Wednesday 17 January 2018

Nazi flags to fly from City Hall

Doctor Who actor Matt Smith will play the lead role in the film
Doctor Who actor Matt Smith will play the lead role in the film

Swastika flags will fly from Belfast City Hall if a proposal to use the building as a set for a new drama about Nazi Germany is approved, it has emerged.

The producers of the film, which will see Doctor Who actor Matt Smith playing the lead, are also hoping to use the civic centre's internal courtyard to recreate one of the infamous book burning episodes of the era.

The 90-minute feature, written by acclaimed playwright Kevin Elyot, will tell the story of English novelist Christopher Isherwood (Smith) who lived in Berlin in the pre-war period.

During that time the late gay author wrote a collection of short stories titled Goodbye to Berlin - a work that inspired Cabaret, the famous musical starring Liza Minnelli.

The film "Christopher and his kind", based on Isherwood's 1976 memoir of the same name, is being made by Mammoth Screen Productions on behalf of BBC Two.

The company is hoping to use a number of other locations in Northern Ireland, including Mount Stewart House in Newtownards, nearby Ballywalter Park Estate and the Scottish Mutual Building behind City Hall in Belfast.

According to sources close to the tightly guarded script, in one scene it is envisaged that the Isherwood character will emerge from the mutual building to be confronted by a line of Swastikas flying from the windows of the civic building.

In another, producers intend to use the courtyard of City Hall to stage the notorious book burning incident outside Berlin's Opera House in 1933.

BBC Drama confirmed the drama would be filmed in Belfast next month.


Press Association

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