Monday 19 February 2018

Nine Snippets from 'Poldark on Stage'

Poldark on Stage, Rebecca Keane, Debbie Horsfield, Damien Timmer, Karen Thrussell
Rebecca Keane, Debbie Horsfield, Damien Timmer and
Karen Thrussell
Poldark on Stage was a chance for fans to find out more about the show from screenwriter Debbie Horsfield and Executive Producers Karen Thrussell, Damien Timmer and Rebecca Keane. Now-familiar stories such as how Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson were cast, were mixed with new tales to make an interesting evening topped, wonderfully, by a look at some film from series four. Fans were treated to a three minute clip from episode one of Ross and Demelza sitting and talking by the fireside. First, though, we saw a preview of S4 as shown to the cast and crew at the wrap party back in January. It looks fabulous!

Here are some snippets from the evening:
  • Damien said that the fifth series of Poldark was 'in discussion'.
  • Mammoth Screen do not know when series four will be aired but say it may be a little earlier than last year. S4 will take us to the end of The Angry Tide.
  • Damien said: There are plans afoot for an American fan event: that's certainly been discussed.
  • Debbie uses an 18th century Cornish lexicon to ensure that the Cornish dialogue she writes is as authentic as possible. She is convinced Winston Graham used this lexicon too, as all the phrases from the books are in it. Debbie invented the word 'skillage' - a favourite from the show.
  • There is a scene in S4 where Ross and Demelza are racing their horses across the sand and, during the filming, Eleanor's horse edged in front. Aidan, looking over and getting a bit cross about this, urged his horse on but couldn't catch up. When Karen spoke to them afterwards Eleanor was quietly smug while Aidan was all "Well my horse isn't as fast..."
  • The BBC have a standard amount of money they pay for an hour of drama and don't pay any more because it's an historical drama filmed in Cornwall. The production company has to work out how much money they need to raise, outside of the BBC licence fee and tax credit, to make the show. They overspent on the first series of Poldark because it was a much bigger production than anticipated but now the show comes in on budget. Despite claims by the press that 'no expense has been spared' there is always scrimping and saving. Debbie is very strict about the finance and is good at finding the dramatic purpose of a scene within the confines of the budget. 
  • Talking locations, Rebecca said Nampara is the beating heart of Poldark and they sometimes go and sit in the set and think "We're in Ross's living room."
  • Karen nearly resigned over the exterior of Nampara! She felt it should be bigger.  The original plan had been to build an extra wing on the end of the house but then, because they were over-budget, that became impossible so they had to make the house work as it was.
  • Poldark is a happy ship! It has one of the happiest, most bonded teams and people care passionately about it.
Poldark on Stage was a fundraiser for the INK Festival which supports the new writing of films and plays in East Anglia. An auction of photographs signed by Eleanor and Aidan raised £340 on the night and the bidding is still open on the auction for one of Ross's waistcoats. Check out the details here.

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