Bury St Edmunds and King’s Lynn were locations for Armando Iannucci’s film “The Personal History of David Copperfield” filmed in 2018.
To celebrate the film now being released on DVD and for live-streaming, Lynn Museum in King’s Lynn has organised a watch-along event to celebrate Norfolk Day, allowing people to experience a piece of media from their own space, and to discuss their thoughts and observations with each other in real time.
Bury St Edmunds and Beyond will be joining in and tweeting along on Twitter on Sunday, July 26, from 7pm, along with Lynn Museum.
In July 2018 the streets of Bury St Edmunds were filled with film crew, extras, horse drawn carriages, directors, producers, cameras and some of Hollywood’s top names.
Filming took place on Angel Hill outside The Angel Hotel, where Dickens stayed three times, The Athenaeum, where he did some of his readings, and in Crown Street and Chequer Square before moving to inside the Theatre Royal. The first official photo featured Dev Patel in costume in Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds.
Former chairman of Bury St Edmunds Tour Guides and Theatre Royal guide Mike Dean was an extra in the film.
Sue Warren, brand and marketing manager at Bury St Edmunds and Beyond, said: “The idea is that everyone watches the film at home at the same time and then tweets their thoughts on the film as they watch. So, when you see a part that was filmed in Bury St Edmunds you can react in real time with others on Twitter. Not only is it fun to do, but it also raises the profile of Bury St Edmunds and Kings Lynn as film locations and film tourism destinations.”
This fresh take on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, boasts a stellar British cast led by Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Paul Whitehouse and Gwendoline Christie.
Emma Suckling, head of development at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, said: “Seeing Theatre Royal on the big screen was so thrilling for us all, its stunning auditorium played host to many of the film’s scenes so beautifully, and was so suited to the film and the time that hardly any detail had to be changed for filming. This event will provide a wonderful opportunity for those that know and love the film’s locations well to discuss ‘live’ on Twitter as the action happens.
“We loved hosting, and providing a base for the film’s crew here at the theatre whilst they filmed in Bury St Edmunds. The film’s director, Armando Iannucci, has been incredibly supportive of Theatre Royal ever since, backing our reopening appeal ‘The Show Must Go On!’ and granting us special permission to host a screening of the film at the theatre back in February.”
Charles Dickens visited Bury St Edmunds on three occasions, staying at The Angel Hotel, which doubles as a London coaching inn in the film.
There’s a blue plaque at the front of The Angel, installed by The Bury Society on the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth to commemorate his visits to Bury St Edmunds. The town and The Angel feature in “The Pickwick Papers” and the town is mentioned again in “The Personal History of David Copperfield.”
Dickens first stayed at The Angel in 1835 as a journalist for the Morning Chronicle (staying in what was then room 11). In 1859 and 1861 he returned to The Angel to read to a captive audience at the nearby Athenaeum, staying in what is now room 215 and known as the Charles Dickens Suite. He gave readings from “The Pickwick Papers” on October 13, 1859, and again on October 30, 1861, when he read from “A Personal History of David Copperfield.”
Discover more on the Bury St Edmunds filming locations for the film at https://www.visit-burystedmunds.co.uk/blog/2020/discover-the-bury-st-edmunds-locations-used-in-the-personal-history-of-david-copperfield
How to take part:
To take part, simply go to the event page and click “going” here: https://www.facebook.com/events/902691563563387/ Download the film. The film is currently available on DVD, or to stream in a variety of places including the BFI Player or on Amazon.
Start the film at 7pm on Sunday, July 26. Use the hashtag #CopperfieldAlong when you post your comments and thoughts on then film and to join in with others.