Fairfield Halls finally gets a starring role in hit show The Crown

Our arts correspondent, BELLA BARTOCK, on how a touch of Hollywood glamour has come to sarf London

In the spotlight: the Fairfield Halls as a filming location earlier this month

The Fairfield Halls, the council-owned arts complex, has been used as a location by the cast and crew of Netflix’s hit series The Crown.

The fifth series of The Crown, which follows the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II, is due to be aired later this year with a whole new cast in the leading roles, headed by Imelda Staunton as Her Maj alongside Jonathan Pryce, Lesley Manville, Jonny Lee Miller (as John Major!), and with Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki as Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

Series five covers the 1990s, in the years leading up to the Charles and Di split and what was called the Queen’s “annus horriblis“.

It may be that the Fairfield scenes were among the last to be filmed for series five of The Crown.

Filming for the sixth and final series is set to begin in just a matter of weeks, according to Dominic West, who has told celebrity magazines that the farewell season “will be as tumultuous as it gets”, dramatising many of the most talked-about events in royal history.

Crown performer: Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana

The Fairfield Halls filming took place after dark on a couple of nights earlier this month, just before the Jubilee weekend.

There was, as is usual, strict security around the location filming, although with the Fairfield benefiting from a lick of paint from its own £70million “makeover” recently, there was reasonable speculation that it was being used as a location for scenes of a royal arrival at a glitzy awards event or arrival at a concert or theatre.

The Fairfield Halls’ mid-century design owed much to the Festival Hall on the South Bank, and it may be this resemblance that the programme’s producers were hoping to utilise for their scenes.

Tabloid gossip columnists have been busy writing thousands of words to accompany photos snapped around other Crown shoots, many of which show Australian actress Debicki and her remarkable likeness to Diana, who was a favourite VIP guest at countless awards events, ballet productions and concerts.

And meanwhile Croydon is being used as a location for a feature film, with a working title of Strangers, being produced by Oscar-winning British company Blueprint Pictures.

Location, location, location: the film crew from The Crown at work in Croydon

According to the council’s film office, Blueprint are shooting scenes in Sanderstead Rec, along Limpsfield Road and in a private house on Purley Downs Road.

There will be filming taking place at the playing fields and along Limpsfield Road next week, on July 5 and 6.

“They will be filming in multiple locations including the playground, the basketball court, grass areas and outside some shops on Limpsfield Road,” a council official has confirmed.

Starring role: Purley Downs and Sanderstead have been picked for key parts in a new movie

“In order to conduct their filming safely on Limpsfield Road they’ve requested to have stop/go traffic management, meaning they will hold traffic for up to three minutes at a time only while they go for a take. Emergency access will be maintained at all times.”

The filming in Purley Downs Road is already well underway, and includes scenes being filmed inside the house and along the street, with the road closed for a day earlier this week, and to be closed between the junctions of Briton Crescent and Sanderstead Hill on July 7 and 8 and on August 5.

Blueprint’s previous films have included acclaimed and award-winning movies such as The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Emma, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

The producers of Strangers have made a donation of £500 to the Sanderstead Residents’ Association. Which is nice.

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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2 Responses to Fairfield Halls finally gets a starring role in hit show The Crown

  1. Angela says:

    They might have actually told residents what was going on first, we had absolutely no consultation from them or the council despite living on an adjacent road! Purley downs is a main artery road if you close it off and park all of your trucks all over the pavement there will be a knock on effect!

  2. Dan Kelly says:

    Maybe they could get Brick by Brick to do an episode of “Double Your House for Half the Money”!

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