Gentleman Jack: What cast and crew thought about filming in and around Halifax

Sally Wainwright, Gentleman Jack writer and director.
Sally Wainwright, Gentleman Jack writer and director.

The cast and crew of the BBC One drama on what it was like filming in Halifax and Shibden Hall.

Set in 1832, Gentleman Jack tells the true story of Anne Lister (Suranne Jones)who returns from Hastings to Shibden Hall, having discovered that her would-be companion and lover, the aristocratic Vere Hobart (Jodhi May), has accepted a marriage proposal from a man.

Suranne Jones as Anne Lister.

Suranne Jones as Anne Lister.

When Anne discovers that her land is rich in coal, her plans to transform the estate soon provide a welcome distraction from her broken heart.

Sally Wainwright (writer and director) on filiming at Shibden Hall: "God, it was really emotional. I felt I was so lucky to be there and to be the person who got to do this. It was a magical thing to be able to do; to be a part of that house and its atmosphere and try to bring that to screen with such an extraordinary cast. What Suranne (Jones) brought to that character was just monumental; it was epic. I think she was worthy of Anne Lister and Anne Lister was worthy of her, it was amazing."

Suranne Jones (who plays Anne Lister): "It still blows my mind when I say that we filmed at Shibden. So when I’m walking in Anne Lister’s footsteps, I am literally walking into her house, up her stairs, eating in her dining room, doing business deals where she did business deals, surveying the same land, and walking where she walked. Sally has taken the diaries and, because Sally is such a brilliant storyteller, she’s married this arc over eight episodes and has managed to give us this human adventure and this human thrill. The two of them - Sally Wainwright and Anne Lister together - is just pure gold."

Shaun Dooley (Businessman Jeremiah Rawson): "Yorkshire is often portrayed in period dramas as either a scruffy and dark pit or large posh estates where everything is nice and amazing. What’s lovely about Gentleman Jack is that I’m playing the Yorkshire lad but his accent is a lot more well-spoken than that. The family have money, the industrial revolution is about to kick off and Yorkshire’s at the centre of all of it in Halifax. It’s got this incredibly forward thinking woman which I think is just brilliant. Yorkshire is something that should be celebrated rather than us constantly being portrayed as scruffy and poor."

Shaun Dooley in Gentleman Jack.

Shaun Dooley in Gentleman Jack.

Episode Two of Gentleman Jack is this Sunday at 9pm on BBC One