Saturday, 15 June 2013

Kensal Green Cemetery | The Theatre of Blood film location is having an Open Day

In the 1973 film Theatre of Blood, in which Vincent Price's Shakespearean actor Edward Lionheart takes delicious revenge on the critics who spurned him, one of the film's key scenes took place at Kensal Green Cemetery, the first of the 'Magnificent Seven' garden-style cemeteries in London. 

Hector's grave was sited in front of the Anglican Chapel portico
Disguised as a gravedigger, Lionheart watched 'in the wings' as the body of Hector Snipe (Dennis Price) was dragged behind a horse in full view his horrified theatre critic colleagues, in a bloody re-enactment of Hector's demise the hands of Achilles in Shakespeare's play Troilus and Cressida.

The Anglican Chapel portico in the film and today
In another scene, which takes place within The Anglican Chapel, Lionheart's daughter Edwina (Diana Rigg) visits her supposedly dead father's memorial and is quizzed by Peregrin Devlin (Ian Hendry).

Lionheart's memorial is actually the tomb of Robert Sievier

This monument was altered for the film. It belongs to sculptor and inventor Robert William Sievier (1794-1865), and shows the sculpted figures of a seated man, one hand placed on the head a woman kneeling in adoration, while the other holds the Bible, its pages opened to a passage in the Book of Luke. For the film, plaster masks of Price and Rigg were substituted for the statue's real ones, the Bible became a volume of Shakespeare and there is a suitable engraving at the front with Lionheart's name and dates.

If you have ever wanted to visit the location, then the Kensal Green Cemetery Open Day on Saturday 22 June 2013 is a perfect opportunity. It hosts tours of the cemetery and the catacombs, a range of stalls and also a display of classic hearses. It's free and fun and here's the link if you want more information.

Address: 385 Ladbroke Grove, London, NW10 5JX

1 comment:

Sue R-C said...

i am a guide up at Kensal Green Cemetery and will be there on Saturday 22nd.
However, there is an error in your text- on the Open Day the tours are not free. There is a charge but well worth it as KGC has a lot of history, not just about Theatre of Blood.
That film is my number 2 favourite film of all time.....