St. George's Walk, Croydon in The Kid
Date posted: 01.09.2010
This month sees the release of harrowing and heartbreaking feature, The Kid. Adapted from Kevin Lewis' critically acclaimed autobiographical novel of the same name, The Kid tell the ultimately inspiring story of Kevin's life; his dark and violent and abusive childhood on a South London estate, tormented school life and teenage experiences of the criminal underworld.
Directed by Nick Moran (Telstar) and adapted for the screen by both Kevin Lewis and writer/producer Mark Thomas, the film boasts an incredible supporting cast, including Natascha McElhone (The Truman Show), Ioan Gruffudd (Amazing Grace), James Fox (W.E.) and Bernard Hill (The Lord of the Rings). The title role is played by Rupert Friend (The Young Victoria, Pride and Prejudice) and two other up-and-coming actors - each portraying a different stage in Kevin's life.
The production were keen to film in Croydon, where Kevin spent his childhood, but for location manager Tony Hood the challenge was finding areas that still had the look and feel of the 1980s that Kevin would have experienced as a boy. St. George's Walk in Croydon was the chosen setting for a number of scenes; offices and a bar/nightclub were used for interior shoots, while the location had the perfect exteriors for the recreation of a market which had once existed in the area (where Kevin actually worked on a stall). Tony Hood was pleased with the find, explaining that "it is unusual for a location that provides a period exterior that can be shot in all directions". In fact, St. George's Walk proved so versatile and film-friendly the production team chose to shoot in the area for 10 days - even recruiting a number of local residents as extras for many of the scenes.
The location is managed by property investment and development company Minerva Plc. The filming contact for the area, David Owens, was happy to accommodate the production, appreciating the need for verisimilitude. Owens remarked: "The author and his story have strong ties to Croydon and therefore it was fantastic to see the production of The Kid use sites such as the St Georges Walk to make it all the more real. This was a truly moving story of one man's determination for a better quality of life."
Given the powerful subject matter of The Kid, the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) have chosen to lend their support to the film. As a national children's charity they are encouraging as many people as possible to go and see it, in the hope that they feel inspired to do something positive for children who are suffering abuse today. As well as promoting the film to their supporters, staff and volunteers via their website and social networking pages, the organisation has exclusive clips and interviews with the cast, and will be helping to host the UK premiere at the Odeon in Leicester Square on 15 September.
NSPCC communications development manager, Joy Barber, explains why the organisation felt drawn to film: "The story Kevin tells in The Kid is one we recognise very well at the NSPCC. Domestic violence, physical abuse, neglect and bullying are issues we talk about every day with children and young people contacting our ChildLine service. The point is, not all children can speak for themselves and sometimes they need adults to speak out for them and, in a way, that's what the film really brings home."
For more information about filming at St. George's Walk please visit contact David Owens on 020 7535 1000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Kid will be released nationwide by Revolver Entertainment on 17 September 2010.