The Lady in the Van (2015)

The Lady In The Van - Dame Maggie Smith as Miss Shepherd being pushed in a wheelchair by Alex Jennings as Alan Bennett in

The Lady In The Van – Dame Maggie Smith as Miss Shepherd and Alex Jennings as Alan Bennett © Sony

Writer: Alan Bennett

Director: Nicholas Hytner

Starring: Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Dominic Cooper, James Corden, Jim Broadbent, Frances de la Tour

Production company: BBC Films, TriStar Productions

Kent Locations: Broadstairs – High Street, Esplanade, Harbour Street, Viking Bay Beach,  Morellis Gelato, Buckmaster House

The Lady in the Van is British film based on the true story about a homeless woman, Miss Shepherd (Maggie Smith), who temporarily parked her old yellow van on the driveway of writer Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings) in the 1970’s. As fifteen years went by, the pair developed an endearing but sometimes turbulent relationship, which translates into a funny, poignant and life-affirming story.

Adapted by Alan Bennett (The History Boys, A Private Function, Prick Up Your Ears) from his memoir of the same name, the film is directed by Nicholas Hytner (The Crucible, The Object of My Affection, Center Stage).

Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Gosford Park) stars as Miss Shepherd with Alex Jennings (The Queen, Babel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason) playing Alan Bennett.

Also starring is Dominic Cooper (Mamma Mia!, Need for Speed, Captain America: The First Avenger), James Corden (Begin Again, Into the Woods, The History Boys), Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge!, Cloud Atlas, Gangs of New York) and Frances de la Tour (Hugo, The Book of Eli, Alice in Wonderland).

In November 2014, The Lady in the Van production team came to Kent to film in Broadstairs including the High Street, Esplanade, Harbour Street, Viking Bay Beach and http://www.morellisgelato.com/ for the scenes where Miss Shepherd (Maggie Smith) visits the coast. Buckmaster House in Broadstairs also doubled as Weston-Super-Mare for the scenes where Alan Bennett visits his mother.

Broadstairs is a traditional British seaside town offering sandy beaches with rides, beach huts, surfing, a harbour and cliff-top promenade. The High Street has historic red-brick buildings occupied by cafes, restaurants, bars and shops. Broadstairs has also been used as a film location in Eastenders (2015), Edge of Heaven (2014) and Hancock and Joan (2008).

Don’t miss The Lady in the Van which is released in cinemas on Friday 13th November 2015.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 

 

 


Downton Abbey (2013)

Joanne Froggatt as Anna Bates, Baby George and Di Botcher as Nanny West in a living room in front of a fire

Joanne Froggatt as Anna Bates, Baby George and Di Botcher as Nanny West © ITV

Starring: Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Brendan Coyle, Elizabeth Mcgovern

Production Company:

Production company: ITV Studios, Carnival Films, Masterpiece, NBC Universal, WGBH Boston

Kent Locations:  The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Downton Abbey is the smash-hit ITV drama series about those who live in the grand Downton Abbey. The noble Crawley family and their servants both struggle through family difficulties and deal with the social and political influences on their lives.

Jim Carter as Carson - waiting on the family sat at the table

Jim Carter as Carson © ITV

Following on from the dramatic Christmas 2012 episode, the fourth series sees the family struggling to deal with tragedy, but when Lady Mary’s gives birth to a new generation bringing joy and hope, the family take a step into the Roaring Twenties. 

The ever popular series is created by Julian Fellowes (Vanity Fair, ITV’s Titanic) and boasts a spectacular cast of award winning actors, including Maggie Smith (Room with a View, Gosford Park), Hugh Bonneville (Tomorrow Never Dies, Notting Hill), Michelle Dockery (Anna Karenina, Hanna), Brendan Coyle (The Raven, The Jacket), and Elizabeth McGovern (Once Upon a Time In America, The Handmaid’s Tale).

The Downton Abbey team visited The Historic Dockyard Chatham in February 2013 where they used the Tarred Yarn Store to double as the workhouse where Mr Grigg (Nicky Henson) works in episode 1 and in episode 2, streets at The Historic Dockyard Chatham were used for the scenes where Lady Rose MacClare (Lily James) is at the market with James Kent (Ed Speleers) watching her.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham is a popular film location due to its varied and interesting areas such as the cobbled streets, church and over 100 buildings dating from the Georgian and Victorian periods. Previous productions that have shot here include Les Miserables (2013), Call the Midwife (2012), and The Golden Compass (2007).

Series 4 of Downton Abbey was shown from September 2013 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


Downton Abbey (2010)

Downton Abbey series 1 DVD cover - the cast standing in front of the grand house. Downton Abbey is written on top

Downton Abbey series 1 DVD cover © ITV Studios, Carnival Films, Masterpiece, NBC Universal, WGBH Boston

Starring: Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Brendan Coyle, Elizabeth McGovern

Production company: ITV Studios, Carnival Films, Masterpiece, NBC Universal, WGBH Boston

Kent Locations:  Kent & East Sussex Railway 

Downton Abbey is an ITV period drama charting the lives of the Crawley family and their servants in early 20th Century Britain.

Created by Julian Fellowes (Vanity Fair, ITV’s Titanic), the series stars a host of acting talent including Maggie Smith (Room with a View, Gosford Park), Hugh Bonneville(Tomorrow Never Dies, Notting Hill), Michelle Dockery (Anna Karenina, Hanna), Brendan Coyle (The Raven, The Jacket), and Elizabeth McGovern (Once Upon a Time In America, The Handmaid’s Tale).

Downton Abbey Screenshot - train going through the countryside past trees and water

Downton Abbey Screenshot © ITV Studios, Carnival Films, Masterpiece, NBC Universal, WGBH Boston

The opening shot of Downton Abbey series one, episode one is a steam train going through the countryside and was filmed at Kent & East Sussex Railway.

Kent & East Sussex Railway is a ten and a half mile rural light railway from Tenterden to East Sussex. Kent & East Sussex Railway has previously featured in film and TV productions including Richard E. Grant on Ealing Comedies (2016), Mapp and Lucia (2014) and Last Passenger (2013).

Series 1 of Downton Abbey was shown from September 2010 and is now available to buy on DVD.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.