NEWBURY, England (Reuters) - Mr Carson, the much-loved butler in hit period drama “Downton Abbey”, has lived through the tales of love and tragedy that have beset the British household during its six series on television screens.
Now he will recount his memories of serving the Crawley family in a concert next month at the Highclere Castle venue, where the award-winning series set in the early Twentieth Century and its upcoming movie adaptation were filmed.
With the show’s composer John Lunn on piano, the Chamber Orchestra of London will perform music from the series in “Downton Abbey Live” on June 22, some three months before the highly-anticipated “Downton Abbey” film is released. Actor Jim Carter, who plays Carson, will host the concert in character.
“The (concept) is that Lord Grantham has asked him to reminisce about his time at Downton Abbey,” he told Reuters in an interview, referring to the series’ patriarch, also known as Robert Crawley.
“So he goes back and we talk about the loves, the lives, the disasters, the tragedies, the fun of the whole six series, which is linked together by the music.”
Lady Carnarvon, who owns Highclere Castle with her husband, the 8th Earl of Carnarvon, said “perhaps a few others of the cast” could join Carter on the day.
She said the building and its countryside setting added to the show’s appeal: “The sense of reassurance that this building gives us all because you can look back in time, and there’s been a home here for thirteen hundred years, so we’ve got some sense of place and order.”
The show, which followed the upstairs and downstairs lives of a sprawling country estate, first aired in 2011 and gained a huge following in Britain and the United States. The movie, which is set in 1927, is scheduled for release in September.
“Filming the film which we finished in November, that was just like going back to the TV series. We all knew each other. As soon as you put your costume on, you’re back in character really,” Carter said.
“But it was a slightly thinner experience because I don’t think for instance the kitchen staff met any of the upstairs staff, or hardly any of them because it was...quicker, it was 10 weeks instead of six months.
“We were filming separately in our own little stories a lot more than we were on the TV program.”
Little has been revealed about the movie, though a trailer released last week showed the Crawleys preparing for a royal visit to their home.
Reporting by Louise McLoughlin; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Alexandra Hudson