Wednesday, 30 April 2014

First Look at a Poldark Costume

Here is our first look at a costume from the remake of Poldark. Thanks to @WinstonGAuthor we know this is a picture of an extra who plays a guest at the wedding of Francis and Elizabeth.

The picture comes from Freya Hadfield's Pixsta account Mildemakrel and is captioned: 'And that's a wrap. #Poldark' Many thanks to Helen Caroline Biggs @Luthienbono for sharing this on Twitter.

You can read about Poldark's costume designer Marianne Agertoft here.

Freya Hadfield Mildemakrel

Monday, 28 April 2014

Babies on the Set of Poldark

UPDATE: Since writing this Louise Rea, the mother of the twin babies, has confirmed that they are indeed playing Geoffrey Charles Poldark and that they have five days of filming in total.

It looks like we have babies joining the cast of Poldark for filming today. Could it be for the christening of Elizabeth and Francis's boy Geoffrey Charles?

Here's a great little video about filming with babies on set which just happens to feature Aidan 'I love babies' Turner from when he played Mitchell in BBC's Being Human. Aidan joins the video at 2:58 min.

Many thanks to Louise Rea @loopington for news of the baby filming.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Warren Clarke

Photo via IMDB
Warren Clarke plays Charles Poldark, Ross's uncle, in the new BBC adaptation of Poldark.

Warren was born Alan Clarke in Oldham, Lancashire in 1947, the son of a stained glass window maker and a secretary. He joined the Manchester Evening News as a copy boy when he was 15 although he dreamed of being a footballer (he supports Manchester City). However, instead of football he found a passion for acting through amateur dramatics and eventually took up acting as a career.

Warren is perhaps best known for playing Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel in the TV series Dalziel and Pascoe, some episodes of which he also produced and directed. Among his many credits are Nice Work, Bleak House and  Red Riding.

Warren believes the script and the role are most important when deciding which parts to take. He told the Daily Mail, ‘I’ve never gone into anything thinking, “Oh, I’m going to make a fortune here.” I want to see the script, the character. I’ve been offered stuff in Hollywood but it was stuff I didn’t want to be involved with.' Well that's good news for Poldark.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

More on Filming Poldark at Chavenage House

Last week we broke the news that filming on Poldark had begun at Chavenage House in Wiltshire. In an update to our story the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard  confirmed that the house will be the Poldark family home of Trenwith.  A member of the Poldark production team said  “We chose to film at Chavenage because we wanted the Poldark family house to have a wonderful lived-in feel, which it most certainly does.”

A spokesperson for Chavenage House said,“We are delighted that they have decided to choose Chavenage as one of the main locations in the series. In the 70s there was a run of tried and tested dramas like Brideshead Revisited. It was a golden age of costume drama.
“We now have the success of Downton Abbey and I think the company are looking for the next Downton Abbey. It is perhaps easier to go back to the tried and tested type of dramas which they know work."

It also seems that at the end of last week there was some Poldark filming at the chapel at Chavenage too. Could this be Sawle Church where Francis and Elizabeth marry? Here's a look at the chapel and its interior.

via Churches of Britain and
via HauntedWiltshire

Monday, 21 April 2014

Behind the Scenes of Desperate Romantics

While we're keeping our fingers crossed for some behind the scenes pics from Poldark, here are some of Aidan Turner from Desperate Romantics. The photos are by First assistant James Blackwell  and you can find out more about each pic on his website.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Poldark's Red Lion has a Landlord

Dark Star Photography via IMDB
Congratulations to Julian Seager who has been cast as the Landlord of the Red Lion in Poldark.

Julian may have come to acting later in life than most, with a part as a Russian Zombie Killer in World War Z, but he must be one of our busiest actors with small parts in over 50 productions since 2011. Honestly, it's almost hard to think of a production he hasn't been in! He's appeared on TV in Atlantis, Being Human, Doc Martin, Dr Who, Broadchurch, Merlin and many more. He's been in films like World's End, Rush, Skyfall, Thor2, The Muppets Most Wanted and Les Miserables - not to mention films not yet released like Guardians of the Galaxy, In the Heart of the Sea and Turner. He plays a leading role in She's Dead which won Best British Film in the Dark Zone Movie Days Festival 2013 in Germany.

