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April

The Southbank Centre in The Boat That Rocked

Date posted: 01.04.2009

The Boat That Rocked is the latest feature from writer/director Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Bridget Jones's Diary).

An ensemble comedy set in the 60's - it revolves around a band of DJ's who captivate Britain with their pirate radio broadcast from the middle of the North Sea.

The Count (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Gavin (Rhys Ifans) and Dave (Nick Frost) play music that defines a generation. 25 million people may be tuning in, but the jazz-loving government, led by the upstanding Minister Dormandy (Kenneth Branagh), is determined to shut them down.

St Paul's roof pavilion of the Royal Festival Hall, part of the Southbank Centre complex, was dressed as Minister Dormandy's office.

As the UK's largest arts centre it occupies a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London's most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and The Hayward, as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection.

Shauna Wilson, the Filming and Commercial Coordinator at Southbank Centre, said: ''It was great to be involved in the filming of The Boat That Rocked and having the production here at an already busy site was a challenge but the crew were fantastic and our visitors enjoyed the chance to see a film in the making. The transformation of St Paul's roof pavilion in the Royal Festival Hall into Dormandy's office was amazing, so amazing in fact that our Chief Executive was keen to relocate his office to the set!''

The positive experience was clearly shared by the Location Manager, Adam Richards, as he explained: "Words cannot describe how helpful and proactive the staff of the Royal Festival Hall was, during the making of The Boat That Rocked. Nothing was ever a problem and they understood and coped amazingly, with the demands and needs of the ever changing mind of a film crew.

'Special praise must also go to Shauna Wilson and Neil Ormondroyd for their continuous help and support throughout our time there. They were available to speak to at all hours, it seemed, and responded always, in a cheery and positive manner. I never, at any time, felt that anything was too much trouble. It would be a pleasure to return to film there again one day, should the circumstance arise."

All filming enquiries should be directed through their website.