Norfolk-set classic The Go-Between to return to our screens in TV remake

Some of the scenes for the 1971 film were shot at Melton Constable Hall.

Some of the scenes for the 1971 film were shot at Melton Constable Hall. - Credit: Archant

Norfolk-set novel The Go-Between is due to return to our screens in what is thought to be the first adaptation of the classic tale since the celebrated 1971 film starring Julie Christie and Alan Bates.

One of the Norwich scenes from the 1971 film.

One of the Norwich scenes from the 1971 film. - Credit: Archant

LP Hartley's story of reminiscence and forbidden love was a huge hit on the silver screen and even had a royal premiere in Norwich, with the Queen Mother attending the occasion at the ABC Cinema in Prince of Wales Road.

The movie – regularly listed as being among the best British films - was shot in various locations around the county including Norwich, Heydon and Melton Constable Hall.

Now the BBC has filmed a television version of the tale that is set to be screened on BBC One next month as part of a series of classic literary adaptations that also includes Lady Chatterley's Lover and An Inspector Calls.

It is unclear where the latest adaptation was filmed, but the cast list includes Vanessa Redgrave, Jim Broadbent and The Paradise actress Joanna Vanderham.

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The novel sees a man called Leo Colston look back on the hot summer of 1900 when he was a teenager staying in Norfolk and became the go-between for the aristocratic Marian Maudsley and her lover, farmer Ted Burgess.

Playing the roles of the lovers – made famous by Julie Christie and Alan Bates – are Joanna Vanderham and Ben Batt this time around.

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Meanwhile Jim Broadbent – who had an unnamed role in the 1971 film – is playing the older Leo, with Jack Hollington as the younger Leo. Vanessa Redgrave – whose father was actually the older Leo in the original film – is playing the older Marian Maudsley.

The television film has been directed by Pete Travis and adapted by Adrian Hodges.

It is due to be screened on BBC One on September 20.


The 1971 film version of The Go-Between – adapted by playwright Harold Pinter and directed by Joseph Losey – was made on location in Norfolk and stars Julie Christie as the aristocratic Marian Maudsley.

She uses 13-year-old house guest Leo Colston (Dominic Guard) as a go-between to carry notes to her lover, farmer Ted Burgess (Alan Bates).

The events lead to tragic consequences, recalled by Leo in old age (Michael Redgrave) when he revisits Norfolk, arriving at Norwich station.

He remembers Marian taking him on a shopping expedition to Norwich. While he is sent to amuse himself in Norwich Cathedral, Marian furtively meets up with Ted at the horsefair on Tombland and they stroll in Tombland Alley.

The older Leo also visits the graveyard of the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Heydon, near Aylsham.

On the green opposite stands Marian's cottage.

A cricket match which forms another scene was filmed in Thornage, near Holt.

And the scene of the tragic events was Melton Constable Hall, which became Brandham Hall in the film, the seat of the Maudsley family.

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