Friday, 24 September 2021

Highlands Farm to host star-studded TV drama

A NEW ITV drama about the Great Fire of London is to be filmed in Henley.

The set is being built at Highlands Farm, a light industrial estate off Greys Road, and shooting will begin later this month.

The four-part drama, called The Great Fire, will feature stars including Andrew Buchan, Rose Leslie, Charles Dance, Jack Huston and Daniel Mays.

Written by ITN’s political editor Tom Bradby, it tells the story of humble baker Thomas Farriner and his fabled involvement in The Great Fire of London of 1666 when Charles II was on the throne. It is based on historical knowledge with fictional stories interwoven.

The series focuses on the circumstances that led to the catastrophic fire, Farriner’s family life at the bakery in Pudding Lane, the King’s extravagant lifestyle and Farriner’s complex relationship with his fictional sister-in-law, Sarah.

Farriner is played by Broadchurch actor Buchan. Diarist Samuel Pepys, a close confidante of the King, will be portrayed by Mays and his wife Elizabeth by Perdita Weeks. Boardwalk Empire and American Hustle actor Jack Huston plays the King. Lord Denton, an emissary of the King, will be played by Dance.

The sights and sounds of Europe’s greatest metropolis in the 17th century, Pudding Lane and the Palace of Whitehall will be recreated on location in Oxfordshire, Kent, Surrey and London.

Executive producer Douglas Rae said: “In 1666 London was the greatest city in the world with a population of 300,000. In just four days the Great Fire destroyed nearly half the city and threatened the monarchy. It’s a fascinating premise for a drama and creates the perfect backdrop for Tom Bradby to be at his most creative.

“We have assembled an amazing cast and production team and we’re looking forward to filming Tom’s fantastic scripts.”

Filming is scheduled to take nine weeks.

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