A touch of TV magic arrived at Teddington’s Landmark Arts Centre last month when the two leading stars of Normal People and Fleabag’s Hot Priest spent a day filming a special sketch for the Irish version of the BBC’s Comic Relief, which aired on RTÉ at the end of June.
Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal reprised their Normal People roles as Marianne and Connell with Andrew Scott’s Hot Priest from Fleabag, to record the sketch in top secret for the TV fundraising show.
Martin Nicholds, Chair of Trustees said: “The Landmark has been dormant since March, because of our enforced closure due to COVID, so it was fantastic to fire it up at again for this special filming with the stars of TV’s two hottest productions. The building really came into its own as the sketch was based around a confessional in a church.”
The filming was a closely guarded secret to avoid any spoilers before it was aired on Comic Relief. The sketch was filmed under pretty tricky circumstances with everyone having to observe social distancing rules throughout.
Martin Nicholds commented: “The film crew heard about The Landmark’s emergency fundraising appeal on social media so they were keen to help, especially as the building totally ticked the box as a location for the shoot.”
“Cast and crew were a delight; Daisy, Paul and Andrew had great empathy for our current plight and offered their support by posing for photos. They also signed an original print by local artist, Jenny Ing, which we will raffle online for our fundraising. Look out on our social media for news on that.”
The Landmark launched an emergency fundraising appeal in April as its enforced closure, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, meant that it faced permanent closure by mid-May. A massive fundraising effort has raised over £50,000, including £2,700 raised in a day by local organisation, Teddington Together, who staged, Rockin The Lockin, when 25 local talented musicians gave up their time to play a 12-hour live-streamed virtual music marathon.
Donations received so far ensures the centre’s survival until November but without knowing when the doors can be reopened again, the fundraising needs to continue. Meanwhile, the centre has been running virtual classes and hopes to have socially distanced classes in the building this summer. Other virtual events planned in July include a live streaming of comedian Mark Thomas’ award winning show, Serious Organised Criminal, on 9 July and a virtual quiz on 8 July (to register visit landmarkartscentre.org).
The Landmark Arts Centre is an independent charity (1047080) dedicated to offering a wide range of arts education activities for children, young people and adults by providing a stimulating, year-round, programme of live events including music, comedy, poetry and dance as well as providing exhibition opportunities for visual artists and designer-makers through art fairs and group and solo exhibitions, to help care for our amazing Grade II* listed building.