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Richard III Film Screening with Tony Burrough

Sir Ian Mckellen in Richard III

On Saturday 9th May The Hospital Club hosted Camden50 for the first of 5 film screenings, one happening every month at the club up to September 2015. This film programme was made up of films that have been shot mostly in Camden.

The first film was Richard III, directed by Richard Loncraine in 1995. The film has a stellar cast which includes Ian McKellen, Annette Bening, Jim Broadbent, Robert Downey Junior and Maggie Smith to name just a few.

This Shakespeare film was the first of its kind. An interpretation of Shakespeare without any of the formal and theatrical representations viewers were used to. The director, Loncraine, had said he wanted the film to be unrestricted by the Shakespearean language, it should tell the tale visually and through action - which it certainly does.

For this showing we were incredibly pleased to have Oscar nominated and BAFTA winning Production Designer on Richard III, Tony Burrough to introduce the film. In the late 60s / early 70s Tony was living and working in America as a decorative features designer for architectural designs. He then came back to the UK and was having a tour of the BBC when he was offered a job as head designer on the 70s Top of the Pops and later in the 80s on such programmes as Grange Hill and Dr Who.

Production Designer Tony Burrough introduces the film

It was while Tony was working at the BBC that he met Richard Loncraine. Richard was directing a TV movie 'Wide Eyed and Legless' starring Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters and Tony was asked to design the look of it. It was during this time that Richard and Tony began discussing what Shakespeare could look like on film.

From there they began working on Richard III. The stylised look of the film and of London in the 1930's won Tony his BAFTA. Tony explained that his approach to the film was a 'what if' approach - what if this was in London in the 1930s? How could that be created? This led him to find locations to fit that vision. As it happened, a lot of that vision drew him to Camden and to dramatic buildings like Senate House (for Richard III's fascist HQ) and King's Cross St Pancras (for Richard's extravagant home)

Senate House, Camden
Inside Senate House
Inside Senate House, Camden
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King's Cross St Pancras, Camden

After Richard III, which was Tony's first venture into the silver screen, he went on to work on some incredible films including Great Expectations starring Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow, A Knights Tale starring Heath Ledger and Hotel Rwanda starring Don Cheadle and Joaquín Phoenix.

Having a chat with Tony at The Hospital Club

Camden50 would like to thank The Hospital Club, Anna Lowe and Jane Soans for their help pulling together this programme.