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Venue transformed for film

PUBLISHED: 18:35 10 July 2008 | UPDATED: 11:22 03 July 2010

IN THE CAN: Malice in Wonderland filming

IN THE CAN: Malice in Wonderland filming

Miles Jermy

ACROBATS dangle from a trapeze twirling their bodies to the beat above the crowd of gyrating dancers as the gold lame clad DJ spins the discs.

The outlandish cast of clubbers featured in first surreal scene shot this week for a fantasy thriller at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus, one of several locations in the town providing a setting for the film Malice in Wonderland.

ACROBATS dangle from a trapeze twirling their bodies to the beat above the crowd of gyrating dancers as the gold lame clad DJ spins the discs.

The outlandish cast of clubbers featured in first surreal scene shot this week for a fantasy thriller at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus, one of several locations in the town providing a setting for the film Malice in Wonderland.

Ravers resplendent in brightly coloured wigs rubbed shoulders with sharp suited gangsters as Alice, played by Maggie Grace, more familiar as Shannon Rutherford on the television series Lost, was led hurriedly across the dance floor.

The circus was transformed into the setting for Heart's nightclub, the haunt of gangster Harry Hunt who has just come out of jail to a homecoming party.

The seedy hero is played by Nathaniel Parker, better known as the television detective Inspector Lynley, while Danny Dyer, famed for playing cockney hooligans and chirpy villains, features as Whitey, an enigmatic taxi driver.

Outside the Hippodrome cables snaked across the road, which was jammed with trailers and a burger van where crew members and the army of 150 extras queued up for a bite to eat during breaks in filming.

They ranged from security worker Daniel Betts, 26, and Lowestoft builder Gary Regan, 30, to Yarmouth College performing arts students Leia George, 24, and Morgen Dunn, 17, for whom the film appearance was a dream come true.

Members of the Brazilian Flying trapeze act, The Neves - stars of the Hippodrome's summer circus - were recruited to perform at Harry's homecoming, and had to cling to a rope during another pause for more instructions and herbal cigarettes and imitation cocktails to be handed out.

Nearly all the film is being shot in Yarmouth with further scenes recorded this week at the Royal Naval Hospital, the Windmill Theatre - the exterior of which is being used for Heart's nightclub - and South Denes.

Line producer Charles Salmon said: “The film is set in an unnamed English coastal resort and we had looked at locations in the north and Southend, but knew straight away Yarmouth was the perfect place when we came here.

“Filming on location saves a lot of money; if we had built this set at a film studio it would have cost a fortune. All the extras here today have great enthusiasm and really entered into the spirit of it.”

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