Friday, 16 February 2007

Lancashire Hollywood By Ray Irving

It would take a Hollywood productions company months to build a set for a period drama, not counting the enormous cost and delay the very fact that it would be plywood and plastic would spoil it before the filming ever starts. So when a well known romantic novelist dreams up a series of six books and movies based upon the Tudor era, alarm bells start to ring in the heads of the producers and financiers. Pamela Seres has been writing Historical romance fiction for many years and came across our very own King Henry VIII in the persona of professional actor Ray Irving from Chorley, a gently nudge from Stuart gave her the direction to find her King. She noticed his remarkable resemblance to the famous King of Bling and was soon in internet contact. Ray has been acting professionally now for three years ever since he retired due to illness from his beloved Teaching career, he had over 250 bookings last year and has over 120 already for 2007, you could say that the King is as popular as ever. “Hang on” say’s Ray, “ I also do another King too, I am the double of Edward VII, Victoria’s son famous for the cigars” or “Now you may smoke!” Outside of course.

So Pamela got down to writing the first of six novels “Dark Castle Lord’s” which has proved popular in her on line sales, she then asked Ray to find a venue to film it in his native Lancashire. A movie trailer would be made firstly so that capital can be raised amongst the Hollywood financial sector, then the movie would be made, the other five would be funded from the profits of the first film.

Deciding that the idea was a positive move for his Drama company “ The Henry Tudor Drama Company”, Ray went about getting the set organised. Samlesbury Hall then came into the picture, literally. They offered Ray free use of the hall for the filming of the trailer on the understanding that the full movie would be done on its premises. Considering that there is no finer example of Medieval and Tudor buildings in the Northwest, many similar but non better, Ray took the offer and started to organise the film crew, the actors, the costumes and the accommodation. So Hollywood is now in Lancashire because the filming went ahead with spectacular results, the press descended on the venue during filming causing an influx of visitors to see what was going on. “We did it entirely with Lancashire resources, the Americans were taken back by our professionalism and value for money” Says Ray proudly sticking his chest out. I even supplied my own mobile Palace, the Hampton Sport GTi.

The movie trailer is now being edited and processed for distribution in America and Britain to potential backers for the big movie planned to be filmed in June or July. So impressed were the Americans that most of the Production team from Lancashire will be kept on in the full movie, a great start for the three young girls from the Preston drama school, the jeweller from Chorley market, the Engineer all of whom put their heart and souls into their parts and proved just what we can do here in the North of England.

To keep a track on the developing movie go to and read its daily column.

Are there many more new major projects on the horizon with King Henry? Well what about the story to be written about a trip to Kleves in Germany where his fourth wife came from, I received an email from the Tourist Information office of Kleves asking about the King coming over to meet their Queen Ann! Henry emailed back, “Well she hopefully will be better looking than the last you sent me!” Sometimes Henry makes even Ray cringe!

What about the recording of the building of Nonsuch Palace in Epsom for its Museum, a virtual reality set with a “real” King, “…they’d better stand up when I enter their Hall!” Ray’s still cringing.

What about “Cinderella – The real story” a Panto at Samlesbury Hall in November based upon the story of Ann of Kleves. All good fun. Can you work out who the Handsome Prince Charming is yet?

Let’s hope that the movie trailer is a success then the Americans will comes back to film the full movie or as Henry puts it, “We need that fellow Mark Johnson back here, it’s his turn to buy the drinks!” Thanks Henry! “This is going to Australia? Just tell ‘em to turn the paper upside down!” Now everybody’s cringing Henry!

Ray Irving
Alias King Henry VIII
You may sit down now!

Dont be afraid of the dark, EMBRACE it!

The Dark Castle Lords

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