Scenes from Sky Art’s film André the Giant filmed at COAM
Chiltern Open Air Museum recently played host to a Sky Arts film about Samuel Beckett and the famous wrestler André the Giant. The film featured ‘Shameless’ star actor David Threlfall and aired recently on Sky Arts; if you missed it, it’s still available on catch up.
The filmmakers used the Museum’s rescued Haddenham Cottage and the beautiful Chilterns landscapes at the Museum to represent the French countryside where Samuel Beckett lived later in his life and commissioned a cottage to be built. The story is about André, the son of the French builder working on Beckett’s cottage: André, who has gigantism, is unable to go to school on the bus with other children so Beckett drives him to school each day in his truck.
The school scenes take place outside the Museum’s cast-iron Edwardian toilets and Astleham Cottage, which represent the French school in the story. Haddenham Cottage, which visitors to the Museum may recognise as the white cottage made from ‘wychert’ (a unique local building material), features in the first scene of this short film where Becket and André’s father are in the living room watching television. The Museum’s Victorian forge also makes an appearance as the home of André and his father, and some lovely night scenes showing the forge lit up were actually filmed early on Bonfire night, narrowly avoiding the sound of fireworks in the background!