Cameras roll in Rye as BBC film period drama

Mapp and Lucia SUS-140618-105611001
Mapp and Lucia SUS-140618-105611001

RYE residents have been “generous and patient” as parts of the town have been transformed into a film set for the BBC’s new high quality drama Mapp and Lucia says the programme’s producer.

Adapted from the books of former Rye Mayor E F Benson, Mapp and Lucia is an acerbic and hilarious look at life in a small town.

Benson based his fictional town of Tilling on Rye and parts of the new dramatisation are being filmed in and around Lamb House where he wrote the books.

Producer Susie Liggat lives in the area in Hastings Old Town and for her Rye was an obvious choice.

She said: “We had to look at other options and cost is always a factor but Rye won out.

“I was able to draw on local resources and that helped consolidate the argument.

“People would be surprised as to how many people there are with television production experience in Hastings and the surrounding area. We have also drawn on the skills of many local craftsmen.

“We were also able to attract some regional funding linked to helping regenerate the area.

“I spent Boxing Day walking around Rye and taking pictures of the town, visualising how this could work.

“It has presented some challenges. Normally when filming we would have four seven and a half ton trucks positioned but with the areas in the Citadel we have been filming in that has not been possible.”

Commenting on the reaction of local people to the filming, she said: “People have been patient, accommodating and kind.”

Susie says this is a fresh take on Mapp and Lucia and not influenced by the acclaimed Channel 4 version with Prunella Scales.

She said: “I have not seen it. It would not be helpful. It would be a bit like worrying about a partner’s previous relationships.”

The Mapp and Lucia series is due to be broadcast by the BBC some time over the winter period.