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Image of Shoreditch Town Hall

Shoreditch Town Hall in Happy-Go-Lucky

Date posted: 01.04.2008

Mike Leigh's latest film, Happy-Go-Lucky, centres round the life of Poppy (played by Sally Hawkins). She is a primary school teacher living and working in London who has a relentless sense of optimism and an eternally hopeful disposition.

The film shot throughout London during the summer of last year. Shoreditch Town Hall was used as a location for a scene in which Polly attends an after work Flamenco class with a colleague. 

Location Manager, Jonah Coombes, explains: 'In working with Mike Leigh we were required as much as possible to maintain a sense of reality in terms of where the sequences should take place. Extensive research was therefore expected, in order to fully inform the process of finding the various locations. As one might expect, once the research was done, we needed to find a balance between the reality of where the scenes would really take place and the aesthetic / practical requirements of any potential locations. This perfect balance was found at Shoreditch Town Hall.' 

No longer operating as a government building, Shoreditch Town Hall now offers a wealth of opportunities for filming and photography. Restored Victorian splendour, faded Edwardian grandeur, a spooky cellar, disused rooms, sweeping staircases, stained glass windows, high ceilings, long corridors and numerous nooks and crannies offer a great variety of locations.

Jonah continues: 'It's a beautiful building that plays host to a great number of different uses and events and it certainly suited our aesthetic needs for staging the Flamenco class sequence. However, given both the unique way in which Mike Leigh works and the specific needs of our cinematographer, the practical issues were the biggest potential challenge.

Happily though, throughout the process, both Sheila Benjamin and Jerry Hayward from the venue were fantastic in working towards facilitating our needs on-site, whilst Amazing Space were, as ever, brilliant at overseeing the administrative and contractual elements. This particular location shoot was a great success and I will certainly look forward to proposing future filming there.'

To find out more, or to arrange a recce, please contact Lisa Henry at Amazing Space on 020 7251 6661, or check out www.amazingspace.co.uk.