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Where is ITV drama The Singapore Grip filmed?

It's not filmed where you think...

singapore grip filming© Photo: ITV
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
October 18, 2020
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The Singapore Grip on ITV has proved popular with viewers during recent weeks. While many are loving the cast, story, and wondering about THAT ambiguous title, we can't help but marvel at the scenery in the show. The six-part series, based on the 1978 novel of the same name by JG Farrell, is set in Singapore between 1941 and 1942.

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The drama explores and satirises colonial society at the time in the run-up to the Japanese invasion. But where was it filmed?

singapore grip 1© Photo: ITV

The ITV drama is based on the novel of the same thing

Despite the title, the show was not actually filmed in Singapore. The majority of the drama was filmed in Kuala Lumpa, Malaysia. Producer Farah Abushwesha told press: "I don't think anywhere else in the region would [work].

"Singapore is now so built up. It's a tiny island and they have used every available space. They have even built into the sea.

"A lot of the old structures featured in the original novel like Beach Road are now several kilometres inland, so you wouldn't be able to film what we've been able to in Malaysia."

MORE: The Singapore Grip star David Morrissey reveals one detail he loves about his character

MORE: Viewers are divided over ITV drama The Singapore Grip

singapore grip 2© Photo: ITV

The cast and crew headed to Malaysia for filming

Scenes set at the Blackett and Webb family homes were filmed in the capital. The two homes in real life are in fact hotels. The Blackett home was modelled using premises as Carcosa Seri Negara, while the Webb family scenes were filmed at The Mayfair, located nearby.

As well as the capital, the cast and crew travelled to other region in Malaysia – Penang. Specifically, scenes were shot at the city's Chinatown as it provided a sense of authenticity for the shoot.

Farah said of shooting scenes in Penang: "[It] was one of the original sort of locations that features historically in the Second World War, so it was amazing."

singapore fans react© Photo: ITV

Luke Treadaway as Matthew Webb

Luke Treadaway (Fortitude, Ordeal by Innocence) stars as the lead in the series, playing the role of Matthew Webb. Matthew finds himself sent to Singapore in the midst of the Second World War when his father is taken ill.

Starring alongside Luke is The Walking Dead and Britannia star David Morrissey as Walter Blackett, a ruthless rubber merchant who does not see eye-to-eye with Matthew and is determined the future of their firm is secured.

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