From the classical grandeur of the World Museum and Walker Art Gallery on William Brown Street to the history of the Maritime Museum on the city’s Royal Albert Dock and the iconic Museum of Liverpool located on the renowned Pier Head, the museums and galleries of National Museums Liverpool (NML) are some of the most iconic settings in Liverpool.
Therefore, it should not be shocking that Liverpool’s museums have been portrayed on screen for many years, with several famous shootings occurring in these iconic locations.
These are just a few of the numerous films and television series that have filmed in NML locations:
- Coleen Rooney: The Real Wagatha Story – Walker Art Gallery
It was the social media sensation that gripped the nation, and now the Disney+ documentary, as told by Colleen Rooney herself, premiered in the city this week. Dubbed the Wagatha Christie trial, the documentary tells the story of the infamous trial and the fallout between Rooney and Rebekah Vardy. They filmed the courtroom scenes at County Sessions House on William Brown Street, which is part of the Walker Art Gallery.
- Funny Woman – World Museum
In the third episode of this adaptation of Nick Hornby’s Funny Girl, which was filmed in Liverpool in September 2021, the World Museum was converted into a hospital. Other well-known locations are Rowlands Pharmacy in Birkdale, which was converted into a hair salon, and Brings Butchers and Butchers in the city centre, which is behind the Adelphi Hotel. In the series, which starred Gemma Arterton as the endearing Barbara Parker, a young Blackpool resident found her comedic voice in the world of male-dominated 1960s sitcoms.
- Doctor Who – Museum of Liverpool
Early in 2021, Doctor Who travelled to Liverpool to begin filming the thirteenth season of this classic British television series. John Bishop, a comedian from Liverpool, plays Dan Lewis, who is first shown to us in the episode while visiting the Museum of Liverpool.
“Nobody has got a top floor like the Museum of Liverpool, because nobody has got our history.” – Dan Lewis (John Bishop)
- The Batman – Walker Art Gallery
NML was involved in The Batman, serving as both a backdrop and the location of a backstage crew hub in Liverpool. The Batman, a Warner Bros. production that will be released in March 2022, was the first large-scale urban production in history to shoot in accordance with the new COVID-19 industry guidelines. The film was shot in Liverpool in October 2020. The striking Walker Art Gallery served as one of the filming locations for the scene where Gotham City was modelled after Liverpool. Bruce Wayne, played by Robert Pattinson, is seen in front of St. George’s Hall in the official movie still, with the Walker Art Gallery in the distance.
- Digging for Britain – Museum of Liverpool
The Digging for Britain team was welcomed to NML in the summer of 2022. Filming for the tenth season of the well-liked television show began. Professor Alice Roberts combined the findings of digs and research projects conducted across the nation with a year’s worth of British archaeology.
Episode 6 of Anglo-Saxon Gold and Headless Romans included a mention of NML. In it, Professor Roberts discusses the history of Piermaster’s Green, the effects of World War II on the neighbourhood, and a few intriguing discoveries with Vanessa Oakden, Lead Curator of Archaeology, Jeff Speakman, Assistant Curator Regional Archaeology, and dig volunteers.
- Eurovision 2023 Turquoise Carpet – Walker Art Gallery
Without a doubt, NML was not an exception to the Eurovision fever that swept through Liverpool in May 2023. The official “Turquoise Carpet” event, which kicks off the week of Eurovision celebrations in each host city, took place at the Walker Art Gallery for the 2023 edition of the well-known singing competition. Acts from all 37 competing nations descended the Walker stairs to speak with fans and media before making their way down the carpet towards St. Georges Hall. The event was streamed live on YouTube.
- Anthony – Walker Art Gallery
Produced by Liverpool-based LA Productions, Anthony Walker’s story was told in a one-off film on BBC One in 2020. The timing of Jimmy McGovern’s latest drama is perfect, as more people than ever are having important discussions about representation and race. In this stirring movie, Anthony’s aspirational future is based on harsh reality. A few scenes were shot at the County Sessions House, which is adjacent to the Walker Art Gallery, by the filmmakers.
- Silent Witness – Museum of Liverpool and Maritime Museum
The immensely popular drama from BBC Studios celebrated its 25th series in 2022 with six exciting new episodes that kicked off with a suspenseful assassination attempt in Liverpool. Filmmakers often use Liverpool as a stand-in for New York, London, or Moscow, but Silent Witness is expected to highlight the city’s monuments in all of their splendour.
Last year, the cast and crew spent more than a week filming in Liverpool, where they shot important scenes in some of the city’s most famous venues, such as the Maritime Museum and the Museum of Liverpool.