Julian comes across as someone with a real zest for life. You can follow him on Twitter @JulianSeager

Thursday, 17 April 2014

First Day of Filming Poldark at Chavenage House

Photo via BBC

Chavenage House photo BBC

Putting together the information gleaned from the BBC this week it seems that filming on Poldark began at Chavenage House near Tetbury in Wiltshire on 14 April, with Aidan Turner riding by on a horse. The 16th century cotswold stone house is most likely to be Trenwith the home of Ross's uncle, Charles Poldark, in the new BBC adaptation of Winston Graham's novel. In the original TV drama this honour went to Godolphin House at Helston in Cornwall.

Godolphin House via Cornwall Calling

Chavenage House is no stranger to film crews  having been the location for many productions, but it's probably most familiar to viewers as Candleford Manor in the BBC drama Lark Rise to Candleford. To actor Ruby Bentall who plays Ross's cousin Verity in Poldark it should certainly seem so, as she played Minnie Mude in Lark Rise.

Chavenage House was built in 1576 and only two families have owned it since: the Stevens family and the Lowsley-Williams. As well as the magnificent house there are stables, cottages, workshops and a chapel in the grounds.

In this interesting video the Lowsley-Williams' show us around the house and talk about what it is like to have film crews shooting there.

Last year (2013) Chavenage House was open to the public from 1st May to 30 September on Thursdays and Sundays from 2-5 pm and on Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays.

Corsham Filming Dates Confirmed.

Corsham Town Council have posted a notice about the Poldark filming in Corsham  confirming that filming will be on 6, 7 and 8 May, 2014.  Regular readers of Poldarked will know that we've been waiting for confirmation ever since we noticed a discrepancy between the dates announced in the press and the road closure notice.

We hope it's a great experience for everyone who's going along to watch (And, if you can access it, then the Flemish Weaver pub might just be worth a visit too.)

Poldark's Block One Director of Photography is Cinders Forshaw

Photo via
The Director of Photography for filming Poldark Block 1 is Cinders Forshaw.

Cinders trained at the National Film and Television School and has a degree in Film and Photographic Arts. Among her many credits are Marple, Poirot and Tipping the Velvet.

As DOP Cinders has a major creative role in providing a unique visual identity for Poldark. Lighting is key to this as it can create mood, drama and excitement for the audience - largely without them even noticing!  Here is a fascinating blog post by Crooning Dog that looks at Cinders' work in some detail.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Poldark's Make-up and Hair Designer Jacqueline Fowler

The Make-up and Hair Designer for Poldark is BAFTA award winner Jacqueline Fowler.

Jacqueline has worked with actors such as Joss Ackland, Steven Berkoff, Kirsten Dunst, Jennifer Ellison, Michael Fassbender, Geraldine James, Joanna Lumley, Art Malik, Ron Moody, Vanessa Redgrave, John Malkovich, and Andy Serkis. She won her Best Make-up and Hair Design BAFTA in 2012 for The Crimson Petal and the White having been nominated in 2010 for Red Riding 1974. Most recently she has worked on Fleming and Da Vinci's Demons.

Here she answers The Big Questions on BAFTA Guru and talks about her respect for people who work on period drama.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Executive Producer Karen Thrussell Talks About Filming Poldark

Karen Thrussell, Poldark's executive producer, talks to BBC Radio Cornwall about Aidan riding a horse on the first day of filming, filming in Cornwall in June and July and of filming continuing until mid-September.

Poldark Filming

Here's a closer look at the 16th century Cotswold house where they were filming Poldark yesterday.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Casting News: John Hollingworth, Harriet Ballard, Gracee O'Brien

Hot on the heels of last week's casting announcements for Poldark we have a few announcements of our own that we've gathered from Twitter.

