News Column

Vicky hoping her latest film is the next big British triumph

June 21, 2013


A NEW film starring Nottingham actress Vicky McClure will have its world premiere at the prestigious Edinburgh International Film Festival this weekend. Svengali - which also features actor Martin Freeman, recently seen as Bilbo Baggins in the blockbuster hit The Hobbit - has been selected for screening at the 67th annual festival. The comedy has also been nominated for the coveted Michael Powell Award, a prize honouring the best British feature film showing at the event. Vicky, who is in Belfast filming a follow-up to last year's hit TV series Line of Duty, told the Post: I've always been a huge fan of the Edinburgh Film Festival so I'm made up it's premiering there.

I'll be catching an early flight from Belfast, not to be missed.

Directed by John Hardwick, Svengali tells the story of small- town Welsh postman and music fanatic Dixie, who becomes the manager of an up and coming rock band.

The band, called The Premature Congratulations - or The Prems - are an arrogant but talented bunch whose egos grow along with their stardom.

Vicky, 30, who was born and brought up in Wollaton, plays Dixie's partner and soulmate Michelle, who helps the innocent and wide-eyed optimist on his roller-coaster ride through London's music industry.

Writer and actor Jonny Owen, who plays the lead role, originally created the Svengali character with co-writer Dean Cavanagh in a series of nine webisodes, which became a cult hit on YouTube in 2011.

Both the series and the new film use real-life rock stars and music business personalities to play themselves. Maxine Peake, Matt Berry and Nottingham actor Michael Socha also star in the film.

Vicky said: When you look at the cast list you can imagine the fun we had. I never wanted Svengali to end, it was enjoyable from start to finish. She said she was hugely proud to be a part of the film, adding: Jonny Owen has worked incredibly hard and in my opinion has created the next big Brit flick.

Sherlock star Martin Freeman plays Dixie's grumpy record store boss Don.

He says: A friend of mine told me about Svengali after about the third episode. When he'd described it I was actually annoyed that I hadn't been asked to do it. I went home, watched the lot, and knew I was right to be annoyed. It was charming, sussed, and very funny. And Jonny Owen added: The web has changed everything. Svengali was originally an experiment to see if people wanted stories. It seems they did. To be making a movie now shows that anything is possible. Popular appeal of city actress VICK, a graduate of Nottingham's renowned Television Workshop, was last seen on TV screens in hit drama Broadchurch.

The former Fernwood Comprehensive School pupil is best known for her role as Lol in Shane Meadows' seminal film and TV franchise 'This is England', for which she won a best actress BAFTA.

She also received rave reviews for her performance in the BBC police drama 'Line of Duty'.

Other films which have previously premiered at Edinburgh include The Hurt Locker, Billy Elliot and Little Miss Sunshine.

As well as the screening in Edinburgh tonight and tomorrow, a sneak preview of Svengali will also be shown on Sunday at Glastonbury. It will go on general release in the autumn.

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