There’s something about Mary… and the tourism boost her film will create
SHE is one of the most famous monarchs in history, whose life story remains a source of fascination more than 400 years after her gruesome death.
Now that enduring interest in Mary, Queen of Scots, is set to bring a tourism boost to these shores.
A new movie about her life is to have its Scottish premiere in Edinburgh tonight.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, will hold a reception for the makers of Mary Queen of Scots, and its star performers at Edinburgh Castle before the film is screened.
And she has hailed tonight’s screening as “another opportunity to showcase Scotland as a world-class location for productions”.
Ms Sturgeon said: “Securing film and TV productions offers significant benefits to the Scottish economy and job opportunities for our skilled crew.
“It’s good for tourism too as our stunning scenery features on screen.
“Through Screen Scotland, we are increasing support for the sector and seizing emerging opportunities to ensure the industry in Scotland continues to go from strength to strength.”
Mary Queen of Scots, stars Saoirse Ronan as the monarch who was forced to abdicate in favour of her one-year-old son James after a tumultuous reign lasting just six years.
After an unsuccessful attempt to regain the throne, Mary fled to England, seeking the protection of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth.
Mary had once claimed Elizabeth’s throne as her own and was considered the legitimate sovereign by many English Catholics. However, the Scots queen was held in captivity for 18 years before she was executed at Fotheringhay Castle in 1587, at the age of 44.
In the film, Margot Robbie takes on the role of Queen Elizabeth.
Directed by Josie Rourke, it also stars Jack Lowden, David Tennant, Martin Compston and James Mcardle.
It was shot on a series of locations across Scotland, including Strathdon, Glencoe, Glen Feshie, Blackness Castle and Seacliff, East Lothian.
The film’s Scottish premiere follows Robbie’s Bafta nomination for Best Supporting Actress in her role as Elizabeth, alongside Alexandra Byrne for Best Costume Design and Jenny Shircore for Best Make Up/hair.
There have been some significant developments in the Scottish movie world in recent months.
Screen Scotland, the new movie body, has backed a Leith warehouse as the location for a potential international film studio complex – a business proposition which is now open to tender.
Meanwhile, PSL Land Ltd has unveiled a new location for its own, privately-funded film studio proposition, and lodged a planning application with Midlothian Council.
Fiona Hyslop, the Culture Secretary, has already said she hopes the new film about Mary, Queen of Scots, will boost tourism to Scotland.
It follows another major Scottish historical epic, Outlaw King, about Robert the Bruce, which was also filmed in Scotland.
Isabel Davis, executive director at Screen Scotland, said: “We warmly anticipate the premiere and release of Mary Queen of Scots, in its historic home territory.
“Josie Rourke’s illuminating portrait of Mary and the swirl of political forces that determined her fate is dramatically set off by Scotland’s spectacular locations, providing UK audiences with a richly rendered account of our shared history.”
Jenni Steele, Film and Creative Industries Manager at Visitscotland, said: “Scotland’s history and culture is a huge driver for visitors from across the globe, with the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, a fascinating part of that.
“With its mix of political intrigue and stunning imagery of Scotland, Mary Queen of Scots could offer further inspiration for visitors to explore the country and the many real historical locations linked to the 16th-century monarch.”
With its mix of political intrigue and stunning imagery of Scotland, Mary Queen of Scots could offer further inspiration for visitors to explore the country
Saoirse Ronan plays the ill-fated 16th-century monarch Mary, Queen of Scots.