PTL in the circles that I mix is an abbreviation for ‘praise the Lord’, being an expression of wonder and gratitude to God, be it for who he is or what he has done. It is therefore my very appropriate reaction to the two days of filming on a particular film this week. And it was encouraging to see pink road signs bearing these three letters as I approached and left the set on both mornings.
So, what was so good?
I have to retrace my steps to the fitting which took place three weeks earlier and for which I had already been paid: always a good sign. Being set in the 1800’s, I was given a rather splendid and extravant costume, in which I felt really quite dapper. I met a fellow artiste whom I had got to know on my first big job and made the acquaintance of a kind gentleman who lived close to me in Chiswick. We shared a coffee and some deep conversation in Nero afterwards. (Nero serves the best cappuccino to my taste.)
Now on set, I notice the catering company is none other than Goblins Catering. They were superb on another production a couple of months earlier and so for breakfast I duly went for the bespoke omelette.
Reacquainted with my costume, I presented myself or rather my hair to hair and make up. I had undergone significant hair surgery a couple of months ago and hoped that it was now long enough. Sure enough, the stylist managed to heighten and curl my hair, so I hid my Rod Stewart wig.
Unlike many other shoots I had experienced, we spent most of the time on set rather than in the crowd holding area. This was the remarkable mock Gothic chapel within Charterhouse, a private school, responsible for members of Genesis. I felt at home here.
One reason for the time spent there was down to an elderly actor who just could not remember his lines. We did sympathise with him as he had to run along the aisle before announcing ‘My Lords, I have a…’ at which point his dramatic pause turned into ‘Cut! First positions, please.’
The writer/director was an unassuming, elderly gentleman with whom I had a brief chat during the lunch break about the filming. None of the locations was to be in the city in which the original story took place, namely Manchester.
Shots involved the ubiquitous mimed murmerings, shuffling, re-setting and friendly banter in the hallowed surround of our chamber of power.
All in all, a wonderful two days.
PTL for PTL!

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