One of the most ambitious TV dramas ever undertaken in the UK, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, premiered on BBC One on Sunday 17th May at 9pm. The epic seven part drama spent four months filming in the region following investment from the Yorkshire Content Fund and is the largest scale production that Screen Yorkshire has ever invested in.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell was adapted for the screen by writer Peter Harness (Wallander, Is Anybody There?). Eddie Marsan (Best Of Men, Ray Donovan, Filth) and Olivier award-winning Bertie Carvel (Coalition, Restless, Hidden, Matilda) take on the magical roles of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Further casting includes Alice Englert (Ginger & Rosa, Beautiful Creatures), Marc Warren (Hustle, Mad Dogs), Samuel West (Mr Selfridge, Fleming), Charlotte Riley (Wuthering Heights, Easy Virtue), Enzo Cilenti (Prisoners Wives, Rome) and Paul Kaye (Game Of Thrones, Stella).
Based on the bestselling novel by Susanna Clarke, the story of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell opens in York at the beginning of the 19th-century, when the people of England no longer believe in magic. This all changes when the reclusive Mr Norrell causes the statues of York Minster to speak and move, starting a new enthusiasm for magic. With a little persuasion and help from his man of business Childermass (Cilenti), he goes to London to help the government in the war against Napoleon. It is there Norrell summons a fairy to bring Lady Pole (Englert) back from the dead, opening a whole can of worms…
Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell spent four months filming in Yorkshire at locations including; York – St Williams College, Lady Peckett’s Yard, College Street, The Shambles, York Minster, Newbrough Priory. Leeds – Temple Newsam, Kirkstall Abbey, Studio 81. Oakwell Hall – Birstall, Fountains Abbey, St Mary’s Church – Otley, Stainburn Church, Wentworth Woodhouse – Rotherham. Wakefield – St Johns North, St Johns Square, South Parade and Appletreewick. The production also filmed in Canada and Croatia. Creative England supported the production by sourcing locations, crew and filming permissions.
Nick Hirschkorn, producer, Feel Films says: ”The perfect combination of stunning locations, a healthy crew base, affordable rates and unwavering support from Screen Yorkshire, made basing Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell in Leeds and York for 16 weeks of filming a very easy decision to make. I look forward to returning to capitalise on all the wonderful relationships that were built during this large and complex production.”
Hugo Heppell, Head of Investments, Screen Yorkshire adds: “Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is epic television in every sense. Rooted in Yorkshire, infused with a Yorkshire sensibility, and shot extensively in the region, we couldn’t be more proud of this spectacular series and everybody involved in its production.”
The series is directed by Toby Haynes (The Musketeers, Doctor Who) and the producer is Nick Hirschkorn (Five Children And It, Skellig). It is produced by Cuba Pictures (Boy A, Broken, Coalition) for BBC One and co-produced with BBC America, in association with Feel Films, Far Moor, Screen Yorkshire and Bell Media’s Space. It will be distributed by Endemol Worldwide Distribution.