Friday, 25 May 2018

Aidan Turner Talks Poldark Series Four

Aidan Turner, Poldark S4
Aidan Turner Poldark S4

Ross Poldark embarks on a political journey to Westminster in the upcoming series of Poldark. Aidan Turner explains how his rebellious character has taken on the mantle of responsibility...

‘Ross realises that an opportunity to get to London represents the only way he can make change happen. Cornwall is too far away from where the decisions are made and although Ross has a lot of influence there and people listen to him, change doesn’t happen fast enough. He is starting to realise that people are attracted to his energy and they listen to him because he is this bridge between the working class and the gentry; he is well educated but he understands the plight of the workingman.

‘With the likes of George Warleggan (Jack Farthing) setting himself up in Westminster Ross realises that he needs to go to fight these kinds of people, not just George but what George represents. It is an important time in Britain; William Pitt has just gone into power at the age of 24, making him the youngest Prime Minister ever, William Wilberforce is pushing the bill to abolish slavery and to close some of the poor houses, to end child labour, there is a campaign to increase wages and the standard of living and these were all things that Ross cares about but it can’t be done from Cornwall so Westminster is where he needs to be.’

Aidan immersed himself within the history of the period as part of his research for this series...

Aidan Turner, Poldark S4‘I have always found the political history of this period interesting, especially finding out about William Pitt and William Wilberforce and what they campaigned for. It’s hard to believe that there were so many people who were opposed to it all and who were trying to shut these conversations down. As an actor getting to make speeches about important matters like these, in this setting, it fills you with a sense of empowerment. You get an idea of what it would have been like at the time. It is surreal to be up there talking about backing Wilberforce in his bill to abolish slavery. It makes you realise that this all happened only a little over 200 years ago and that is really only a small blip in the scale of time.

‘The actual slavery abolition act wasn’t passed until 1833 and even at that time there was huge opposition towards it, which is 40 years after Ross and Wilberforce present these ideas in the House of Commons. These men were also trying to eradicate capital punishment, which at the time was freely used for petty crime. I’ve done my fair share of research because when you are given these political speeches as Ross Poldark you want to know what is going on. It seems surreal to make those speeches and have people opposing what you’re saying. You just think, how could this not be the way forward, but that is what happened, these great people did get up and speak and rally support for these bills and thank God they did.’

This series we see Ross and his persistent rival, George Warleggan thrust against each other in a very different environment.

‘It is always fun working with Jack but it is especially fun for us as actors to do it this time opposite each other in the House of Commons. It was nice to see him across the room and just think we have made it all the way from the first series, throwing ourselves around bars and taverns and now we are sitting in the House of Commons staring each other down. Those kinds of moments are always great.’

And Aidan enjoyed briefly filming in London...

'We shot exteriors for the Houses of Parliament which was a lot of fun. It was fun to be in London and made it feel very real. That day was also with James Wilby who plays Falmouth and we have a really good working relationship. The characters of Lord Falmouth and Ross have a growing relationship themselves, which is always fun to explore. Ross didn’t fully trust Falmouth at the beginning, I think Falmouth said something like ‘Ross you are about liberty, equality and fraternity and I am about fraternity, less about liberty and nothing to do with equality’ but slowly they begin to agree on things and Ross turns Falmouth around. They have this father son relationship which was enjoyable to play out and James is a great actor to work with.'

Ross has another rival this year, in the form of Monk Adderley (Max Bennett).

‘Monk represents everything that Ross hates, he is corrupt and has likely acquired his political position through nepotism rather than hard work, Monk is mostly involved in politics for the social scene and rarely bothers to show up to the House of Commons. Ross and Monk immediately get off on the wrong foot and it is funny to play that situation where you just don’t trust someone from the get go – he doesn’t trust Ross and Ross doesn’t trust him. They clash straight away and whilst it is never really spoken about, they have this unsaid hatred for each other from the very beginning until it reaches a dramatic end.’

Aidan reveals Ross’s emotional reaction to the events that unfolded at the end of last series between Demelza and Lieutenant Hugh Armitage (Josh Whitehouse).

