Bamburgh enjoying time on screens large and small

Bamburgh is having an extended moment in the limelight, forming the background to a slew of film and TV productions.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 26th February 2014, 11:09 am
Michael Fassbender will be filming Macbeth in Bamburgh
Michael Fassbender will be filming Macbeth in Bamburgh

The north Northumberland coast is hosting film stars and travelogue makers, with the castle often stirring the creative imagination.

Visitors range from Sir Tony Robinson to the co-star of Oscar favourite 12 Years a Slave, Michael Fassbender, who is set to be the next big-screen Macbeth.

Bamburgh Castle director Chris Calvert said: “We are having a bumper year for TV and film.

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“We have had the Short Form Film Co here making a pilot for a childrens’ TV series based on William Shakespeare and his works.

“And we had a production company here making Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, a seven part series due for release around Christmas on the BBC.

“Screened recently was Walks Through History with Sir Tony Robinson, filmed last autumn. This was his second visit here as he had already done a Time Team Special here three years ago.

“Later this month I have the BBC back again filming for a new religious programme due for release later this year.

“And of course the Macbeth people are here.

“I have also had interest from another three production companies, one for a programme about castles, one for a project for the BBC, and another that is secret!”

Chris explained why the area was so popular: “The castle and its location lends itself to a wide variety of subjects,” he said, “the fact it has existed for so long in itself means the depth of history here covers hundreds of years. It’s proximity to the beach also encouraged two of the production companies to come here. We are also able to provide them with the parking spaces they require for their units either up here at the castle or in the village. It also brings a lot of business into the village in terms of accommodation and using local companies.

“A major consideration for most production companies is cost and whilst we need to charge, we also recognise that the level of publicity that comes from being involved in, say a major film is something worth a lot more. I like to feel we provide ‘value for money’ for the companies who come here.”

This isn’t the first time that the north Northumberland coast has hosted a big-screen Macbeth. Roman Polanski’s 1971 version made use of Bamburgh and Holy Island Castle, as well as St Aidan’s Church in Bamburgh village.