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Thursday July 19th 2018

Secrets And Lies | 1997

Secrets And Lies location: Cynthia's terraced house: Quilter Street, Bethnal Green, London E2
Secrets And Lies location: Cynthia’s terraced house, darlin’: Quilter Street, Bethnal Green, London E2

The upbeat resolution of this family drama seems a deliberate counterweight to the bleak pessimism of the scabrous Naked, but it proved a popular Cannes award winner for director Mike Leigh, with Brenda Blethyn taking honours as Best Actress,

After the death of her adoptive mother, optometrist Hortense Cumberbatch (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) becomes the unwitting catalyst for family revelations when she traces her birth-mother. The rather contrived twist is that upwardly-mobile Hortense is black, her working class mum is white.

Secrets And Lies location: The Green, Winchmore Hill
Secrets And Lies location: Timothy Spall's photographic studio: The Green, Winchmore Hill


Hortense gets a copy of her birth certificate from the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, St Catherine’s House, 10 Kingsway at Aldwych and, later, meets up with a somewhat flummoxed Cynthia outside nearby Holborn Underground Station.

The modest terraced house of mother Cynthia Purley (Blethyn) is in the East End, 76 Quilter Street, Bethnal Green, E2, between Bethnal Green and Hackney – a stone’s throw from ‘Libby’s Nice Buns’, the bakery shop in Run Fatboy Run.

Secrets And Lies location: Whitehouse Way, Southgate
Secrets And Lies location: Timothy Spall's home: Whitehouse Way, Southgate

The neighbourhood of Cynthia’s brother Maurice (Timothy Spall) is way up in north London. His place of business really is a photographer’s studio, Studio on the Green, 34 The Green, Winchmore Hill. His house is nearby, 87 Whitehouse Way at Hampden Way, Southgate.