John Hollingworth joins the cast as Captain Henshawe who helps Ross with the mines. John is currently appearing in An Intervention at Watford Palace Theatre. You can catch him there until 3 May . 
John Hollingworth and Rachel Stirling in An Intervention

Young Cornish actor Gracee O'Brien has been cast as  Jinny Martin. Gracee is with the Cornwall Youth Theatre and has just finished appearing in Before I Wake at Heligan Gardens.

We're waiting to hear what role Harriet Ballard has been cast in but we know she had a costume fitting a couple of weeks ago when she tweeted, "Big Thank-you 2 the lovely costume ladies Marianne, Hava & Jan for corset& costume madness yesterday @BBCOne @mammothscreen #Poldark"
Harriet has appeared in Lewis and Switch. (As a little bit of trivia, she starred alongside Lacey Turner in Switch and Lacey has appeared in Being Human with Aidan Turner).
Harriet Ballard via IMDB

You can follow these cast members on twitter @JAHollingworth  @OBriengracee  @HarrietBallard8

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Filming 'Poldark' in Corsham - But When?

Going to watch the filming of Poldark in Corsham? Then read on.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald  says that filming will take place on 4 to 8 May, 2014. However, in the announcement of the temporary road closure for filming, Wiltshire Council say the roads will be closed Monday 5 to Friday 9 May. The roads will be closed between 8.00 am and 10.00 pm on these days.

Of course, it may be that they don't need to close the roads on 4 May and that there will not be filming on 9 May, but the discrepancy in the dates does mean there's some confusion.

Here is the Road Closure Notice.

Corsham Council does not know if this period of closure includes the time for preparing the buildings and the lighting or if it is just the filming time.

Poldarked is waiting to hear from Mammoth Screen as to the filming days and we'll be sure to keep you up to date.

Friday, 11 April 2014

More Poldark Cast Announced

The BBC Media Centre have just announced some more of the cast of Poldark. Joining Aidan Turner (Ross) and Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza) are:

Jack Farthing (Blandings) as ambitious banker George Warleggan, 

Photo BBC

Kyle Soller (Anna Karenina) as Ross' cousin Francis Poldark, 
via IMDB

Warren Clarke (Red Riding) as Ross's uncle Charles Poldark
via IMDB

Phil Davis (Whitechapel) as Ross's lazy manservant Jud
via IMDB

Beatie Edney (Poirot) as Jud's wife Prudie

via IMDB

 Alexander Arnold (Skins) as Ross's farm hand Jim Carter


Robert Daws (Holby) as Dr Choake 

Yesterday it was announced that Robin Ellis would join the cast as Rev. Halse and cast members Heida Reed (Elizabeth) and Ruby Bentall (Verity) were announced a couple of weeks ago.

What a terrific cast we have coming together.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Poldark to be Filmed in Corsham

The market town of Corsham, Wiltshire, is to be used as a location for filming Poldark.

The filming will take place 4 to 8 May and will centre on the High Street and the Town Hall reports the Gazette and Herald.

Corsham town clerk David Martin said of the filming, “We are right behind it, as we know it can bring a great benefit to the town, as it will generate a lot of interest.
“Whilst there is obvious disruption to residents and businesses in the short term, the long-term benefits undoubtedly will be huge. It’s part of a series and apparently they’re looking at coming back again, so it could be a couple of times a year.”

The publicist for Poldark Lisa Vanoli said, “We will be filming in Cornwall for a large portion of the summer and we have studios in Bristol.
“They find suitable locations within an easy driving distance of those studios and there are lots of great locations in the area.
“There are eight episodes in this series, which will air on BBC 1.
“Because it’s a series there is always the chance of doing more.”

A Poldark Cameo for Robin Ellis?

Photo by Forbes Collins
UPDATED 10 April 2014 with a BBC tweet

Robin Ellis, who played Ross in the original adaptation of #Poldark, will join our cast of for two episodes to play Reverend Halse.

Robin Ellis, star of the original Poldark series, may be set to cameo in the new BBC remake of the drama.

In an article in the  Express Robin says, “The production company took me out to lunch recently and asked me to be involved. We are a little way down the road. A cameo has been mentioned but nothing is fixed and I can’t say any more at the moment.”

