Sunderland woman makes film to 'come to terms with grief and loss' as the North East provides the backdrop for her story

A Sunderland filmmaker is preparing to see her finished feature screened to an audience for the first time.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 5:22 pm

The Constant Sea is the first page-to-screen project by Margaret Frayne, who also stars in the 30-minute film, which will have its North East premiere held at a private viewing on Thursday, May 27.

Margaret, who grew up in Ashbrooke and went to Sunderland Church High, works as an actor, writer and life model and has previously been a jazz and blues singer and songwriter.

Now living in Newcastle, she used locations in the city at Seaton Sluice as the backdrop of her story.

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William Wyn Davies, who plays Daniel, in a scene with the maker of The Constant Sea, Margaret Frayne, who stars as Rosalind in the piece.

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It focuses on the controversial age gap relationship of central characters, young man Daniel, played by William Wyn Davies, and Conrad, played by David Downing, as the moving story tackles the delicate subject matters of vulnerability, exploitation and loss.

The Constant Sea took more than a year to come to fruition and was shot in February over a week, abiding by social distancing guidelines and with the help of three crew members.

Its creator was inspired by celebrated American novelist and poet, Garth Greenwell, who writes about gay male relationships.

William Wyn Davies, as Daniel, and David Downing, as Conrad in a scene from The Constant Sea.

Margaret, who also spent part of her childhood living in Hexham in Northumberland, said: “I needed to tell this story to try to come to terms with my own sense of grief and loss.

“Relationships that do not fit the conventional model are no less important than those that do.

“It could certainly be argued that the older man – Conrad – behaves irresponsibly and questionably, but many marriages – gay or straight – look successful and respectable to the outside world, whilst the reality may be something very different.

“It’s also about people hiding their true selves for fear of societal condemnation and legal punishment.”

Margaret has sent her thanks who helped her overcome the hurdles faced when filming during a global pandemic, such as finding accessible locations.

She added: "It was gratifying to use a North East-based cast and crew, some of whom are old friends.”

The Constant Sea has been entered in two categories of the Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival, and Margaret has plans for her second film, a comedy, following in the footsteps of one of her favourite writer and performers, Ricky Gervais.

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