Tag Archives: Richard Curtis

In Great Sutton Street Christmas is All Around, Actually

19 Dec

Switching on the Lights, Advent Calendars, Christmas cards, the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, Ice-rinks blossoming across London, Selfridge’s Christmas windows, Christmas jumpers… In case you hadn’t notice the Christmas frenzy is upon us.

It is precisely 10 years since rom-com expert Richard Curtis, already behind Four Weddings and a Funeral, masterminded another one of his little gem: Love Actually (2003).

Using a tried and tested recipe, Love Actually tells us the story of interrelated characters and couples dealing with their love lives in the madness that is the run up to Christmas. To do this, Curtis brought together a plethora of British actors such as Emma Thomson, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Billy Nighy, Rowan Atkinson to name but a few, and not forgetting his trusted accomplice Hugh Grant. All this wrapped up in a well-crafted soundtrack and song selection…Bingo! Ten years on cinemas around the UK reprogram the movie while radio stations blast away Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas is You.

One item missing from my list above, as you may have noticed, is the sacrosanct office Christmas party. Hate it or love it, this event is an untouchable part of office life, as regular as clockwork. Which is just as well in the present case.

In Love Actually, Harry (Alan Rickman) asks his flirty PA Mia (Heike Makatsch) to find a venue for such party. One of Mia’s friend runs an Art Gallery on the South Bank and this is where the event will take place. Well, sorry to say Richard but this did not fool Lights, Camera…Islington!  The ‘South Bank’ gallery isn’t on the South Bank at all but…in Great Sutton Street, off St John’s Street!

Love Actually - Art Gallery - Day - FILM

Love Actually - Art Gallery - FILM

In the movie we mainly see the inside of the gallery but we get a quick chance  to spot it first by day, and then on the night of the Christmas party.

Love Actually - Art Gallery - MRX

On this Christmassy note, we would like to wish you all, all the best for the festive season.

Fade Out

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, photo shoot or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX(at)gmail.com or via Twitter

How to get there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Great Sutton Street EC1V 0DX

Barbican Tube Station (Zone 1)

Farringdon Station (Zone 1)

Many buses to Clerkenwell Road, Goswell Road and St John’s Street

Highbury Terrace: Hugh Grant Lived Here

23 Oct

It’s nearly 20 years since British comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) took the world by storm and propelled Hugh Grant to international stardom. I was far to imagine back then that, years later, I would be living in the UK, let alone within walking distance of Hugh Grant’s house.

Yes, Ladies & Gentlemen, Islington can proudly say “Hugh Grant Lived Here’. Or maybe we should say ‘Charles’.

4 Weddings & Funeral - Highbury Terrace - House - FILM

The first time you can see the Highbury Terrace house in the film is when Charles (Grant) and his housemate Scarlett (the late Charlotte Coleman) wake up late for the second wedding and rush to get a cab.

4 Weddings & Funeral - Highbury Place House MRX

The second and last time we get to see the house is for the final scene. Charles and his friends are discussing the outcome of his wedding ceremony when Carrie (Andie MacDowell) knocks on the door.

4 Weddings & Funeral - Highbury Terrace - Andy - FILM

“ (…) There, totally oblivious of the torrential rain pouring down upon them, the two fall happily and tenderly into each other’s arms. The two enormous and highly paid heads come together for that ultimate and inevitable moment. The final, earth-moving, studio-rent-paying, theatre-filling, popcorn-selling… kiss”*

In that scene, not only you can spot the footpath behind Carrie (between the sport courts and the lawn), but also the house number when Charles closes the door behind him. Seconds later, after Charles kind of–perhaps-maybe-or-maybe not-sort-of-but-not-really-popped-the question, the two kissed passionately under the pouring rain, you can see the row of houses on Highbury Terrace.

4 Weddings & Funeral - Highbury Terrace - Final Kiss - FILM

4 Weddings and a Funeral - Final kiss MRX

One could argue that the Highbury Terrace property might well be Islington’s equivalent to Notting Hill’s blue door.

Of course by 1999, and thanks in no small part to Four Weddings and a Funeral, Grant had become a global star and his partner in the movie needed no introduction either.

Nevertheless, in 1994, in parallel to a successful modelling career, Andie MacDowell had already 2 Golden Globe nominations under her belt. Besides, from a box office point of view, the 1994 comedy proved more profitable: yes Notting Hill did generate bigger figures – approx. 363 millions vs. 245 – but it did also cost significantly more to produce – approx. 43 millions vs. 4.5!

Ultimately I guess, neither Islington nor Highbury Fields featured in the title of the movie, the trailers and posters across the world. But you can’t say anymore that you don’t know where Hugh Grant did not propose to Andie MacDowell. You may even want to pop up the question there yourself!

Fade Out

Enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment, share it with your friends and come to Islington to discover our locations! Don’t forget to send me your pictures.

And if you do know any Islington location used for Film, TV, advert or have been involved in the process, drop me a line at TheUnbelievableMrX (at) gmail.com or via Twitter

*FREE coffee to the first person to tell me from which Audrey Hepburn movie this quote is

How to get to there?

Islington Film Locations Map

Highbury Terrace N5 1UP

Highbury & Islington Station (Zone 2)

Drayton Park Train station (Zone 2)

Many buses to Highbury Corner and Highbury and Islington Station

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