Wednesday, May 10, 2017

News: Wentworth Woodhouse back on the BBC

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One of the UK's most interesting and important Grade 1 listed country houses, Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham, is back on the BBC this week, featuring in the TV adaptation of King Charles III from the Olivier Award-winning play.

The Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust (WWPT) recently concluded the acquisition of the largest privately-owned house in Europe for £7m and is working on plans for a sustainable business case for its secure future.

Featuring in numerous big screen and small screen productions has been important in raising the profile (and much needed revenue) of the property which for many years has been in relative obscurity.

Described as "an inventive future history drama," King Charles III is adapted by award-winning playwright and television screenwriter Mike Bartlett, whose previous work includes Doctor Foster.

With Prince Charles ascending to the throne, the Monarchy's future is under threat. Protests on the streets and his family in disarray, Charles must grapple with his identity and purpose, to decide whether the Crown still has any real power.

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A co-production of the BBC and Masterpiece, in association with Drama Republic, the drama reunites many of the creative team behind the original play, including director and fellow Olivier Award-winner and Tony Award nominee, Rupert Goold. The late Tim Pigott-Smith returns to the title role of Charles.

Filming took place at the end of 2016 and publicity shots show the royal protagonist in the atmospheric Marble Saloon at Wentworth Woodhouse which previously had a staring role in the BBC's grand TV production of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.

Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace were recreated at Wentworth Woodhouse, Newby Hall in Ripon and Harewood House near Leeds.

Wentworth was also used in Billionaire Boy, the fourth BBC adaptation of a David Walliams novel and in ITV's prime-time drama, Victoria, which became the channel's highest rated drama of 2016. Series two is currently being filmed.
Oliver Chris who plays William in King Charles III said: "The set for the play was very beautiful but sparse and a huge amount of audience imagination was needed. In the TV version we have brought it into the real world and filmed in some of the greatest houses in Britain."

The drama airs on BBC Two on Wednesday May 10 at 9pm.

Images: BBC / Savills


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