Hailsham, Seaford and East Dean are the star locations in a new Sherlock Holmes movie currently being filmed.
Sir Ian McKellen, 85, plays the role of the detective - now in his 90s - in Mr Holmes, a film adaptation of Mitch Cullen’s acclaimed novel, A Slight Trick of the Mind.
On Monday afternoon Sir Ian and other cast members dodged thundery showers as they arrived at the Hailsham Pavilion in George Street. Production, sound and technical vehicles were lined up nose-to-tail along George Street in front of a curious audience sitting outside The George pub.
The station car park was packed with catering vehicles well stocked to feed the large crew.
Production manager Kate Glover told the Gazette, “The story is set in an East Sussex village so we have visited some fabulous places. There was that little village, I think it’s called East Dean, with a pub and a lovely green, not too far from the sea.
“Then we needed to shoot a beach scene so someone recommended Seaford. That was lovely - perfect for what we needed. We also have scenes set in Rye. This is a very attractive part of the world.”
But the star of the location sessions was Hailsham’s historic Pavilion cinema, Kate explained.
Producers needed a vintage cinema which would have fitted with the period in which the story is set - England in about 1947, just post-war.
Kate described how Sir Ian’s scenes involved the fabled Mr Holmes watching a fictional version of himself on the screen.
The new film which will hit cinemas next year centres on an aged Holmes who becomes obsessed with one final case. Sir Ian tweeted, “Over 70 actors have previously played Sherlock Holmes. Now he’s 93 years old and it’s my turn.”
The film shows him as an elderly man who cannot walk without a cane. He lives with a housekeeper (played by Laura Linney) and her son and makes an effort to talk to the boy about his life before he forgets it.