Hugh Armitage, Demelza, Poldark
Joshua Whitehouse and Eleanor Tomlinson Poldark S3
‘Ross is not entirely sure what has or hasn’t happened with Hugh and Demelza but regardless, this affects him a lot because he realises there were more emotions involved than if it was just a fleeting attraction. He sees that Demelza has fallen for Hugh and he understands what this is about because he has been through the same experience with Elizabeth. He knows it is complicated and that there is a lot at stake.

'Ross doesn’t want to lose Demelza, he realises how fragile their relationship is and how awfully he has treated her and what it feels like to be at the other end of that, which is something he has never experienced before. Ross sometimes need those wake up calls as he is not always aware how he effects other people and it isn’t until something happens where the tables are turned and he is confronted with that same action himself that he realises what he has done.

'Emotionally Ross has always been inarticulate, he is not always sure how to talk about his feelings and this is difficult for him because he doesn’t know quite what to say. At heart he knows that Hugh is a good man and Demelza is someone he not only loves but also greatly admires so it is a wakeup call for him and it is very difficult. He is confused by all of that and he feels scared to lose her and his family, so it is a very tentative time.’

Aidan explains that audiences will see Ross and Demelza slowly working their way back to each other this series.

‘This series they spend weeks apart whilst Ross is in London which was strange as they are usually together so often and during filming there were huge gaps where Eleanor and I didn’t see each other so it felt like it played out for real. When we did get back together, when Ross invites Demelza to London and they spend a week there together, it was lovely to reunite.

'It felt like their second honeymoon, they go out on boats and they go the Vauxhall pleasure gardens and to the theatre and meet up with friends and it felt like the early days of their relationship. They didn’t really get to do any of that in the first place so it felt like something was reignited there. It was nice for Ross to have fun again with Demelza, and to find that love again was important because that had been lost for quite a while. They have been through so much and they have allowed themselves to get really bogged down with life so much so that they forgot to have a good time in between but they find that again this series which was lovely.’

Poldark returns to BBC One on 10 June.

Source: BBC Media Centre

Eleanor Tomlinson Talks Poldark S4
Poldark S4: Max Bennett is Monk Adderley
Poldark S4: Rebecca Front is Lady Whitworth

Eleanor Tomlinson Talks Poldark Series Four

Eleanor Tomlinson, Demelza, Poldark S4
Eleanor Tomlinson Poldark S4

Eleanor Tomlinson relishes the fact her character, Demelza, becomes such an independent woman in the fourth series of Poldark.

‘With Ross having to go to London, Demelza takes charge at Nampara and so this series we see her very much on her own, being independent and having to solve everyday problems that come up. Ross has left her in charge of the mine, the farm and the children, which is a great deal for her to take on board, especially as a woman living in that time. So it is a very interesting storyline for her this year – it is all about independence and showing Ross how well she can do his job.’

After the climactic end to series three, Eleanor talks about the struggle of Ross leaving Demelza and setting off to London.

Hugh Armitage, Joshua Whitehouse, Poldark S3
Poldark S3
‘Their relationship was under strain at the close of last series, with Hugh and everything that happened there, so now with Ross going off to London things are difficult. Especially since he leaves before Demelza has the time to really tell him how she feels, that she loves him, and so she is particularly anxious about all of that. She misses him terribly but she writes to him often, keeping him in the loop. They didn’t have phones back then so she was only really getting a letter from Ross every few months which, of course, is difficult.  However, Demelza is someone who just gets on with things so it is unsurprising that she is better than him at handling their separation; she misses him but she knows she has no choice.’

Eleanor admits that she was pleasantly surprised by the fan reaction to the dramatic ending to last series.

‘The fans are rooting for Ross and Demelza because that is who they love. They know as well as Demelza and Ross do, that they should be together and that they work well together. What was great was that the fans seemed to really embrace the fact that Demelza did go off with Hugh in the end; they had a positive reaction to that which I wasn’t expecting. They understood Demelza’s actions because Ross was not showing her respect nor was he leading by example and so most people have been very much ‘Go Demelza!’ which has been amazing. It’s wonderful to feel the fans supporting her.

'People like to see a truthful relationship on screen, and that is the heartbeat of Poldark, Ross and Demelza’s relationship being as realistic as the relationships you see today. It is quite modern in many respects.’

