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BBC’s Lost Boys & Fairies drama billed as powerful ‘love letter to Cardiff’

17 Jun 2024 6 minute read
Lost Boys & Fairies. Image: BBC

The BBC’s new three-part series ‘Lost Boys & Fairies’, which tells the fictional and tender story of Gabriel and his partner Andy’s journey to adoption is a ‘love letter to Cardiff’, one of the series’ producers has said.

The three-part series, now available in full on BBC iPlayer, tells the glittering story of Gabriel (Sion Daniel Young), a singer and artiste-extraordinaire at Cardiff’s queer club-space ‘Neverland’, his partner Andy (Fra Fee), and their journey to adoption.

The couple long to adopt a child but to do so they must convince their social worker Jackie (Elizabeth Berrington) that they’re up to the task.

“Key character”

Filmed in and around  Cardiff across 11 different well-known locations – from Womanby and Bute Street to Canton and Cosmeston Lakes – series producer Adam Knopf has described the city itself as a key character, whose personality shines through this ‘coming of middle age’ story.

Lost Boys & Fairies. Image: BBC

Speaking ahead of the final episode airing on 17 June, Adam said: “Lost Boys & Fairies is a real love letter to Cardiff. As the inspiration for the series came from the life and adoption experiences of Daf James – our series’ creator and exec producer – it was only ever going to be set in Cardiff. We wanted to be truly faithful to the city in that sense, so that it was a genuine portrayal.

“We also wanted the scenes to be relatable and familiar – not just in terms of locations but when it came to the city’s queer community itself. There was a sense of wanting to showcase a different side to Cardiff through the locations and storytelling. In doing so, we wanted to give the community some sort of ownership. We are so proud to have achieved that and to have created something that is a tender and true-to-life representation of this wonderful, diverse city of ours.”

“Small but mighty”

He continued: “More widely, we had a real commitment to using Welsh talent in every area – from costume design, to music production, to make-up. That we were able to draw from world-class talent, right where we were, really is testament to the level of skill here in Wales.

“Having the support of Creative Wales in getting the series off the ground, and tapping into and developing a strong talent base, was also key.”

“Wales continues to live up to its small but mighty reputation on screen, and it is our hope that Lost Boys & Fairies enjoys the type of success that will open doors to similar opportunities in Wales.

“It is without a doubt a series Cardiff and Wales can be very proud of, which broaches themes around parenting and children in a manner as joyful as it is heart breaking.”

Iconic locations

Gerwyn Evans, Deputy Director of Creative Wales, added: “The affectionate billing of Lost Boys & Fairies as a ‘love letter to Cardiff’ is entirely fitting, for the way it weaves the city’s iconic landmarks and locations into the story.

“This includes the capital’s music hub Womanby Street, the iconic LGBTQ+ venue The Golden Cross, and the beloved ‘Billy the Seal’ in Victoria Park.”

Annibyniaeth: The mural of Gwenno in Womanby street

“Creative Wales’ support for Lost Boys & Fairies helped to ensure that for every pound invested, £12 was put directly back into the Welsh economy, and also ensured the creation of 13 trainee and professional up-skilling opportunities on set.

“We are hugely proud to have supported this production, it tells an important story and has received a wonderful reaction so far. Creative Wales is committed to its mission of helping production companies – both indies and international – to choose Wales as their location to create high quality content for local and global audiences.”

11 locations used in Lost Boys & Fairies

Brod, Canton

Head over to delicious Danish bakery, Brod, for a tasty treat in the heart of Canton as you walk the same streets as the talented cast of Lost Boys & Fairies.

Brod, Canton. Copyright Colin Smith and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence.

Bute Street, Cardiff Bay

Bute Street located in the captivating Cardiff Bay acts as ‘Neverland’, the main queer club in which Gabriel performs as a singer in the series.

Capel Bethlehem, Gwaelod-y-Garth

In the midst of Taff’s Well, the impressive Capel Bethlehem was used in the series to chart scenes from Gabriel’s past.

 Cosmeston Lakes

Cosmeston Country Park

With gorgeous greenery spanning over 100 hectares, Cosmeston Lakes hosted the stars of Lost Boys & Fairies as they progressed their adoption journey.

Golden Cross Pub

The Golden Cross, Cardiff.
John Lord, licensed via Wikicommons

The Golden Cross pub was a firm favourite of the Lost Boys & Fairies characters who visited the familiar spot for a night out.

Salem Chapel

The towering Salem Chapel, in the heart of Canton, is where the scenes showing Gabriel’s story in the present day were filmed. 

Taff’s Mead Embankment Underpass

On the outskirts of the city centre, Taff’s Mead Embankment Underpassenables views of the vast city-scape of Cardiff, as well as hosting the significant attack scene in the series.

Victoria Park

Victoria Park, Canton. Picture by Colin Smith (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Victoria Park was a key location in the series as Gabriel and Andy embark on their adoption journey, with Billy the Seal also featuring heavily in the series. 

Womanby Street, Cardiff Castle

Not only is Womanby Street home to Cardiff Castle, which dates all the way back to 55AD, but it’s also where the iconic kiss scene in Lost Boys & Fairies takes place.

Ysgol Treganna

Used in the series, Ysgol Treganna serves as a reminder of how schools across the country are providing a safe space for children to learn and develop as well as opening their doors to film productions too.


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