Film stars return to stately home for screening
Posted at 9:38 AM (PDT) on Sunday, June 11, 2006
By Jules Stevens
June 8, 2006
Norfolk Eastern Daily Press, UK
Stars of a major movie are heading back to a Norfolk stately home where it was shot to mingle with local film fans at an open air screening. The oddball Cock and Bull story starred comic actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in an 18th century tale which also flitted back to the present day by filming the filming. Locations in Norfolk included halls at Blickling and Heydon - as well as Felbrigg, which was regarded as another star of the show.
On Tuesday July 4 it will be shown in the walled garden at Felbrigg, where 500 visitors will be able to mingle with the cast over drinks in an event which is part of the Cambridge Film Festival.
Director Michael Winterbottom, adapted the notoriously un-filmable Laurence Sterne novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy Gentleman, which was published in nine volumes in the 18th century. The new film was praised by critics but performed less well at the box office.
Coogan, best known for his role as cheesy Norwich Radio DJ Alan Partridge, plays Tristram Shandy, his father Walter and himself, in the film within a film, which he described as: “one of his best films yet.” It also stars Welsh comedian and chat-show host Rob Brydon, who will be at the screening, and Norfolk's Stephen Fry, Little Britain's David Walliams and Gillian Anderson from the X-files.
Property manager at the National Trust house Ray Sandham said he was looking forward to seeing old faces, as during the five-week shoot he had got to know the team behind the film quite well. But he said: “The real star of the show was Felbrigg. It looked great in the film as it was the first time since the 18th century it was all lit in candlelight as it would have been then.” He said filming at the 17th century house had presented some problems, particularly as they shot while visitors toured - in fact some lucky tourists found themselves as extras in the film.
A lot of fragile furniture had to be put into storage and replaced with replica antiques during the shoot. And the walled garden, the setting for the screening, was transformed into a model village for a battle sequence, which presented its own set of logistical problems, he said. Other rooms that film fans who have visited Felbrigg may recognise are the Chinese bedroom and the library.
“The house will be open as usual during the day so that people can look around before watching the film,” said Mr Sandham.
The screening co-insides with the release of the film on DVD.
Tickets, which include a drink, are available from The Arts Picturehouse Box Office (08707 551242) for £10.
The film festival runs from the July 6-16. Full details are at the 26th Cambridge Film Festival web site.