Watch it here -> Three Streets in the Country

Three Streets in the Country

Three Streets in the Country (60 mins) is a subjective history of the London suburbs written by Michael Frayn and directed by Dennis Marks.

When: Friday, 12 February 2010, 6.30pm

Where: London, Edmond J Safra Lecture Theatre, King's Building, Strand Campus, King's College, WC2R 2LS

Host: English PEN

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It was commissioned as part of a series of authored films about British architecture and broadcast in 1979. In the film, Frayn chose to tell the remarkable story of the exponential growth of suburbia by focusing on his own childhood home district of Ewell in South West London.

Through the minute details of ordinary life as perceived by an eleven year old child, Frayn and Marks painted a picture of the dream of the rural within the urban which inspired the builders of a century ago. Twenty years later, Frayn revisted the same wartime suburban streets and made them the background for his acclaimed novel Spies.

Here, a screening of the film will be followed by a discussion between Frayn and Marks about their childhoods in the suburbs and their experience of making the film.

The talk is followed by a drinks reception.  It is free and open to the public but booking is essential. 
To book, or for more information, please contact or

. . . . . Michael Frayn and Dennis Marks were on hand to discuss and answer questions about the film in question in a lecture theatre at Kings College in London. I was there and enjoyed the evening. What is less well known perhaps is that the film formed the second of a series of five films shown in the week beginning 19th February 1979 on BBC2 entitled Where we live now.

The film pays attention not only to Frayn's childhood but to the history of the area, showing ancient field patterns and bridle ways and how these relate to the present layout of streets, and how these streets have now become a suburb where once they stood apart. Towards the end of the film, the camera switches from the windows of the quiet house to the noisy factory production line from which they came juxtaposing the quiet suburban scene with the clamour of the window factory.

Watch it here -> Three Streets in the Country