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Dickens Film Shot in Bury St Edmunds Set for October Premiere

The European premiere of Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield will open the 63rd BFI London Film Festival on October 2.

In July 2018 the streets of Bury St Edmunds were filled with film crew, extras, horse drawn carriages, directors, producers, cameras and some of Hollywood's top names!

Filming took place on Angel Hill outside The Angel Hotel, where Dickens stayed three times, The Athenaeum, where he did some of his readings, and in Crown Street and Chequer Square before moving to the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds.

Today, the 63rd BFI London Film Festival announced that this year’s Opening Night gala will be Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield, making its European Premiere.

The first official photo released today featured Dev Patel in costume in Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds.

The Personal History of David Copperfield, directed by the multi-award-winning writer, filmmaker and broadcaster Armando Iannucci and starring BAFTA Award winner Dev Patel as David Copperfield will receive its European Premiere on Wednesday 2 October at Odeon Luxe, Leicester Square. 

Dev Patel pictured in Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, in the first photo released from the movie which will premiere on October 2nd.


This fresh take on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, boasts a stellar British cast, led by Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Paul Whitehouse and Gwendoline Christie; many of whom are expected on the red carpet in Leicester Square.  

An avid Dickens fan, Armando Iannucci (the award-winning writer/director of The Thick of It, In the Loop, Veep and The Death of Stalin) adapts here, alongside frequent collaborator Simon Blackwell, employing his comedic mastery and vivid characterizations to bring to life one of Dickens’ most cherished characters in The Personal History of David Copperfield. From birth to infancy, from adolescence to adulthood, the good-hearted David Copperfield is surrounded by kindness, wickedness, poverty and wealth, as he meets an array of remarkable characters in Victorian England. As David sets out to be a writer, in his quest for family, friendship, romance and status, the story of his life is the most seductive tale of all. 

Armando Iannucci, director, producer and co-writer, commented “The Personal History of David Copperfield is a film about compassion, humour, generosity and friendship, and I couldn’t have asked for a more welcoming setting in which to premiere it.”

Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director said “The Personal History of David Copperfield shows his trademark wit and a joyous sense of style — it’s a delight from start to finish, with Dev Patel and co-stars delivering performances of megawatt charm and comic flair. I’m so excited to be opening the 63rd BFI London Film Festival with this film which is not only wildly entertaining but also a timely celebration of the power of generosity and compassion.”

The film is produced by Kevin Loader and Armando Iannucci and stars Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Paul Whitehouse, Aneurin Barnard, Daisy May Cooper, Morfydd Clark, Benedict Wong, Gwendoline Christie, Anthony Welsh and Rosalind Eleazar. 

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