Princess and goblins in fantasy tale filmed in north Norfolk

Princess Irene (red cape) played by Keira Painter,

Princess Irene (red cape) played by Keira Painter, and her nurse Lootie, played by Joanna Swan, are attacked by goblins during filming at Binham Priory of The Princess and the Goblin by the Goblin Market Theatre Company. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Goblins, and princess and a magical great-great-grandmother all play their part in an epic fantasy which is now being filmed in north Norfolk.

Norwich-based Goblin Market Theatre Company is producing a movie version of The Princess and the Goblin in the ruins of Binham Priory, a 940-year-old site which was home to a community of monks for almost 400 years. 

Donna Triggs, producer/director, said the week-long filming with the cast of around 12 was going well.

Director Donna Triggs, at Binham Priory during filming

Director Donna Triggs, at Binham Priory during filming of The Princess and the Goblin by the Goblin Market Theatre Company. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Ms Triggs said: "It's really exciting. The goblins have now been on set, which is the most fun bit. It took three hours to get them through makeup - to get them green and get their ears on. We can't wait to share the finished result with families in Norfolk."

Among the actors are Keira Painter, who plays Princess Irene, and Elijah Watmough, both of whom are sixth form students at Paston College in North Walsham. 

Princess Irene (red cape) played by Keira Painter,

Princess Irene (red cape) played by Keira Painter, and her nurse Lootie, played by Joanna Swan, during filming at Binham Priory of The Princess and the Goblin by the Goblin Market Theatre Company. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The theatre company performed the play at Holkham Estate last year and is turning it into a film thanks to an Arts Council grant


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The story was penned by Scottish writer George MacDonald, who was one of the pioneers of the fantasy genre in the Victoria era and was a mentor to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll and The Chronicles of Narnia author CS Lewis.

Ms Triggs said: "George MacDonald isn't as well known as he should be, because The Goblin and the Princess directly inspired the Narnia books, and there are some real similarities between those books and the allegory in this story.

Princess Irene (red cape) played by Keira Painter

Princess Irene (red cape) played by Keira Painter, and her nurse Lootie, played by Joanna Swan, are filmed by Robin Forrest, director of photography, with sound engineer, Mark Benfield, at Binham Priory in The Princess and the Goblin by the Goblin Market Theatre Company. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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"On one level, it's about a girl who is captured by goblins, and a brave miner boy and his magical great-great-grandmother rescue her. 

"On another level, it's about a girl who is rescued by her faith, her courage and her belief."

Ms Triggs said some cast members played two roles.

She said: "One of the themes of the story is that the humans and goblins think they're really different but they're actually quite similar, so I've symbolised that by having some humans play goblin roles as well."

Goblin Glump, played by Ian Alldis, during filming at Binham

Goblin Glump, played by Ian Alldis, during filming at Binham Priory of The Princess and the Goblin by the Goblin Market Theatre Company. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Ms Triggs said she wanted to thank Binham Parochial Church Council for the support they had given the project.

She said the film would be offered to local schools to view. 

Goblins Helfer played by Shem Jacobs, and Clump,

Goblins Helfer played by Shem Jacobs, and Clump, Helen Fullerton, during filming at Binham Priory of The Princess and the Goblin by the Goblin Market Theatre Company. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Goblin Chancellor, played by Greg Lindsay-Smith,

Goblin Chancellor, played by Greg Lindsay-Smith, during filming at Binham Priory of The Princess and the Goblin by the Goblin Market Theatre Company. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Princess Irene (red cape) played by Keira Painter,

Princess Irene (red cape) played by Keira Painter, and her nurse Lootie, played by Joanna Swan, are saved from the goblins by Kurdie, right, played Elijah Watmough, during filming at Binham Priory of The Princess and the Goblin by the Goblin Market Theatre Company. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Princess Irene (red cape) played by Keira Painter,

Princess Irene (red cape) played by Keira Painter, and her nurse Lootie, played by Joanna Swan, are attacked by goblins during filming at Binham Priory of The Princess and the Goblin by the Goblin Market Theatre Company. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Goblin Grody, played by Amie M. Marie, during

Goblin Grody, played by Amie M. Marie, during filming at Binham Priory of The Princess and the Goblin by the Goblin Market Theatre Company. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Princess Irene (red cape) played by Keira Painter,

Princess Irene (red cape) played by Keira Painter, and her nurse Lootie, played by Joanna Swan, are saved from the goblins by Kurdie, right, played Elijah Watmough, during filming at Binham Priory of The Princess and the Goblin by the Goblin Market Theatre Company. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

First Assistant director, Robin Watson

First Assistant director, Robin Watson, during filming at Binham Priory of The Princess and the Goblin by the Goblin Market Theatre Company. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The cast and crew of The Princess and the Goblin

The cast and crew of The Princess and the Goblin by the Goblin Market Theatre Company at Binham Priory. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021


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