The pretty South Devon seaside town of Teignmouth, best known for its links to international rock band Muse, is set to grace the screen of cinemas the world over as The Mercy, starring Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz, goes on general release from 09 February.
Based on the story of Donald Crowhurst, who attempted to win the Golden Globe Yacht Race in 1968/9, the film tells the story of how Crowhurst fooled the world into believing he was winning the 30,000-mile, non-stop, single-handed, race around the world, described by Sir Frances Chichester as the Everest of the seas.
Set against the arrestingly beautiful backdrop of the Teign Estuary and Teignmouth, from where Crowhurst set sail in his trimaran, the Teignmouth Electron, on 31 October 1968, the film shows off the beauty of the local area and the South Devon coast. It was here that he trialled his boat and where locals and his wife Clare, played by Weisz, waited desperately for news of his journey.
According to Visit South Devon, interest in Teignmouth and the forthcoming film, directed by The Theory of Everything's James Marsh, has been bubbling over the last year, helping to make Teignmouth the most-visited town page on its website in 2017. In fact, visits to the town page have increased by 10% since 2016, helping Teignmouth to outperform traditional South Devon favourites including Dartmouth, Salcombe, Sidmouth, Seaton and Exmouth.
Stephanie Cherrett, Strategy Manager for Visit South Devon, commented: “The trailer for the film shows off Teignmouth in all its glory; from the Grand Pier to its stunning beaches and charming Regency sea front. Having already seen a significant interest in the town since the film was shot in the summer of 2015, following the release of the film, we expect a dramatic rise in visitor numbers to the local area, particularly among set-jetters interested in discovering Teignmouth and the surrounding area for themselves.
Pete Czernin, who produced The Mercy, said: “The whole thing started in Teignmouth – the boat was called the Teignmouth Electron – so it was clear that a significant chunk of the film should be shot there.
“Teignmouth is an amazing location, it really is. When we recced there, we were blown away by how attractive it is. The town is incredibly unchanged in a very good way.
“I've shot in many places across the world and haven't quite known anything like this”.*
Known as the Gem of South Devon, Teignmouth is a vibrant town with an arts quarter, wonderful cafés and restaurants, the oldest foot ferry in England, and a host of water sports activities ranging from sailing to kayaking and water-skiing.
Sitting opposite the charming seaside village of Shaldon, with its smugglers' tunnel leading to the hidden Ness Cove Beach, England's smallest zoo, and an array of fine pubs, award-winning cafes and restaurants, Teignmouth, and the local area, has huge appeal to all ages.
A favourite among visitors in the summer months, Teignmouth and Shaldon offer a host of events ranging from the Teignmouth Folk Festival in June to the town's annual Jazz Festival. Teignmouth's Carnival week takes place at the end of July, followed by Shaldon's Water Carnival, the Teignmouth Regatta and the Shaldon Regatta in August. The annual Taste of the Teign Food & Drink Festival starts on 24 September.