Robin who played Ross Poldark in the 1970's drama, is still warmly associated with the role.  He says, “Poldark has done me nothing but good and I rejoice at having been in it. I’m very lucky. Very few actors are privileged to do a series that is so well received. It has been a bonus all my life.”

Robin has welcomed Aidan Turner as the new Ross and the pair have exchanged e-mails. And
Robin finds that, at the age of 72, he's ready to hand the role on to a new generation saying, "Even the thought of playing him is exhausting."

Fans of Poldark will be delighted if Robin were to appear in the new series. Fingers crossed that it happens.

Aidan Turner in Desperate Romantics. Photo Laurence Cendrowicz.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Location Crew

Port Isaac via Visit Cornwall

One of the stars of the new Poldark drama will, without a doubt, be the wonderful Cornish scenery and many of us will be keen to go there and see it for ourselves. The original series attracted plenty visitors to Cornwall but, with the recent growth in television tourism, Cornwall can surely expect an even greater influx of fans this time around.

One of the people responsible for finding suitable locations for shooting Poldark it would seem, is location manager and Cornwall expert Carn Burton. Carn has lots of experience of filming in Cornwall with films like About Time, Summer in February and Gulliver's Travels to his credit. Other credits include Skyfall, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strange Tides, Rush and War Horse: all pretty impressive. The assistant location manager, Monty Till,  is also familiar with Bristol and the South West having worked on Doc Martin and Summer in February.

Pictured here are Port Isaac and Porthluney Cove which were locations used for filming in the original Poldark series. Pictures via Visit Cornwall.

Porthluney Cove via Visit Cornwall

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Radio Times: Inside News from Poldark

In this week's Radio Times Debbie Horsfield, writer of the new adaptation of Poldark, talks about how the preparations for filming are going. Debbie says, "It's very exciting - we've just had our read-through and four days of rehearsals."

Debbie clears up the question of which accents will be used in the series. It seems that the actors will adopt a light Cornish accent for, as Debbie explains, "Hopefully the series will be shown around the world, so we have to strike a balance between our characters sounding authentic and being understood!"

Rehearsals for the cast have included deportment and dancing as well as yesterday's session with historical adviser Hannah Greig. In addition, Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza), Heida Reed (Elizabeth) and Aidan Turner (Ross) have all had riding lessons. Aidan has some experience of riding having learned to ride for The Hobbit. The dancing, too, should not be a problem for him, having trained in ballroom dancing as a youngster.

The filming of Poldark starts on 14 April, 2014 in Bristol and Cornwall.

Many thanks to @JoyLynne4 for posting the Radio Times article on Twitter.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Eleanor and Aidan at the Poldark Read-through

BBC1 have just posted this terrific pic of Eleanor Tomlinson and Aidan Turner, our Demelza and Ross, at the read-through for Poldark today.

Director William McGregor then posted this pic of the script. So are we excited?

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Costume Design for Poldark

Who doesn't enjoy the costumes in a period drama? And with rehearsals for Poldark starting in a few days, many of the cast are having fittings this week, it would seem.

This evening actor Robert Daws tweeted,
 @RobertDaws  Off to get my wig and boots fitted for #Poldark tomorrow. Zounds!

And earlier today Switch actress Harriet Ballard tweeted me,
@HarrietBallard8  En route and very excited for my costume fitting!!! @BBCOne @Poldarked

The costume designer for Poldark is Marianne Agertoft.  Marianne's recent work includes BBC's Death Comes to Pemberley, which is set in the early nineteenth century. (Of course Eleanor Tomlinson, who played Georgiana Darcy in the drama, will be playing Demelza to Poldark.)  Marianne says, "Designing costumes is a collaborative process where you as a designer offer up ideas and then develop the feel and look of the character with the director and the actor."

Early in her career Marianne worked on the film Sleepy Hollow starring Johnny Depp. Her more recent work includes Utopia and  Late Bloomers.

Here are some of the costumes from Death Comes to Pemberley. 

Addendum: Since posting this I've received an anonymous comment that informs me that the last two dresses pictured are, in fact, recycled from past period productions and are designed by Ruth Myers and Jacqueline Durran respectively. If you'd like to know their past, here are the links

Pictures by Robert Viglasky.

