameron Macintosh's Martin Guerre); Bertie Carvel (Olivier award nominee for Best Actor in a Musical 2008 for the Donmar's Parade). It also brought together Rick with producer Daniella Gonella and musical director Andy Smith (London West End's We Will Rock You and The Lion King).

Friend's musical Atlantis was work-shopped at London's National Theatre for director Bill Bryden, with actors Peter Straker and Carol Nielsson star of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical ‘Song and Dance', (musical director and musical arrangements by Anthony Bowles - arranger of the original Lloyd Webber musical Evita).

Music: In the 1980's, Friend made recordings under the patronage of British publisher and poet Felix Dennis, which led to him being signed as a recording artist by Trident Records in Soho, London. Along with acts Soft Cell and Visage, Friend was picked up as a songwriter by the Metropolis label and was contracted for three years with Warner Brothers Music. In the 1990's he continued with his solo career and also collaborated on several songs with Denise Marsa the mystery lady who sang with Dean Friedman on the # 3 UK Hit,Lucky Stars. As a singer Friend has performed all around the world in venues as diverse as Stringfellows, the Barbican Centre and the Royal Academy of Music both as a solo artist and with various bands.

Acting: As an actor, Friend has played in featured roles at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Sadler's Wells Theatre and Clwyd Theatr Cymru and appeared in various TV programmes including Keeping Up Appearances and The Bill. Friend appeared as Syd Barrett in "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", in Pink Floyd's P-U-L-S-E DVD taken from the 1994 concert at Earls Court, London in a tribute to their co-founder. A DVD edition was released in July 2006 and quickly topped the charts.
Current Film Projects: include Stuck - an adaptation of Friend's play. Friend is also developing Stuck! Stuck! Stuck! which deals with the radical and controversial Stuckist art movement and the colourful life of Charles Thomson, its co-founder. Thomson, who had a turbulent marriage to art star and former stripper Stella Vine, coined the name Stuckism in response to a comment made by artist Tracey Emin to her then boyfriend - the movement's other co-founder Billy Childish. "Your paintings are stuck, you are stuck! Stuck! Stuck! Stuck!" Thomson is acting as a consultant on this film. Friend is also developing his epic historical drama Non Possumus.

Other: As a film critic Friend reviewed over 800 films for 20 national radio stations, including Capital Radio. Jon Thoday of Avalon Productions (producer of Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned and Jerry Springer the Opera) took the name Avalon from one of the songs in Rick Friend's musical Atlantis. Friend's photo of Sir Nicholas Serota outside Tate Britain in December 2006, holding a postcard of Charles Thomson's painting of him, taken during a Stuckist demonstration against the Turner Prize, was published in The Independent newspaper the following day.
Peace Campaigning: Through projects like Victory?, Friend has been active in promoting peace and reconciliation. The Donmar Warehouse show benefited two charities which foster relationships and reconciliation between Arabs and Jews - Seeds of Peace and Neve Shalom.

Non Possumus
By Rick Friend


"You are very dear to me my little son, for I acquired you for Jesus Christ at a high price...if you only knew how much you have cost me..."
Pope Pius IX

