Scouting locations for the World Premiere of GRUMPUSS

Cawdor Castle, Nairn, Scotland
Flag of Scotland
In late 1993, when I began scouting locations for a World Premiere of Grumpuss, my fanciful link between the Grumpuss and the Grampian Mountains suggested a Scottish location, so I called Bill Mathieson, Film Commissioner for the Highlands Regional Council in Inverness, and he arranged for me to visit Cawdor Castle, the equally fanciful setting for Shakespeare's Scottish play. (The castle was not yet built in the time of the historical MacBeth.) The literary link was brilliant, but sadly, the rooms in this charming castle were just too small.

Great Hall, Gwydir Castle, North Wales
Flag of Wales
Hugh Edwin Jones, Film Commissioner for North Wales, land of poets and mystics where the unbroken bardic tradition goes back to before recorded history, invited me to visit Gwydir Castle in Llanrwst and Penrhyn Castle in Bangor. Gwydir was authentic and had a room big enough for the performance, but left little room for lighting and camera equipment. Penrhyn, a rich man's folly built between 1827-1840, although full of fantasy, lacked the history and tradition I sought, but was otherwise, a genuine possibility.

The Banquet Room at Haddon Hall
St George (England)
Still dissatisfied, I widened my search, east to the Derbyshire Dales, where helpful hotel manager, Paul Rushby, and pleasant ex-copper, David Needham, contrived to gain me entrance to Haddon Hall, seat of the Duke of Rutland, whose 14th century home had just been used for the filming of The Princess Bride.  Alas, its medieval interiors were too cramped for the show.
In fact, my search for an ideal practical location had been disappointing.  The locations were all wonderful in themselves, but not large enough. With only one place left to visit on my list, I made my way south to Tunbridge, Kent.