 And these from BBC

Robin Ellis on Poldark

A couple of years ago Robert Lloyd of  the LA Times did a lovely interview with actor Robin Ellis, the original Ross Poldark, about the making of Poldark and how it affected his life.

It's worth reading the original interview but here are some extracts to whet your appetite.

Photo by Forbes Collins

LA Times: Were you aware of the books beforehand?
Robin Ellis: No. I suppose I must have heard of Winston Graham. He was a very considerable storyteller. He wrote "Marnie," which Hitchcock made into a film. His high writing time was maybe 20 years before, but then this revived it, and he wrote another eight Poldark books. The last one he wrote at the age of 92. It's called "Bella Poldark," and it's about Ross's youngest daughter and it's really good. Graham fell in love with Bella as he had fallen in love with Demelza [the series' heroine, played by Angharad Rees], and it revived his juices. She ends up playing Ophelia at the Old Vic! It's absolutely wonderful. I mean, that's an author having fun, at the age of 92. He wrote the first Poldark book in 1945, and attempt after attempt was made to make a film. But because it was four books originally, I think they just thought, "This is too difficult to compress into one two-hour movie." And eventually in 1975 the BBC picked it up and went ahead.

LAT: When you're playing a character like this, do you put the same work into it as you would if you were doing Shakespeare?
RE: The only difference is the time you have. We had six days of rehearsal for each episode, two days in the studio and one day off, a nine-day turnaround. It was like doing a play, really, because in those days it was done on five cameras in a studio between 7:30 and 10 at night. That's why in the first episode, I wish somebody had said, "OK, Robin, calm down. It's going well," because I was coming in there, really banging it out.

LAT: You have great chemistry with Angharad Rees.
RE: It was really extraordinary; we just hit it off. She's an interesting woman. Her father was a psychiatrist and ended up as head of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the United Kingdom. A very bright woman, and naturally sort of vivacious and talented. And with an edge, a sort of natural edge. Demelza in the books is dark-haired, I think; Angharad had a little battle to retain her red hair, which worked tremendously well in contrast to Jill Townsend's Elizabeth, who is the classic English rose blond. But Angharad and I just hit it off temperamentally, and we just sparked off each other, and liked each other a great deal.

LAT: Why do you think viewers reacted so strongly to "Poldark"?
RE: I always say that it goes back to the original writer, Winston Graham, who writes stories with very strong characters. They're set in an historic context, but their everyday worries are people's everyday worries and problems — maybe enhanced by the exotic-ness of the 18th century but nevertheless identifiable. And he writes them so believably that people identify over the generations. I mean, this series was done 40 years ago, and it's still loved today in spite of the slightly creaky technical stuff. It has that universal appeal. Everybody loves being told a good story.

LAT: What's it meant to have had that character in your life?
RE: I feel honoured, really. It's quite rare for actors to have a role that positive as in their career at the right time; I just was incredibly lucky, really. People say, "Well, you'll be typecast," but in a sense one is always typecast because if you're any good in anything, there is part of you in a role. You're playing variations on a theme, in a sense.

LAT: What is it that make him so attractive?
RE: I think someone who leads and takes risks is attractive, because not everybody's prepared to do that.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Be an Extra in Poldark

If 2015 seems a long time to wait for Poldark and you've got some free time now, why not apply to be an extra in the drama? Filming starts in a couple of weeks and goes on until the end of August and, during that period, extras will be needed at various times. 

Film Cast Cornwall and SW are looking for extras for the scenes being shot in Cornwall (they are not covering Bristol). They require Cornwall based people who are available in June and have the right look for the period c.1780. 

Theresa Outing from Film Cast Cornwall & SW told me, "I am `gathering’ new supporting artistes and am always looking for people with great character looks who would be right for period productions.  However, the production will be getting people from other sources as well so at this stage I don’t know how many people I need.  If anyone wants to register they should email me for a registration form at "

Film CastCornwall & SW's website is currently being updated but should be ready by the end of the week. Check it out.