Film London

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Location of the Month 2007

January 2007 - Cecil Court

Image of Still from Miss Potter, courtesy of Momentum Pictures
Renée Zellweger presents another flawless performance in Miss Potter - a biopic of best-selling author, Beatrix Potter. Momentum Pictures release the feature nationwide on 5 January.


Beatrix is introduced as a struggling, misunderstood young artist living in London with her father (Bill Paterson) and mother (Barbara Flynn). She has a flair for colourful illustration. However, her creations - furry animal characters with human traits - were considered less than the Victorian ideal.

Unmarried and headstrong, the 36-year old Beatrix publishes her first book, 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit', in 1902. Her editor, Norman Warne (Ewan McGregor), is her key collaborator and eventually the pair fall in love - much to the disappointment of her parents.

The bulk of Miss Potter takes place in the early 1900s, with occasional flashbacks to the 1870s, when Beatrix was a young girl. It shot in London, as well as the Isle of Man and the Lake District. London locations include Lincoln's Inn and St Peter's Square, which was used as the interior and exterior for the main Potter household.

A pedestrianised street in the heart of the West End, Cecil Court, also became a major location. Beatrix visits a bookshop here to see her first publication on the day of its release.

Cecil Court is a short but tranquil Victorian street linking Charing Cross Road and St. Martin's Lane. It is home to nearly twenty antiquarian and second-hand bookshops, including specialists in modern first editions, collectable children's books and antique maps.

Oscar®-winning production designer, Martin Childs, converted a number of bookshop windows into other shop facades - including a butcher's, a sweet shop and a luggage store.

Cecil Court was the last location for the London shoot. They filmed for a full day, with a day to set up and one to strike. The crew numbered over 100 for this important sequence.

Martin Joy was the location manager. He found Westminster Council, the Cecil Court Association, Gascoigne Estates (the landowners) and Nigel Williams Rare Books extremely helpful and accommodating.

Find out more about Cecil Court. To film in the City of Westminster contact the Special Events team on 020 7641 2390 or visit: www.westminster.gov.uk/filming.

Visit the official Miss Potter website: www.misspottermovie.co.uk.

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