Eleanor Tomlinson, Demelza, Poldark S4, Aidan Turner, Ross
Screencap from BBC One clip

Eleanor reveals that audiences will get to see Demelza venture to London this series, however this doesn’t go as well as she might have hoped.

‘London starts off with the best intentions but it doesn’t work out. She feels insecure about how to behave and is constantly questioning herself. Whilst she has become somewhat used to dealing with the Cornish lords, going to London and dealing with these people is a completely different kettle of fish and of course, George and Elizabeth are there causing problems at every turn.

'Demelza quickly realises that London life isn’t for her but she is incredibly flattered that Ross wants to take her and it is actually the perfect gesture towards their relationship and towards their future. It shows how proud of her he is, wanting to show her off and to include her and not just leave her at home. However, Ross does not know how to handle Demelza getting this kind of attention in the city and as expected his quick temper kicks in…’

Eleanor Tomlinson, Demelza, Poldark S3, Tom York, Harry Richardson
Poldark S3
Whilst London life may not be for Demelza, she is extremely busy in Cornwall trying to play cupid to both of her younger brothers.

‘This series we see Demelza trying to marry off Drake (Harry Richardson) to Rosina Hoblyn (Amelia Clarkson), which is all to mend his broken heart over Morwenna (Ellise Chappell). We also see Sam (Tom York) breaking his heart over Emma (Ciara Charteris) so there is a lot of heart ache for the boys this series and Demelza feels that strongly. She is very protective over her brothers and she wants the best for them. They are not quite fitting in as they should but in a very Demelzaesque way, you really see the parallels between the siblings.
She wants them to be able to move on and find happiness and love but they are always getting themselves into tricky situations which we see literally from the get go, in episode one.’

Taking care of the men in her life is a big part of Demelza’s storyline this year, which is why her friendship with Caroline (Gabriella Wilde) is even more poignant. 

‘Demelza’s relationship with Caroline goes from strength to strength. Caroline really takes Demelza under her wing when it comes to life in London and they are very supportive of each other. Demelza supports Caroline when she experiences a traumatic loss but also in her relationship with Dwight; having him back from the war and struggling with that transition. They become a little group who support each other and they become incredibly close, there is a lot of trust and love there.’

Eleanor talks to us about the importance of playing this role, in this drama, at this time.

‘Playing a strong female character in a drama written by a female feels like an incredibly fortunate and strong place to be. I feel like I am at the forefront of this wave of a new era which I hope is going to come and which will hopefully include better roles for women, more women writers, more women directors, and generally more creative opportunities for women.’

Poldark returns to BBC One on 10 June.

Source: BBC Media Centre


Aidan Turner Talks Poldark S4
Poldark S4: Max Bennett is Monk Adderley
Poldark S4: Rebecca Front is Lady Whitworth

Poldark S4: Max Bennett is Monk Adderley

Max Bennett, Monk Adderley, Poldark S4
Max Bennett Source: IMDB
Max Bennett joins the cast of Poldark this series as the unscrupulous Monk Adderley and explains the unique way he auditioned for this role.
 ‘I was on a motorcycle tour with my girlfriend when I made my Poldark audition tape. We’re both relatively new to motor biking so we were seeing how we liked touring; it’s the way I’d like to see the world. We first went to the Isle of Man, where my Dad’s from, to visit my uncles and scatter my Grandma’s ashes. Then we headed to the Edinburgh festival for a few days before doing a loop through the Cairngorms and around the north coast of Scotland. We had taken our recording equipment with us so we could record audition tapes whilst we were away. I was in the middle of deepest, darkest Scotland and we made a tape for Poldark and sent it off.’

Max divulges a little about Monk and what audiences can expect from this troublesome character.

‘Monk is a society figure, a self-made man who has a similar background to Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) in the sense that he is a military man but they have diverged very differently. He is an MP now, he looks after what would be referred to as a ‘rotten borough’ and he is quite a bored man. He is bored of his very opulent life and so he gets his kicks from being a great provocateur, he loves pushing people’s buttons. He will identify whatever it is and then niggle at them for his own entertainment.

