Two Longford men have come together with former professional boxer, Steve Collins, to create an insightful short film about life in London’s Cardboard City; an area of London where the homeless took shelter.
Titled ‘Tax City’, the twenty-minute film was written and produced by Andy Nolan, son of John (Edgeworthstown) and Maisie (nee Clyne, Ballymahon) Nolan. Enhancing the Longford connection further, the film is directed by Killoe’s award winning film director, Tom Begley.
The film, which has been shot in popular locations throughout the city such as Piccadilly Circus, Harrow, Ruislip and Tottenham Court Road, looks at life in London in the late eighties and early nineties.
“Around Waterloo and in particular where the IMAX is now, it was like a city within a city. There was nothing but cardboard boxes,” said Mr Begley. “The film looks at a gang of thugs who used to take money off these homeless people. They were called ‘the Taxing Squad’ and they were mostly Irish. Hence the name ‘Tax City’.”
The film centres around the life of a singer who is mugged one night and stabbed in the throat.
“From there he loses his voice, his family etc. and life goes from one extreme to another. Eventually he ends up in Cardboard City,” explained Mr Begley.
It is here that he comes in contact with the ‘Taxing Squad’, the head of which is played by Steve Collins.
“The singer is beaten up by these thugs and then he runs after one of them (Collins) and he bashes him on the back of the head,” said Mr Begley.
The Killoe man told the Leader that working with Steve Collins was a “great experience”.
“I’ve got to know him over the last few months and there are no airs or graces about him. He’s such a nice lad,” he said.
Andy Nolan, whose parents moved to London in 1959, wrote the script for the film when he learned the story of the ‘Taxing Squad’ and thought it would make an interesting storyline.
“I know Steve (Collins) for a good few years. I needed a baddie for ‘Tax City’ and he really fitted the bill,” said Mr Nolan, who also plays in the band ‘The-Bible-Code-Sundays’. This band features Ronan MacManus (brother of Elvis Costello) as its lead singer.
“We write all our own songs and these are largely about the Irish experience in London and the UK,” said Mr Nolan of the six piece band of which he plays button accordion.
He added: “I’m involved in films for the last three to four years. This is my first short and I’m working on a full-length film called ‘Clan London’.”
Mr Nolan, who is married to Jacqui and a father of three children, hopes to premier ‘Tax City’ in Ireland in the near future.
“We want to enter it into more festivals and bring it back to our roots. It’s very much a London-Irish film,” he said.
The film also features Noel ‘Razor’ Smith who spent 30 years in prison, Jon Campling of Harry Potter fame, Marcus Harris of the original Famous Five, and Ronan MacManus of The-Bible-Code-Sundays.
Begley and Nolan hope that the film will be ready to premier in London in June or July of this year and that the event will be attended by Steve Collins and many of his celebrity friends, including Vinnie Jones and Mickey Rourke.
To follow ‘Tax City’ on facebook look up ‘Tax City Short Movie’. ‘Clan London’ is also on facebook or visit www.clanlondonmovie.com.