Surviving The Dream Factory

Known to film lovers the world over, Holway (or as it was once known Holway-land), the movie capitol of Dorset can be a cruel place. According to cinema legend Jason Stourpaine it is a place that can "make or break you in an instant" and, with its voracious appetite for new talent, "eat you up one day and spit your boots out the next".



Professor Thrupiece as a younger man on set with Vivien Leigh in a scene from Bone with the Wind. He longed to escape from "the system" and to free himself from his heart-throb image.
Professor Thrupiece as a younger man on set with Vivien Leigh in a scene from Bone with the Wind. He longed to escape from "the system" and to free himself from his heart-throb image.

Older readers will, of course, be wholly familiar with this scenario - sometimes benignly dubbed "the studio system" -and will recall the wise words of Professor Brian Thrupiece whose brief encounter with the movie moguls of Holwell - see for example The Sound of Brian - was not an unqualified success. They will remember too Professor Thrupiece's pithy if rather bitter Five Stages of Holway [Thrupiece [2008] Holway Hell: Thrupiece Diaries Vol LXVIII March 1963-April 1964, edited Louis B Threadbone (The Threadbone Press)] in which, typically, the "missing presumed disappeared" Culinary Bio-ethical scientist encapsulated the shallow, exploitative and cruelly evanescent attitude towards the careers and wellbeing of those drawn into the casually delinquent dithyrambs of the Dionysian Dorset dream-factory.


[For those unfamiliar with Professor Thrupiece's pithy if rather bitter Five Stages of Holway should note that it went: 1 Who is Brian Thrupiece?; 2 Get me Brian Thrupiece; 3 Get me a Brian Thrupiece type; 4 Get me a young Brian Thrupiece; 5 Who is Brian Thrupiece?]*


[NB This sequence of bons mots is sometimes (mistakenly) attributed to Mexico-born Hollywood actor Ricardo Montalban [Ricardo Gonzalo Pedro Montalbán y Merino, November 25, 1920 – January 14, 2009) star of both Seawolf and Fantasy Island though perhaps best-known to less intellectually-appreciative film-fans for his searing portrayal of Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and of Vincent Ludwig "the baddie" in The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!].


Meanwhile back in Holwell, the queue of wannabee superstars shows no signs of shortening any time soon. Aspiring hoofer Ako-Russ Lyne who admits she has "no great talent, no great prospects but a fantastic set of pins and a willingness to do whatever it takes" " is just the latest in a long line. "This is my 20th audition in as many days and I haven't even seen Harvey Winebar's dressing gown let alone been fitted for a casting couch. At times like these you do begin to doubt yourself... but then i just stick out my chest and soldier on"

The famous Holway sign attracts tourists of all ages. It masks the reputation of the studio complex beneath it as a place where talent is consumed and then discarded.  Formerly known as Holwayland, the supports for the missing letters can still be clearly seen to the right of the existing letters.
The famous Holway sign attracts tourists of all ages. Those in the know say it masks the reputation of the studio complex beneath it as a place where talent is consumed and then discarded. Formerly known as Holwayland, the supports for the missing letters can still be clearly seen to the right of the existing letters.

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