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Filming for The Veil starring Handmaid’s Tale actress Elisabeth Moss to get underway at Canterbury Cathedral

Scenes for an exciting new thriller from the creators of Peaky Blinders are to be filmed in Canterbury Cathedral and around the city centre later this month.

A film crew will descend on the Cathedral Quarter to shoot footage for the series The Veil, with The Handmaid’s Tale star Elisabeth Moss in one of the the lead roles.

Elisabeth Moss. Picture: Instagram/elisabethmossofficial
Elisabeth Moss. Picture: Instagram/elisabethmossofficial

Cathedral officials would only confirm that a television production company would be taking over the historic building and part of the Precincts on Tuesday, May 23.

But the production company has also applied for road closures on the preceding day around the Buttermarket and surrounding lanes, with information sent out to local businesses.

Traders in the area have received a letter from the locations manager for the production company, Karin Kavanagh, who says: “Our intention is to feature the Cathedral Quarter as we film a few important scenes in Buttermarket, Burgate, Mercery Lane and Butchery Lane on Monday, May 22.

The Buttermarket in Canterbury will be used for filming the new thriller series
The Buttermarket in Canterbury will be used for filming the new thriller series

“We will spend a few hours in each location, moving from street to street throughout the day in an effort to mitigate any disruption.”

Initially, The Veil will air on Hulu in America, which is the official streaming service of FX Television – a subsidiary of Disney.

Cathedral spokesman Nathan Crouch said he could only confirm that a film company would be using the building in the context of its own historical setting and the site, except for the Crypt, would be closed to the public on the day of filming.

The Veil is written and produced by Steven Knight, who is best known for the hit series Peaky Blinders and the new adaptation of Great Expectations, starring Olivia Colman.

The Cathedral Nave
The Cathedral Nave

According to the magazine Variety, The Veil is reported to be like hit BBC spy thriller Killing Eve in feel and style, and focuses on “the surprising and fraught relationship between two women who play a deadly game of truth and lies on the road from Istanbul to Paris and London”.

A KentOnline reader claimed he had recently met actor Hugh Bonneville in a city centre pub, who was talking about the new series – although the Downton Abbey actor’s name does not officially appear in the cast list.

The pubgoer said: “They are filming a series in the grounds of Canterbury Cathedral. I believe it is a series called The Veil with a top cast including Elisabeth Moss.

“It also stars Hugh Bonneville. He came into my local pub for a drink and told us about it.

“The cast and crew are staying in the Cathedral Lodge. Apparently they are filming in the side streets around the Cathedral gate.

“It's going to be a huge thing for Canterbury!”

Cathedral bosses have recently shifted their policy on the historical setting being used by film and television makers and are now actively seeking location inquiries.

Mr Crouch says it not only provides valuable income but also raises the Cathedral’s profile as a visitor attraction.

“I think it’s a fantastic way of showcasing us and promoting film tourism,” he said.

He also revealed the Cathedral had been approached by other film companies interested in it as a location, although no productions had yet been confirmed.

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