Brigadier and Professor Alastair Bruce of Crionaich
OBE ADC DL
Alastair Bruce is Historical Advisor on film and TV projects, including Downton Abbey, The Young Victoria, The Prince and the Pauper and The King's Speech. He has also supported Indian Summers and is preparing other series.
Alastair is also the Royal, Constitutional and Religious Commentator for Sky News, and a contributor to FOX News, ABC and the BBC. Author of many books, his latest, The Queen's Birthday Parade, was published with a forward by Prince Philip. A soldier who saw active service in the Falklands War of 1982, Alastair completed his period of mobilized service on active operations in Iraq, on Operation TELIC. He is the holder of many titles, including an OBE, Fitzalan Pursuivant of Arms Extraordinary to The Queen, Aide de Camp to The Queen, Extra Equerry to Their Royal Highnesses the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London and Lay Steward of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.+
English actress Raquel Cassidy attended Farnborough Hill Convent, as well as Girton College, Cambridge, where she studied modern languages and biological anthropology. She later pursued a PhD in biological anthropology, but she left school in attempt to pursue a career in acting.
Some of her notable TV roles include Susan Gately on Teachers, Staff Sgt. Neve Kirland on Red Cap, Chris on According to Bex, Jo Porter on Party Animals, Nancy Weeks on Moving Wallpaper, Diana Granville on Land Girls, and Mel on Lead Balloon. In 2013, she joined the cast of Downton Abbey as Phyllis Baxter, also known as Cora Crawley's lady's maid.+
English-born actor Kevin Doyle, Downton's much-loved and beleaguered footman Molesley, has made a name for himself acting extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company in London. His first big break on screen was in the 1997 BBC drama series The Lakes.
He has since gone on to appear in films such as The Libertine and Good as well as television series such as Midsomer Murders, Law & Order (UK), Casualty and The Tudors. Kevin has appeared previously in the MASTERPIECE productions Poirot and Foyle's War, and most recently starred in Happy Valley for BBC and Netflix.+
Jessica Fellowes is an author, journalist and public speaker. Formerly a celebrity interviewer at the Mail on Sunday and deputy editor of Country Life magazine, she has written seven books as well as touring with her lectures on Downton Abbey from Cheltenham to California. She lives in Oxfordshire and London with her family.+
Michael joined Downton in the eighth episode of the fifth series as Andy Parker, hired as a footman in London and then brought up to work in the big house itself. Less than two years after graduating from the London's Central School of Drama, Michael got his Downton break. Since then, he has also appeared in the movies Good People and Marvelous.
Michael is also a keen rider and still likes to compete in eventing competitions - apparently he nearly joined the mounted police instead of becoming an actor!+
Phyllis has starred on TV and movies for the last thirty years. She won a BAFTA Award for her first movie 'Another Time, Another Place', became beloved of TV audiences in Britain for her portrayal of Lady Jane Felsham in the highly popular and long running TV show 'Lovejoy' with Ian McShane in the title role.
She first reached an international audience with the hugely successful Mike Leigh film 'Secrets and Lies'. But it is as Mrs Hughes in the show Downton Abbey, for which she and her fellow cast members have received two SAG awards, that her worldwide fame has been assured. She is married to 'Pirates of the Caribbean' star Kevin R McNally.+
Anna Robbins is a costume designer who has designed costumes for numerous award-winning productions and continues to build a solid reputation for creative flair and excellence within the world of film and television. Originally from Scotland, and currently London-based, Anna continues to work across the UK and has been designing for the film and television industry since 2005.+
Liz is the Executive Produces for Downton Abbey and joined the BBC from university and worked on a variety of programs including documentaries, a children's magazine show and a weekly current affairs investigative show before joining the drama department.
Starting as a Script Supervisor responsible for Continuity (not her forte!) , she worked her way through Location Managing, Production Managing and then to First Assistant Director before briefly becoming a Script Editor and then Producer. She is now a multi-award winner, including a Primetime Emmy, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and the Producers Guild of America award. She has produced all six series of Downton Abbey which has sold in 240 territories around the world and is the most successful British drama export of all time.+
The Cloister transforms into Downton Abbey one last time!
February 4-6, 2016
Schedule of Events
Thursday, February 4, 5:30 p.m.
"How Downton Abbey Was Made," with Alastair Bruce, on-set Historical Advisor
The Cloister Ballroom
Alastair Bruce has spent six years working with the international hit show, Downton Abbey. Working with the creator, producers, directors and cast, Alastair's expert advice on the period's protocol earned him the on-set nickname "The Oracle." In this lecture, Alastair explains how he worked with the production to bring the scripts to life and the challenges that they faced. Alastair's expertise comes from years of working as a broadcaster, equerry to HRH Prince Edward and as an officer in the British army. With humor and warmth, Alastair's lecture unites his knowledge with our favorite Downton Abbey moments. Complimentary.
Friday, February 5, 11 a.m.
The Costumes of Downton Abbey: From Creation to Screen
The Cloister Clubroom
The costume designer for Downton Abbey’s fifth and sixth series, Anna Robbins has recently been nominated for an Emmy for her designs on the show. In this talk, Anna will explain her approach in using clothing to tell a story and enhance the characters and their journeys. Most of the costumes in the fifth and final series were original designs of Anna’s, and she will talk through some of the detail and inspiration for a few of the key pieces worn by our favorite stars of the show.
For Downton Abbey, Anna researched in detail relevant historical costumes, gathering literature on fashion, pattern-cutting, illustration, millinery, jewelry, portraiture, textiles and photography. Anna also spent time in museums studying the cut and construction of original pieces and used the experience she had gathered over the years when vintage and antique shopping. Anna will draw upon all this in her talk, as well as explain some of the extraordinary challenges she’s faced when creating costumes for a show like Downton, including the relentless pace of filming and need for precision and detail in every piece. Complimentary. Reservations required.
Friday, February 5, 5 p.m.
Q&A with Downton Abbey Special Guests
The Cloister Ballroom
Learn behind-the-scenes tales of one of the most widely watched shows in the world with a question-and-answer session with Downton Abbey special guests moderated by Ms. Fellowes. Audience members may submit questions, so start thinking now. What would you like to know about the show, its characters, actors and locations? Now's your chance to find out. Submit your question from 5-5:30 p.m. during cocktails and your question might get picked! Complimentary.
A room confirmation is required to book events. 48-hour cancellation policy on all events. Separate reservations are required for each event.
For reservations contact 912-638-5111.