Goblin movie to be filmed at 11th century priory

Alicia Fortini as Princess Irene at the Holkham Hall production of The Princess and the Goblin in 2020. 

Alicia Fortini as Princess Irene at the Holkham Hall production of The Princess and the Goblin in 2020. - Credit: Al Pulford

The tale of a princess who is kidnapped by a gang of goblins is to be filmed in north Norfolk. 

Norwich-based Goblin Market Theatre Company is to produce a movie version of the play The Princess and the Goblin, which they performed at Holkham Hall last year. 

Elijah Watmough as the Cat Beast at the Holkham Hall production of The Princess and the Goblin.

Elijah Watmough as the Cat Beast at the Holkham Hall production of The Princess and the Goblin. - Credit: Al Pulford

Donna Triggs, the company's artistic director, said the production would seek to "marry the conventions of film and theatre" and would take place Binham Priory, an 11th Century Bendictine Priory north of Thursford. 

Mrs Triggs said: "This won't be a straight shoot of a theatrical performance but we are using a few theatre conventions, like doubling up on the cast and doing things quite minimally - using the background of Binham Priory as the set.

"The film is going to be offered to local schools through our website."

Robin Watson as the Goblin King at the Holkham Hall production of The Princess and the Goblin.  

Robin Watson as the Goblin King at the Holkham Hall production of The Princess and the Goblin. - Credit: Al Pulford


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Based on a classic children's novel by George MacDonald, Mrs Triggs said the theatrical version premier of The Princess and the Goblin was a "huge success" - until coronavirus got in the way.

"Sadly the tour dates we had scheduled throughout the summer were cancelled due to the Covid pandemic," she said. "This film is our response to this - we have been forced to react creatively and proactively to find new ways to tell our story and to reach audiences.

"The Princess and the Goblin is such a captivating, magical story we just had to find a way to share it."
Mrs Triggs said the filming had been funded through an Arts Council grant, and was supported by English Heritage - which cares for the site - Norfolk Archeological Trust and Binham Priory Church Council.

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Geoff Scott, from the church council, said: "Binham Priory, which dates back 900 years, is one of the most evocative sites in East Anglia years and is a perfect ‘stage’ for this allegorical story.”

In the story, Princess Irene is forced to become queen of the goblins, and her magical great-great grandmother and Curdie the brave miner boy launch an effort to save her.

For more information, visit www.goblinmarkettheatre.co.uk.


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