‘He comes into the main characters’ spheres through George Warleggan (Jack Farthing) who wants to gain access to parliament. As a powerful society figure, Monk teams up with him and starts helping work towards George’s political career. It is through his association with George that he meets Ross, through social circles at Westminster, and his interest is particularly piqued by Demelza and that is where the collision course occurs.  Apart from being beautiful, Demelza is very unusual in his social circle, she is an outsider and that is intriguing to him. He also just likes playing with people so having a new and slightly na├»ve person on the scene is fun for him and is also a chance to stick the knife in with Ross.’

'Valmont from Dangerous Liaisons was a huge inspiration when preparing to play Monk. Both share a profound ennui that drives them into becoming these thrill-seeking provocateurs, and they definitely share a powerful and destructive charisma.'

Max Bennett, Monk Adderley, Poldark S4
Photo Credit: Max Bennett Instagram
Max explains why he thinks Monk Adderley and Ross Poldark clash to such a great extent and gives some reasoning for the conflict between them.

‘Ross and Monk definitely rub each other up the wrong way, there is a sense in which the two of them are two sides of the same coin, Monk is the bad side and if Ross hadn’t become such a noble - with a capital ‘N’ - man then he could have ended up like Monk, a little bitter, twisted and nefarious. There is a similarity to them, in the novel they are described as being ‘both as mad as Ajax’, they are military men, there is a wildness to both of them and they recognise that within each other but it manifests itself in different ways between them.’

It is unsurprising then that Monk would befriend Ross’s biggest rival, George Warleggan.

‘The relationship between George and Monk is a mutually beneficially one, Monk is somebody who identifies what is useful about someone as soon as he meets them and then uses them to his own benefit. Monk has something that George needs and George too has something that Monk needs so it is a functional relationship in that sense. Monk is constantly leeching other people for money, he does it a little bit with Caroline Enys (Gabriella Wilde) and he does it more ostentatiously with George but George needs Monk’s power and influence so it is initially just a bond of convenience but it does become an allegiance and a friendship. It is a rather grim friendship and camaraderie.’

Max Bennett, Monk Adderley, Poldark S4
Photo: Max Bennett
Something Max really enjoyed from filming this series was discovering the brilliant styles and costumes his character wears.

‘The visual ideas for Monk were to do with an historical character called George Bryan ‘Beau’ Brummel who was this dandy in the early 19th Century who was seen as a pioneer of modern male fashion. His style was about simple lines and the formation of the first modern man’s suit, which was borne in this era. There is definitely a distinction in the costumes between characters in London and those in Cornwall. London fashion was is a bit more up to date whereas the Cornwall fashion would have been a little behind as they are provincial and so they would be wearing clothes that were in style a few years earlier. I find on any job you do, especially period dramas, immersing yourself within the time is interesting because it is a period I would otherwise not have read much about but on set you get to learn so much about what was going on at this time and what was in style.’

Other than his costumes, Max explains why he is excited for audiences to meet Monk Adderley.

‘The brewing conflict between Monk and Ross and Monk’s pursuit of Demelza is exciting to watch because he is so awful. I have a feeling audiences are going to love to hate him. He has a hilarious turn of phrase and he is a fun person to spend time with but he is also very nasty and I think audiences will enjoy the vitriol towards him.’

Poldark returns to BBC One on 10 June.

Poldark S4: Rebecca Front is Lady Whitworth

Rebecca Front Photo: Will Wintercross

Rebecca Front joins Poldark this series as the formidable mother of odious Reverend Osborne Whitworth, a role she admits has been great fun to play.

‘Having watched the show as a viewer, my first thought was 'I hope she’s coming to sort Ossie out' but then of course, dramatically it is so much better that she doesn’t. It is more realistic that she knows full well the kind of man he is and chooses not to do anything about it. That was much more interesting to play but as I was reading the script for the first time, my heart was in my mouth thinking go on, rescue this poor young woman.

‘Ellise Chappell plays the part of Morwenna so beautifully, she is a terrific actress. She plays her with so much heart and pain and knowing about her lost love and that she could have been happy with this wonderful man, Drake Carne (Harry Richardson), makes it all that much harder to watch. When I was watching it before I was involved I found it hard to watch the Morwenna scenes because they’re so painful but of course I had to. It must have been what so many women of that generation experienced. Christian Brassington plays Osborne as a monster but he as a person couldn’t be further from that – he is absolutely charming and delightful so again, it is a tremendous bit of acting.’

