Tudors Case Study
The Tudors saw hundreds of cast and crew members descend on the Wicklow studios from 2006 - 2010; the studio playing host to them for approximately six months each time. The series chronicled the life and times of King Henry VIII, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and shed light on his long career and many marriages.
As such, a wide variety of locations were required for the long running series; Ardmore and its surrounding terrains were called on to portray the meadows and hillocks of Tudor England; London city in the 16th century and (the somewhat more climatically challenging) Vatican city. These areas were found in the fields of Wicklow and the grounds of Christ Church, Kilruddery House and Powerscourt Gardens with Dublin Castle transformed into the Vatican City.
“There were two elements that worked together when we were considering our various locations: a) aesthetically how they worked for production manager, Tom Conroy and b) practically - if we could film them, whether they were nearby and accessible etc. And that’s why the close-knit environment of Ardmore, the rest of Wicklow and Dublin was such a successful location and position for us to be in because in a very small area we had a series of fantastic locations that enabled us to achieve the award winning look of ‘The Tudors’. You can hop from an army on the rise marching over the hill to Henry walking through his gardens with whichever wife he was with at the time and then you hop into Dublin and you have amazing locations like Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin Castle, Kilmainham Jail, the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham, Drimnagh Castle the Phoenix Park and all these things are so close together - which obviously helped us achieve the huge undertaking in a very brief period of time.”
The Tudors Location manager, Edmund Sampson
“One of the only things Showtime wanted was that we kept the camera moving and that ‘The Tudors’ wouldn’t be a group of talking heads in the same room for long periods of time. So you keep the camera moving, come up with interesting blocking, do your best to remove scenes from interior set locations to the outside world which, of course, is the whole point of television. With Ardmore in Bray, Wicklow, just being down the road and with Christ Church in town and all the other stunning locations that we have been able to shoot in being so close, it is up to the director to get the production out and about and fight for that.”
The Tudors Director, Ciarán Donnelly
The Tudors producers, Morgan O’Sullivan and James Flynn returned to Ardmore Studios in 2010 to film their historical drama series, Camelot for US cable network Starz. The show, set in England’s Arthurian period featured actors Joseph Fiennes, Eva Green and Jamie Campbell Bower and shot for 6 months in and around the Wicklow studios.