DON’T heckle just yet, but our little town of Selby could soon be appearing on the big screen in world cinemas.
A new movie – called Heckle – set in the town has just finished filming and Selby Times went behind the scenes to talk to its stars – including one who compared it with two of the most famous British films of all time.
David Whitney, who plays lead male character Wilton Johnston, said Heckle was “Withnail and I meets Full Monty about stand-up comedy”.
Certainly, Whitney, his co-stars and director Robbie Moffat are hopeful of the film being more than warmly received when it premieres at the Cannes Film Festival next May.
It stars Suzanne Kendall as supermarket worker Stacy Mitchell, who embarks on a career as a stand-up comedian after heckling a comic at a comedy night.
After heckling the comedian (Whitney’s Wilton Johnston), Stacy is challenged to go on stage and see if she can do any better.
Somewhat surprisingly, she does well and Wilton takes her under his wing. He then tries to make her realise where true comedy comes from and prepares her for a competition.
“It is very good,” said Whitney, 33, who worked with Tom Conti in 2011’s Rekindle. “It is a really great script, they have done a really great job on this. And the cast is very strong.
“We have high hopes for it. It is a hopeful story about how people can better themselves and fulfil their potential.”
Filmed at various locations around Selby, including Cafe Chique, Hambleton Stores, the Golden Coffee Pot and Selby Working Men’s Club, there will be plenty of visuals to keep local eyes glued to the screen. Other scenes were filmed at studios in Bubwith.
Director Robbie Moffat, on his 29th feature film with Heckle, told why he picked Selby as the location.
He said: “I had Selby in mind when I first had the idea for the film early last year. I like Selby, there is a good mixture here. It is an old town that has had happier times.”
Suzanne Kendall, 31, who stars as Stacy in the film, said: “Selby is very beautiful and very friendly.”
On the film, she added: “It is a really nice story, and very funny. I am looking forward to seeing the finished thing.”
Whitney warned northern viewers to be ready for jibes about Selby and the north. He joked: “My character is a pompous southerner who makes a lot of jokes about the north!”
Other stars of Heckle include Leeds-born Fiz Marcus, who plays Stacy’s friend Maggie, and Emmy Sainsbury, who plays another friend called Lizzie. Fiz has been in EastEnders, Skins and Holby City, among other things.
Emmy said: “I hope people enjoy the film and I hope they find it funny and inspiring.”
The film crew and cast also extended their thanks to James Buxton from Hambleton Stores, Steve Dyson from Cafe Chique, New Inn and Cochrane’s Wharf, Angela Baker from the Golden Coffee Pot, Ray Wesley from Selby Working Men’s Club, Chris Jones from Selby Town Hall, and Rob Price, Carl Bruce and Dave Laytham from the Ferryboat Inn at Howden.
Location manager Rick Monist, who also had an acting role in the film alongside production co-ordinator Peter Quayle, said: “Everyone has been so welcoming.”
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Weather for Selby
Tuesday 18 June 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 12 C to 24 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: West