The Tricycle Theatre in Bigga Than Ben
Date posted: 01.10.2008
Bigga Than Ben is a crime-fuelled tale of two likeable but wayward Russians who arrive in London intent on bettering themselves and amassing an easy fortune.
Producer Liz Holford describes how they aimed to portray the capital: "We wanted to capture that grittier side of London that we, as Londoners, know and love but that is very different to the tourist, 'chocolate box' Hollywood view of the city - the multicultural vibrancy that we, and most who are new arrivals to the city, live amongst. We did include some iconic images; the London Eye, the South Bank, Hampstead Heath and, of course, Big Ben, but all from the point of view of a real on-looker."
Bigga Than Ben challenged Location Manager Nick Hale to capture 104 script locations in 86 actual locations, over four weeks on a budget of £7.4k. "Impossible as it seems and definitely not for the faint hearted, the location management experience on Bigga Than Ben is testament to the power of a good team and a strong sense of community", says Nick.
"The film received much help from bars, shops, homes, companies, organisations, agencies and individuals, all ready to work with us and within our means. The crew pulled in all the favours they could and the shops on the Camden and Kilburn High Roads and the councils of Brent, Camden, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster deserve a special mention too. "Even the actors managed to work around location constraints. On one occasion Ben Barnes and Andrei Chadov ran in socks across the old Trojan Records factory rooftop in Notting Hill to ensure we would not have to pay for any damages to the new roof coating!"
One such example is The Tricycle in Kilburn. Nick describes how the team came to use this location: "One morning whilst filming at Foodworld on the Kilburn High Rd, we learned that our next location had retracted at the last hour so on the road opposite we approached The Tricycle. General Manager, Mary Lauder, quickly understood our predicament and within hours had made available to us the ticket office necessary for the 'Cobakka registers for College' sequence."
The Tricycle comprises of a 230 seat theatre, a 300 seat cinema, a large rehearsal studio, a visual arts studio as well as a Café/Bar and Art Gallery. Since it opened in the converted Forester's Hall in 1980, it has become one of London's most respected and loved theatres. It produces a challenging and innovative programme of theatre, cinema, visual arts and education work, attracting the local community and audiences from far beyond its home on the Kilburn High Road.
"Bigga Than Ben is a tribute to the never dull world of film-making," adds Nick, "it's a fresh reminder that when filming in London, individuals, businesses and communities can readily pull together to help keep independent film possible. This keeps filming in London in good health and extremely fun."
Opportunities to film at The Tricycle are limited as the building is often in use, however all filming enquiries can be directed to Gail Deacon, Front of House Business Manager, on 020 7372 6611.