Skegness is to be the main location for a new British feature film, in which some of the country’s most talented actors take leading roles.
A large part of the shoot for Innocent Candy takes place in the east coast resort with one of its characters, former ‘EastEnder’ Danielle Harold, visiting the Skegness area in July for some of the main scenes.
Also cast are John Altman – better known as EastEnders’ ‘Nasty Nick’, former Blue member and now established actor Antony Costa, and Eddie Peel – whose face is recognisable as a long-standing star of shows, including The Bill.
Innocent Candy has been written by Stefan Michaels with his long-term friend and fellow actor Stacey J Gough taking a leading role in its direction and production.
Both professionals live in Skegness and have had long careers on both stage and TV, appearing regularly in soaps including Emmerdale and Coronation Street. Most recently Stacey has been known as the character ‘McFarlane’ in Emmerdale and appeared on stage as the villain in last season’s Skegness panto at The Embassy Theatre.
The venue’s operators, Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and Culture, are supporting the project. Theatre Programming and Operations Manager and the project’s executive producer, Pollyanne Trapmore-Shaw, said: “We are looking forward to being part of the creative journey that is Innocent Candy.
“The passion delivered by the pair for quality production and a drive to deliver with such integrity towards the local area is what attracted me to the project, coupled with a compelling storyline that transcends eras with a bittersweet ident of ‘it’s never too late,’” she added.
For Stefan it is his first step into the world of film scripts, and he is delighted with the result and the support he has received. Innocent Candy is also a first for Skegness, as the town has never been the prime location for a British feature film before.
“It started with just two characters to begin with, for myself and Stacey. But it is so easy to get into what you are doing and suddenly I found myself writing subplots, taking feedback from Stacey. What we have now is the ninth script,” explained Stefan.
With a great cast now secured, the story will take its audience on a journey of angst, sadness, drama – but, above all, hope. The household names starring in Innocent Candy are combined with some relatively unknown but successful and award-winning actors, who include young Minti Gorne.
Minti, who is taking the lead as young Ruby, starred alongside Mark Wahlberg and Sir Antony Hopkins in last year’s Hollywood blockbuster ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ and will also be filming in Skegness.
A predominantly female senior production team will also give the film a different flavour, said Stacey.
Edged with true grit and a hard exterior, its softer side is for the audience to find as they are taken on a journey from Skegness, to London and back again.
“We do not wish to give too much away or prejudge what the audience will take from the film – but safe to say it has its darkness, but there is hope and light,” said Stefan.
Stefan and Stacey, who now head up the town’s first film company – Clock Tower Films Ltd – aim to have filming completed by the end of the summer, with premieres planned in both Skegness and London in the spring of 2019. They will also be taking Innocent Candy to festivals in Cannes, Berlin and America before its cinematic release.
Meanwhile, they are still keen to involve other local people or businesses that may be keen to support the film and its aim to highlight Lincolnshire and its coastline.
For details, visit the film’s Facebook page or email Stefan@clocktowerfilms.co.uk or Stacey@clocktowerfilms.co.uk