Theatre takes centre stage for TV drama

Filming HIM outside the Grand Theatre, Blackpool
Filming HIM outside the Grand Theatre, Blackpool
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The Grand Theatre has taken centre stage during filming for a new ITV special.

Crews were seen outside the Church Street theatre as scenes were shot for new supernatural three-part drama HIM.

Special posters were put in place for the shoot - promoting “Blackpool Variety Show - prepare to be spellbound by magic” - but the Grand will very much be the star of the scenes, depicting itself and not and anonymous venue.

Unlike many film shoots, the streets around the Grand remained open to keep a bustling town centre vibe around the classic Frank Matcham building.

The supernatural drama focuses on two households linked by an adolescent boy with supernatural powers, who is known only as HIM, caught in the limbo between childhood and adulthood and his divorced parents’ homes, being played by screen newcomer Fionn Whitehead.

Also in the cast will be Mr Selfridge’s Katherine Kelly and Patrick Robinson, of Mount Pleasant and Holby City fame.

Andrew Howard, marketing manager at the Grand, said: “The Grand has been used many times as a location for television; period dramas, advertising for the Lottery, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and of course the upcoming BBC filming of the RSC’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“It was great working with production company Mainstreet and we are all very excited to see the end result.

“Seeing the theatre’s outside transformed drew great interest from passers-by.”

Written by multi award-winning screenwriter Paula Milne has written HIM, which tells the youngster’s battle of supernatural powers inherited from his grandfather, and which is only understood by his ageing grandmother.

The series has been commissioned by ITV’s director of drama Steve November and controller of drama Victoria Fea.

“HIM is extraordinary and unlike any drama we’ve commissioned before,” Steve said.

“We’re incredibly excited about working with writer Paula Milne and commissioning HIM from Mainstreet Pictures following the success of their series Unforgotten.