BBC film new period drama Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell for Christmas 2014 in St John’s Square

St John's square, Wakefield'BBC filming new drama
St John's square, Wakefield'BBC filming new drama
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A city square will become the star of the small screen as film crews prepare to move in for the making of a magical new BBC drama.

Flim crews will be preparing the set of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell in St John’s Square, St John’s North and South Parade today. (Saturday)

And the drama, based on the best-selling novel by Susanna Clarke, and boasting a seasoned cast of actors, will form the centre piece of the channel’s 2014 Christmas schedule.

It tells the story of a time at the beginning of the 19th Century, when England no longer believes in practical magic.

But Mr Norrell, of Hurtfew Abbey, stuns the city of York, when he brings the minster’s statues to life, and is then invited to London to help the government in the war against Napoleon.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell stars Eddie Marsan, of Best of Men, Ray Donovan and Filth fame, Olivier award-winning Bertie Carvel, known for roles in Restless, Hidden and Matilda, Paul Kaye, of Game of Thrones and Stella fame plus, Marc Warren from Hustle and Mad Dogs and Alice Englert, who starred in Ginger and Rosa and Beautiful Creatures.

Ben Stephenson, controller of BBC drama commissioning, said: “We have secured the most original, talented and dynamic cast and team to produce this brand new adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s award-winning novel.

“This cements our reputation for bold and ambitious drama and I can’t wait to see Bertie and Eddie bring these wonderful characters to life in a unique and exciting way.”

It’s the latest programme to be filmed in the city. Last week Cross Square became the backdrop for a new Kay Mellor production called In the Club. In 2010, BBC drama Five Days, which starred Suranne Jones and David Morrisey, was filmed here and Touch of Frost starring David Jason has also been filmed in the city and not forgetting the 1963 film This Sporting Life.

Road closures will be in place while filming of the new drama takes place.

Set preparations start on South Parade from lunchtime tomorrow and filming will begin on Sunday.

St John’s North will be closed from noon on Sunday, until Tuesday, January 21, with access for residents only.

Filming will take place there on Monday and Tuesday.

St John’s Square will be closed from noon on Monday, until 9pm on Tuesday.