Lady Whitworth Photo: BBC
Rebecca explains what it is like joining an already established drama.

‘It is always slightly odd, I had the same experience when I joined the Thick of It because it had been running for a series and a half but it is always quite strange when you have watched something and then you’re in it and you see things you didn’t realise were actually filmed in a studio or are not real. So it is a bit unnerving joining an established show because everyone knows each other but they are the nicest cast so I felt immediately welcome and Christian in particular is very friendly and hospitable.’

So who is Lady Whitworth...

‘Christian, who plays my on-screen son, and I had a chat on my first day of filming about what our family background would have been and what it would have been like when he was a child. We decided that it was quite likely that Ossie’s awful behaviour was learned from his dad in which case Lady Whitworth had to make a decision very early on to close her heart, she wasn’t going to have any emotion at all. If her husband was going to treat her badly she was just going to be hard hearted and closed off and that is what she was like when she was raising Ossie.

‘That is what she is like to me, a woman who has closed off all of her emotions and is completely shut down. You see tiny glimpses of her looking slightly upset but she doesn’t fully allow herself that emotion as she sees emotion of any sort as a weakness. As an actor you have to think behind your character and Christian and I had this really brilliant conversation early on which started off with how posh and wealthy they are and which spiralled into this whole discussion of what their family life would have been like.’

Rebecca reveals that she and Christian also discussed the way Lady Whitworth might speak.
Photo: Christian Brassington

‘We agreed that they obviously needed to sound like they come from the same family and background and Christian said they are probably the poshest family in Poldark. They may not have the most money and so they may not be the poshest now, in terms of what they have and own but historically they probably are and more importantly, they consider themselves the most aristocratic. Christian tends to use this elaborate, languid way of speaking which is part of what makes Ossie so unlikeable because he speaks almost like he can’t be bothered to talk to anyone else, he is so relaxed and confident which is brilliant and adds to the character.

‘I needed to have a version of that but my character is anything but languid and relaxed so I went for something that is sort of disparaging. She is very well spoken but everything is sort of on a weary sigh because she is tired of dealing with all of these silly people. It is the kind of voice that puts your opponent on the back foot straight away; it is a voice that is used to barking orders at servants. It is designed to put people on edge and is all about her letting everyone know that she is superior to them.’

And Rebecca divulges keeping still was a big part of how she played the character...

‘I felt that because of her closed off, emotionlessness that she ought to be very still and I don’t often play characters who are that still, if you look at Nicola Murray in the Thick of It she is constantly on the move and is quite twitchy and nervous and I wanted Lady Whitworth to have an absolutely steel like presence so I barely move my face or any part of myself. I sweep into the room and stare down my nose at people. Why would she have to move? She would never have had to rush anywhere, people will come to her and do things for her so she can just stand there and be and that is quite a powerful thing to play.’

And did the corset, an integral part of the period costume, prove an issue for Rebecca?

'I was in Death Comes to Pemberley and War And Peace – they’re all within 100-150 years of each other so the costumes were not totally unfamiliar to me and that very austere look is something I have done before. I found the costumes beautiful in Poldark.  Because Lady Whitworth is a wealthy woman, even though she is cold and terrifying, the costumes are still so gorgeous because they’re intricate and everything is beautifully embroidered and they’ve used all the finest materials. I have done quite a lot of corset work and these were not the most uncomfortable ones I’ve had to wear, it depends on the period you are filming and the style of dress and because these are empire line dresses the corsets don’t need to be crushingly tight so it wasn’t too bad.

Poldark returns to BBC One on 10 June.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Looking for Ross Poldark's London Home

Ross Poldark, London
Winston Graham is well known for giving more than a passing nod to real life people, places and events in his novels so, with some of the action for Poldark series four moving to London, I thought I'd check out the streets Ross, Caroline and George are said to live in in Warleggan and The Angry Tide to see if they ever existed. To my delight I was able to track them all down.  Caroline's Aunt Sarah's house was the easiest to find and Hedge Lane the hardest but let's start with the house Ross Poldark lives in when he comes to Westminster as a Member of Parliament.

