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  M.   April 12, 2008

A STREET in Corsham was transformed back in time for a day as the BBC moved into film a new production of Tess of the D’Urbevilles.

On Monday a scene from the Thomas Hardy novel was recreated in Church Street.

The star of the production, which is due to be screened in August, will be 22-year-old Gemma Arterton.

The young starlet landed the role as Tess just months after being signed up to play Agent Fields in the next James Bond film, Quantum of Solace.

After graduating from Rada last year she has starred in several films, including the British comedy St Trinian’s.

Amy Buller, who works at the Flemish Weaver pub in Church Street described the filming as bizarre, but exciting’.

She said: “I got to work at about 11am and there were all these vans there.

“By 6pm there were extras standing around and then by this morning there were almost no trace of the film crews again.

“It was really nice to see something like this going on in Corsham and there were quite a few people standing around watching.

“It was bizarre to see the town transformed and taken back in time.

“They put false doors on a lot of the buildings to make them look older and we had one on the pub for a bit too.

“The pub in the film is called The Plough and they used Church House for that.

“We had our signs taken down briefly so we became just a normal house.

“There were a lot of people dressed up just standing around the streets and we also had two horse and carts go by.

“I unfortunately missed quite a bit of the filming as I had to be inside, but we watched some of it in the evening.

“The whole thing was very strange though. But in a very good way.”

The bar manager, who has worked in the pub for the last four months, said the BBC got in touch about a month before filming took place to say what would be happening.

Other stars in the production will include Gavin and Stacey actress Ruth Jones and Jodie Whittaker, who starred in the Oscar- nominated film Venus.

The BBC adaptation of the film was written by David Nicholls, whose credits include Cold Feet and the James McAvoy film Starter for Ten.

Tess of the D’Urbervilles is billed as one of the most moving and poetic of Hardy’s novels.

When Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy D’Urbervilles and seek a portion of their family fortune, meeting her cousin Alec proves to be her downfall.

A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer her love and salvation, but Tess must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent in the hope of a peaceful future.

The story is hailed as a powerful criticism of social convention.

Source: ThisisWiltshire.co.uk

Tess of the D’Urbevilles: On The Set (Corsham, England) – April 2008