In 1858 an incredible incident happened in the Papal States in Italy. Edgardo Mortara, a child of a Jew, was abducted by order of Pope Pius IX, who claimed that the 6-year old was a Christian, having been secretly baptised when a baby, by a Roman Catholic servant girl.
In spite of the pleading of his father and the tears and screams of his mother, young Edgardo was torn from their arms and placed kicking and screaming, in a carriage bound for Rome, in what proved to be one of the most sensational scandals of the 19th Century.
NON POSSUMUS is the powerful and moving story of Edgardo's journey from the back streets of Bologna to the rose gardens of the Vatican; the story of a Pope willing to sacrifice the political power of the Papal States for the love of a 'son' he never had and the story of a father who spends the rest of his life desperately trying to get back the son he has so tragically lost.
The story is told in flashback, as a now 90-year old Father Mortara, living in 1940 as a Catholic priest in a Belgian monastery, tells the poignant tale of his life to Raoul, a young novice faced with an important decision of his own - to dedicate his life to the Church, or to follow his heart and start a family. As the Nazis prepare to invade Belgium, Father Mortara prepares to die - not knowing if he will leave the world as a Christian or a Jew!
NON POSSUMUS is a tale of emotional upheaval set against the background of the pre-unified Italy of the 1850's; a country over-run with Austrian soldiers, colourful processions, religious fanaticism and fierce anti-semitism; a time when the Papal States was an independent country and the Pope was one of the wealthiest and most powerful princes in Europe.
As news of Edgardo's plight resonates throughout the world, Pope Pius IX is totally unprepared for the violent storm that follows. Mortara meetings are held as far away as San Francisco, as Christians and Jews unite, to petition the Pope to return the boy to his parents.
In Europe, Victor Emmanuel II and Napoleon III of France use the case to undermine the Pope in the unsettling days before the Wars of the Italian Unification.
In London, Jewish aristocrat, Sir Moses Montefiore prepares for a historic visit to Rome, in an attempt to secure the boy's release. The pressure is on, but to every protest the Pope and Cardinal Antonelli, his Secretary of State, give the same reply - We cannot - Non Possumus!
Adapted from Rick Friend's novel and following nearly 20 years of careful historical research, NON POSSUMUS is the true story of the Jewish boy Edgardo Mortara, whose destiny was shaped by a few drops of Holy Water in one of History's strangest accidents!
On September 3rd 2000, Pius IX was beatified by the Vatican!
(C) 1986-2006 Rick Friend

By Rick Friend


The latest Blackberry and high finance dominate the existence of wealthy City boy, Tony, whose inner world is as repressed as his daily life is structured.
That is until he gets stuck in a lift with ballsy, blonde Bella. Their brief but bilious encounter, in which our punk heroine breaks her iPod, allows her to enter the yuppie world of Tony and his friends to expose their shallowness, materialism and unhappiness.
Stuck is a riot of outrageous incident. Astride Tony's grey-suited knee, the black-eyed, leather-clad Bella engineers deals with world-famous financiers, while at the film's climax in various Kensington and Chelsea locations - the sensible Sloane Claire is all a-twitter with revelations of sexual repression as her boyfriend Trevor, an overgrown, overpaid ex-hippy drools at Bella's every pearl of wisdom.
Set entirely in London, Stuck is an irreverent and humorous attack on materialism and a social satire on "bright young things"".
(C) 2009 Rick Friend

Stuck - Reviews of the Stage Play

1. Time Out (Critic's Choice - Best Plays in London)
"...Outrageous and highly enjoyable satire on the filofax set...
a zappy debut which marks Friend as a writer of some punch..."

2. Oracle - ITV & Channel 4
"It makes you laugh, it almost makes you cry and it makes you search your soul..."

3. Morning Star
"Funny and perceptive...Rick Friend's first full-length play. On this evidence he should not wait too long before he writes his second..."

4. The Guardian
"The characters are well drawn...The ear for the dialogue of today in this halfway house between Albee and Ayckbourn is acute..."

5. City Limits
"Humorous and sharp"

6. The Stage and Television Today
"Rick Friend has a nice line in comedy... The play, a sort of Pygmalion in reverse is a well-timed fable for our times..."

Feedback from Nicholas Tebbet, Cinematographer:

In the main, what I like about the script is Bella's uncompromising behaviour towards strangers. There are no airs and graces here, her manner is raw and straight to the point. Bella, takes no prisoners and as a consequence we begin to witness the fragilities and insecurities of her adversaries as they attempt to defend their superficial life styles. The film comically reflects these struggles and what we are sometimes scared to admit - that the easy option is a panacea for happiness. The truth is of course, it's not. The brave amongst us confront the real issues and as a reward we find out a little more who we really are! For me the film works on both a comic level and a metaphor for life level. Given the right cast this script could make a gem of a film. Pedro Almodovar springs to mind!

Web site: http://www.productionfriend.com