The Choir: Sing While You Work (2013)

Gareth Malone conducting the P&O choir on a stage

Gareth Malone conducting the P&O choir © BBC, Twenty Twenty, Pete Dadds

Production company: twentytwenty

Kent Locations: P&O, Dover, The Port of Dover 

BBC2 series The Choir: Sing While You Work follows choirmaster Gareth Malone on his search to get Britain’s workforce singing as he aims to create distinctive choirs at five of the biggest businesses in Britain before they compete for the crown of best workplace choir.

In the first episode of the second series, Gareth visits employees at P&O which is the UK’s longest-running cross-Channel ferry service where he faces the challenge of getting the choir members together as they are all based in different locations – Dover, France and even at sea! Will they be able to rehearse enough to blow the competition out of the water? 

In the final episode shown on Sunday 22nd December 2013, the P&O ferries choir went on to win the show – a massive congratulations to them!

From May to October 2013, the production followed Gareth and the P&O employees on their musical journey and filmed them at P&O ferries, The Port of Dover and Dover itself.

Dover is home to the infamous White Cliffs of Dover and Europe’s busiest passenger Port. The area has been used for many filming projects such as Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008).

The first episode of The Choir: Sing While You Work was shown on Monday 4th November 2013 at 21:00 on BBC2.

 

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


Les Misérables (2013)

 

Les on horses going through the streets through a tunnel

Les Misérables © Universal Pictures

Director: Tom Hooper

Screenplay: William Nicholson

Composer: Claude-Michel Schönberg

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Amanda Seyfried

Production company: Relativity Media, StudioCanal, Working Title Films, Cameron Mackintosh Ltd.

Kent locations used:  The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Les Misérables is based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel and Cameron Mackintosh’s popular musical. It is directed by Oscar award winning director, Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, The Damned United) and features an ensemble cast of A-List actors, faces including: Anne Hathaway (Dark Knight Rises, One Day), Oscar-winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator, Beautiful Mind), Hugh Jackman (X-Men Series, The Prestige), Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech, Alice in Wonderland) Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat, Hugo) and Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia, In Time).  The actors sung live during filming, instead of using pre-recorded tracks, making it more like a musical than any other film.

Anne Hathaway as Fantine working in a factory

Anne Hathaway as Fantine © Universal Pictures

Set in 19th century France, it tells the story of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) an ex-prisoner who has broken his parole. Hunted by ruthless policeman Javert (Russell Crowe), he is forced to make decisions that will transform his life forever. It is a dramatic tale of broken dreams, unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption.

Les Misérables is the world’s longest-running musical and has been performed on Broadway and the West End, visiting 42 countries in total. It received 70 major theatre awards including an Olivier, a Tony and a Grammy and features classic songs by ClaudeMichel Schönberg like “I Dreamed a Dream,” “Bring Him Home,” “One Day More” and “On My Own”. For the first time in movie history, the actors sang live during the filming, instead of using pre-recorded tracks.

The Historic Dockyard in Chatham was used to double as a factory, a court room and various streets. It is a popular and unique filming location, having previously welcomed Sherlock Holmes (2011), The Golden Compass (2007) and the BBC adaptation of Oliver Twist (2007).

Les Misérables was released in cinemas on 11th January 2013 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

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


Half A Sixpence (1967)

a car driving along a road outside the Pantiles, people are walking along the side of the road

Screenshot from Half a Sixpence at The Pantiles © Paramount Pictures

Director: George Sidney

Stars: Tommy Steele, Julia Foster, Cyril Ritchard

Production Company: Ameran Films

Kent Locations Used: The Pantiles in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Aylesford

Based on the novel, Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul by H.G. Wells, Half a Sixpence is a musical based on the themes of wealth and class. The film follows a draper’s assistant, Arthur Kipps (Tommy Steele), who falls in love with a chambermaid named Ann (Julia Foster). When Kipps inherits a fortune, he is torn between two worlds.

Golden Globe winning director George Sidney (Bye Bye Birdie, Viva Las Vegas, Annie Get Your Gun) directs the film which stars Tommy Steele (The Flintstones, Finian’s Rainbow, Quincy’s Quest) , Julia Foster (Dad’s Army, Alfie, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner) and Cyril Ritchard (The Hobbit, Peter Pan, Blackmail).

The Pantiles in Royal Tunbridge Wells is the set for Shalfords Emporium in the film, where Kipps apprenticed and the town of Aylesford was the setting of Kipps’ childhood home.

Situated in West Kent, Tunbridge Wells is a large town with a busy town centre and a period shopping area, The Pantiles,  offering a fascinating variety of small specialist shops, antique shops, open-air cafés, restaurants and bars. Previous productions that have been filmed in Tunbridge Wells include Terry and Mason’s Great Food Trip (2015).

A shot of Aylesford Bridge, with the river and village in the background

Screenshot from Half a Sixpence of Aylesford Bridge © Paramount Pictures

Aylesford is a picturesque village located on the banks of the River Medway complete with a Norman Church and Victorian houses, pubs and open spaces.

The film was released on 21 December 1967 and is available to purchase on DVD.

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