Romantic London: Horwood's Plan  1792-99 (9)
Ross lives at 6 George Street, just off  the Strand.  We know this because in The Angry Tide Book 3 Chapter 3, Caroline takes Demelza to buy a new gown: "But before price could be discussed it was arranged that the gown should be finished and delivered to No. 6 George Street 'at this hour tomorrow'".

Earlier in The Angry Tide (Book 1 Chapter 3 III) Ross describes the rooms to Demelza: "They were good rooms. Mrs Parkins is a tailor's widow. George Street is off the Strand, near the Adelphi Buildings, and quiet after the noise of the main streets. Eighteen shillings a week I paid."

Ross Poldark, 6 George Street
No. 6 York Buildings  Photos by Evie Bowman for Poldarked
Today, George Street is known as York Buildings (Its name changed c.1852).  It is a small street that slopes down from John Adam Street to Victoria Embankment Gardens and, as I walk down it, I feel a twinge of excitement at the prospect of seeing  Ross Poldark's London home. I know the house exists from British History Online  (1) which describes it as a three storey building dating from the late 17th or early 18th century.  And, halfway down the hill, there it is in front of me. Painted white with grey windows, it does not disappoint!

George Street is less than a mile from Westminster although Ross says: "It's a way from Westminster, but there were always ferries at the foot of the steps to take me there," so I guess he was missing his horse!  The photo top right shows the entrance from York Buildings to what is now Victoria Embankment Gardens which, in Ross's time, would have been where the landing stages for the ferries were. One additional snippet:The Angry Tide covers the years 1798-1799 and in real life at this time a woman called Jane Moore resided at No. 6 (3).

George and Elizabeth live in a different part of town. The Angry Tide Book 3 Chapter 3 II says: "The Warleggans had arrived in London only two days before and taken up residence at No. 14 King Street, just near Grosvenor Gate, having brought Valentine with them, since scarlet fever was so rife in Truro that he was unlikely to be  at greater hazard in London, with the fresh fields of Hyde Park on his doorstep."

Romantic London: Horwood's Plan  1792-99 (9)
There were several King Streets in London in the early 1800s but Grosvenor Gate identifies this King Street as the one off Grosvenor Square. King Street became Northop Street in 1886 and then Culross Street in 1899 according to British History Online (2) but Horwood's Plan of 1799 (9) shows there was no No.14. However, in 1914, all the houses were renumbered and No.11 became No.14 so this may be the house Winston Graham was thinking of. With this in mind I knew, as I walked towards Culross Street, I would not be able to identify the Warleggan's with certainty. As it turned out,  this wasn't the only obstacle! Culross Street backs onto what was, until this year, the US Embassy and, as such, is in a restricted area with gates and security! George would have loved it! In 1914 there were plans to demolish the houses on the north side of Culross Street but the outbreak of war led to the plans being put aside and, after the war, the need for smaller houses meant the properties were renovated instead.

I did my best to get a couple of shots of the houses and the current No. 14 (centre left).

Warleggan, Culross Street, King Street
The Warleggans live in King Street, now Culross Street

Caroline, Hatton Garden
Caroline stays at 5 Hatton Garden
Caroline Penvenen lives with her Aunt Sarah when she visits London, which is where Ross finds her when he comes to thank her for clearing his debt and to talk to her about Dwight. Warleggan Book 4 Chapter 4 says, "It was snowing the following day when Ross set out to find Caroline. Her address was No.5 Hatton Garden, which he knew to be a superior residential district."
Romantic London: Horwood's Plan  1792-99 (9)
This was the easiest of the addresses to find as Hatton Garden is an area of London well known for it's fine jewellery shops and is the centre of the UK diamond trade.  I was not surprised to find then, that No. 5 now houses Premier Jewellers. The grey building, which is just off busy Holborn, has a plaque to the Italian political activist Giuseppe Mazzini on the wall, as Mazzini founded the first Italian school here (1841) during his exile in London (4).

At the end of the chapter in Warleggan, Ross tells Caroline where he is staying."If  you should change your mind before Thursday, you'll find me at the Mitre in Hedge Lane. It is just off Leicester Fields." Although this is just a lodging for Ross I thought it worth looking up. I could find references to Hedge Lane being near Suffolk Street, close to what is now Leicester Square, but couldn't quite pinpoint it until I looked on a map from 1746 (5). It then became clear that it was what is now known as Whitcomb Street and I was able to find it in British History Online (6).

