Getting into fights, being chased through dense woodland and climbing trees was all in a day’s work for Kirk Barker last summer. The 32-year-old actor who grew up in the Calder Valley was taking part in filming for the new movie ‘Arthur & Merlin’, an epic fantasy. Filming in 21 different locations in England and Wales in 25 days was an intense experience for the actor who was educated at Stubbings Infant School and Riverside Junior School in Hebden Bridge and Calder High School. “It was very hot, very physical hard work but the most fantastic fun,” said Kirk who stars as Arthur opposite Stefan Butler as Merlin. “We were doing 13 hour days and I twisted my ankle and got bruises everywhere. But it was great to play such an impetuous, passionate character as Arthur.”
After leaving school, Kirk worked as a windsurfing instructor in summer and running ski chalets in winter before rediscovering his interest in acting and musical theatre in his mid-20s. On stage he has appeared in UK national tours of ‘The Hobbit’, ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Footloose’ and has had a regular role on American TV in the HBO series ‘The Girl’s Guide to Depravity’. “The film has everything - adventure, romance, suspense, interspersed with moments of comedy. I’m sure it will be a big hit with fans of the fantasy genre. I also think the film will be a real eye-opener in terms of what can be achieved on a small budget.” ‘Arthur & Merlin’, directed by Marco van Belle, is the first feature film from Sheffield-based independent production company Movieworks . It aims to demonstrate a new business model for getting films from page to screen and is now available to view online.
“It is exciting to be part of this film and it has inspired me to have a go at writing,” said Kirk. “I’m currently writing a sitcom based on my experiences as a water sports instructor.”