A Mass Murderer,
a Sadistic Gay German and Me...
is one of those cold wet Thursday mornings in Hadfield that
makes you wish you were still wrapped in a duvet waiting
for tots TV to come on, yet the scenery as I head into Hadfield,
so beautiful and somehow quite deadly with the mist on the
hills never fails to impress.
why am I driving through the beautiful Derbyshire peaks
on my way to the lovely town of Hadfield? The answer is
of course to Interview Steve Pemberton and Mark Gatiss.
for the forthcoming film "The League of Gentlemen -
Royston Vasey" started 6 weeks ago, filming mainly
in Ireland but with key shoots in Hadfield, today being
one of them. I was due on the set base at twelve noon to
meet Neil from Premier PR and as I arrived an hour early
I thought I would nip into Hadfield to see what was going
on. I have been to Hadfield a few times before but never
during filming and it was interesting to see how boring
the reality is! When I came back on set with Neil an hour
later Steve, Mark and Reece were just finishing the same
scene I had watched earlier.
spent the next two hours watching the League film various
shots around the town, the most interesting being Herr Lipp
and Hilary Briss walking down the main street of Hadfield
and bumping into the Herr Lipp fan club all shouting 'Allas
Klar' as they pass. As I put it to Steve later, Royston
Vasey bleeding into Hadfield...
was shortly after that shot that Steve and Mark retired
to the Palatine pub to have a meet and greet session with
the loyal band of fans that gather wherever the League go!
After many photos (Steve was still dressed as Herr Lipp
and Mark as Hillary Briss) and autographs Steve joined me
in the corner of the pub and that is how I found myself
in a pub with a sadistic Gay German and a mass murdering
films premise, for those of you not yet in the know is that
the fictional world of Royston Vasey is facing apocalypse
and the only way to avert disaster is for our nightmarish
cast of characters to find a way into the real world and
confront their creators. From present day Soho to the fictional
film world of 17th Century Britain, the residents must overcome
countless bizarre obstacles in their bid to return Royston
Vasey to safety.
- So how's filming going?
- It’s going good yeah, we're just at the end now
so, we're a bit tired, and it’s been a very tough
shoot, more than usual.
- Would you say the film is more like the first two series
than the third?
- It’s unlike anything else! It’s a completely
different story and we've kept a lot of the major characters,
we wanted to make it more of a self contained story so that
anyone could get it, old fans or new fans. So in the same
way that the third series had an ongoing story this is a
self contained story.
- So the film is in its own 'bubble' as regards to the series?
- Yeah its not sketches, it’s not a sketch show definitely!
- Is it going to be dark?
- No, it’s probably the least dark thing we've done
actually...all the horror stuff we did in the Christmas
special, there are elements of that but the story dictates
that its more of a funny film...
- With touches of horror...
- There was speculation that you would do something more
like the Christmas special than the series so that answers
- That was its own special thing really...
- That was a specific task, a horror spoof...this has horror
elements but its lighter, its not something we worked to
lighten, its just what the story dictates, in a film where
you're telling a story you can't do a sketched about ...necrophilia,
its not like that its much more straight forward.
- It’s not like anything we've done before, it’s
- I must say after watching the filming today I am very
excited about the film, now I know a little bit more about
- What have you gathered?
- Royston Vasey bleeding into Hadfield...Reality coming
- Literally bleeding...under the door...
- You are famous for wearing your influences
on your sleeves...
- I thought you were going to say wearing dresses...
- That as well! Are there any influences in the film because
it seems to me that with this you are almost influenced
- Yes we're eating ourselves (Steve laughs...)
- That’s a very good point, there's lots of specific
film moments in there that we always do and we've done a
few of those, we've done...a scene in a hotel corridor...and
we thought we may as well put something in from the Shining...
- Mostly because the hotel was identical...the historical
section is very much a love letter to things like The Draughtsman’s
contract and Blood on Satan’s claw which are films
we love, we chose that period specifically for that reason
because we wanted to wallow in the wigs...and the frocks...
- Well it is a kind of game with the fans...spotting the
- I've seen how wrong they can get it, I saw one that said
the glasses of milk we were drinking in the Solutions sketch
were a reference to A Clockwork Orange...its really not,
really not, its just milk.
- Well that’s the nice thing, people can often make
what they want out of it, but there’s lots of different
genres in this film all mixed together...Carry on meets
Hammer house of horror.
- It’s really carry on screaming (Laughing)...
- Is this the end for Royston Vasey?
- No, not at all...the next thing we want to do is a tour,
we can't confirm we are doing it but we want to it just
depends on time and peoples commitments.
- The BBC have asked us for a fourth series but the film
is a massive commitment, not just the writing and the producing
of it but now the finishing of it, the promotion of it and
by the times that done your looking at a year in advance
anyway, everything takes so long.
- Could the live tour be connected with the Film?
- Yeah just do it on stage (Laughing)
- No we don't really know what were gonna do but it’s
the idea of getting on the road again...
- Getting back on the Road...that’s what we wanna
- Are you all happy with your individual projects? Is there
anything coming up that you can tell me about?
- Yeah we are...we're all beavering away...
- Blackpool starts tonight...Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy...we're
both in the new Woody Alan film...
- Lets see if we survive the cut...I've just done Miss Marple
which will be on at Christmas and I'm writing another book...
- You are all talented serious actors as well as the comedy;
do you ever see The League of Gentlemen doing something
- As a trio? Well we did ART...
- We can be serious in what we do, in the film and in the
series there are moments that have that quality so we don't
really feel the need to...and you'd perhaps get people sneering
- Like the comedians going straight...and that’s never
going to happen (laughs)...
so as Herr Lipp and Hilary Briss are shepherded out by an
assistant Director I am left with the strangest feeling...my
first ever interview was with two of the most strangest
characters...Herr Lipp, a Murderer and a sadist who may
even be a vampire and Hilary Briss, the special stuff himself,
yet the guys who play them are such great blokes...it was
an amazing experience and I want to thank Janette at PBJ
Management, Neil at Premier PR and of course, The League
Watch out for the Giraffe...
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Jason Kenny 2004 No part of this Interview may be reproduced
in any way without permission from firstname.lastname@example.org All
photographs used with permission from Janette at PBJ Management.