Ross Poldark, Mitre, Hedge Lane
Map: Locating London's Past (5)
Present day Whitcomb Street (Hedge Lane)

Unfortunately, I could not find any reference to the Mitre in Whitcomb Street in (7) There was, however,  a Mitre on the other side of Leicester Square in St Martin's Lane (8), although this is no longer standing.

I had great fun tracking down all these places and it was such a thrill to see Ross's house.  Here are the references I used in case you want to find out more.

(1.) 'York Buildings', in Survey of London: Volume 18, St Martin-in-The-Fields II: the Strand, ed. G H Gater and E P Wheeler (London, 1937), pp. 81-83. British History Online [accessed 10 April 2018].

(2) 'Park Street and Culross Street: Culross Street east of Park Street, and Blackburne's Mews', in Survey of London: Volume 40, the Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, Part 2 (The Buildings), ed. F H W Sheppard (London, 1980), pp. 259-262. British History Online [accessed 25 April 2018].

(3)  Appendix B BHO     

(4) Giuseppe Mazzini's Houses in London

(5) Locating London's Past

(6) 'Whitcomb Street', in Survey of London: Volume 20, St Martin-in-The-Fields, Pt III: Trafalgar Square and Neighbourhood, ed. G H Gater and F R Hiorns (London, 1940), pp. 104-105. British History Online [accessed 5 May 2018].



(9) Romantic London: Horwoods Plan 1792-99

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Pics from the 'Poldark' S4 Preview Screening at the BFI

Here are a few pics from last night's preview screening of Poldark S4 at the BFI.  Sorry, there's no report as news from the Q&A is embargoed for a while.  I did ask the BFI Box Office if the panel would be filmed and disappointingly, it seems not.

Eleanor Tomlinson was unable to make the event as she is busy filming War of the Worlds but she did send a video (below) with the wonderful news that there would be a series 5!

Luke Norris, Esme Coy, Christian Brassington,  Joshua Whitehouse, Aidan Turner, Ellise Chappell, Beatie Edney
Luke Norris, Esme Coy, Christian Brassington,
Joshua Whitehouse, Aidan Turner, Ellise Chappell, Beatie Edney

Debbie Horsfield, Aidan Turner and Karen Thrussell
Debbie Horsfield, Aidan Turner and Karen Thrussell

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Film Review: 'Modern Life is Rubbish'

Modern Life is Rubbish is described as a sort of anti-romantic comedy and, in many ways, that's what it is.

Natalie (Freya Mavor) and Liam (Josh Whitehouse from Poldark)  are splitting up after ten years together and key moments in their lives are played out to a backdrop of the indie music of the time. In fact, their love of the same type of music brought them together and has always been a major factor in their relationship. Liam is a struggling musician; Natalie gives up her dream of becoming an album designer to work in advertising so as she can support the pair. The trouble is, Liam doesn't seem to notice Natalie's sacrifices. He's so absorbed in himself, his band and his music and so opinionated about the negative influence of modern day technology on our lives he has little time for anything else, including work. This might be okay if his band was going somewhere but they spend more time arguing than playing music.Will taking on the mysterious The Curve (Ian Hart) as their manager turn things around?

Seeing Liam's band on stage adds a nice sense of authenticity to the film for it's obvious that Josh Whitehouse is a musician, although sometimes I had to remind myself that I wasn't watching 'Josh Whitehouse in Concert'. Fellow Poldark actor Will Merrick plays Olly, the band's bass player and, as Liam's best mate, often comes up with some pearls of wisdom.

Liam soon begins to realise what he's lost by letting Natalie slip through his fingers and sees he has to change his ways. But is he too late?

Natalie's work colleague Adrian (Tom Riley) has started to take an interest in her.  He's bright, thoughtful, good-looking, shares her interests - I mean, what's not to like?

Ultimately, while Modern Life is Rubbish is a story of the compromises we make in a relationship, it does leave us wondering if it isn't better to change relationships rather than the people inside them.

Modern Life is Rubbish is in cinemas in the UK from Friday 4 May. Follow the link for venues and tickets