English Civil War relocates to Africa

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Channel 4 is to make a rare foray into costume drama with a four-part series set at the time of the English Civil War - in which the outdoor scenes were filmed in South Africa.

The makers of the programme chose to make The Devil’s Whore, starring Andrea Riseborough, in countryside an hour’s drive north of Cape Town because it was cheaper. “It’s much more affordable to film there and we found a region where the countryside just looks similar to England, with oak trees and other familiar locations,” said Liza Marshall, controller of drama at Channel 4.

The broadcaster believes that England has changed beyond recognition since the 1640s, because it has been intensively cultivated. At the time of the last big conflict in England, southern Africa was first being settled by Europeans.

The Devil’s Whore, written by Peter Flannery, the author behind Our Friends in the North, follows an aristocratic woman who is dragged into the principal events of the conflict that led to the execution of Charles I. It also stars John Simm, from Life on Mars, while Peter Capaldi, who played an Alastair Campbell figure in The Thick of It, plays the monarch...

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