Michael passes screen test
COUNCILLOR Michael Allan is to star in the opening scene of the lavish sequel to Elizabeth. Cllr Allan will play a Spanish Cardinal in the costume drama – part of which will be filmed on location in Ely – alongside Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush. Yester
COUNCILLOR Michael Allan is to star in the opening scene of the lavish sequel to Elizabeth.
Cllr Allan will play a Spanish Cardinal in the costume drama - part of which will be filmed on location in Ely - alongside Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush.
Yesterday (Wednesday) he was due to travel to Westminster Abbey for two evenings of filming and will be seen advising the King of Spain during the time of the Spanish Armada.
His appearance in front of the cameras comes after he spent last Wednesday at Shepperton Studios being fitted for his costume and working with four make-up artists to create the character.
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Michael, who lives in Burwell and represents the Fordham villages on East Cambridgeshire District Council, will wear impressive red robes, tights, hat and shoes, and he has been fitted with a beard and a curly wig.
"I hardly recognise myself," he said, "but the costume was very comfortable."
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It's the second time Michael, 67, has been spotted by a film crew and given a part in a production.
Forty years ago he was playing table football with a friend in a Paris bar when he found himself featuring in a movie with singing star, Charles Aznavour.
He remembers the chart-topping singer arriving by car, walking into the bar and ordering a drink before tossing some coins across the counter. Michael continued playing table football in the background.
As a music teacher and conductor, Michael has been involved in theatre in the past and for five years ran the Cambridge International Opera performing around East Anglia.
His latest film role came when he agreed to join his partner and her children for auditions at Ely's Maltings.
"We went for a bit of fun not a career," said Michael. "But it's very well paid."
The film, The Golden Age, is the sequel to the highly successful 1998 drama, Elizabeth.
The crew will begin nine days of filming from May 25 to June 2 mostly in the cathedral and later in Cambridge.
Cate Blanchett plays Elizabeth I and Geoffrey Rush takes the part of Sir Francis Walsingham.