The Following Events Are Based on a Pack of Lies Filming Locations: Oxford and More

Article by Jane

September 1st, 2023

You can find The Following Events Are Based on a Pack of Lies filming locations in Oxford University’s Old Schools Quadrangle, Blackwells on Broad Street, St Aldate’s, Chenies Manor House, Stoke Poges and more spots in and around Oxfordshire.

Alice (Rebekah Staton) is shocked to pass her ex-husband on the streets of Oxford, years after he disappeared with her family’s savings. On the same day, fantasy author Cheryl (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) connects with famous explorer and philanthropist, Rob (Alistair Petrie). They’re the same man – but will Cheryl realise that Rob isn’t all he seems?

The 2023 BBC One thriller was written by Penelope Skinner and Ginny Skinner, and directed by Robbie McKillop and Nicole Charles. At the time, the writers spoke about their inspiration – wanting to tell the story of the women fighting back against conmen.

“In a world where convicted conmen become overnight cultural icons, bypassing blame on their way to fame, we have been inspired to fight back against the glorification of the predator. We want to tell a story about the real heroes of any scam: those who risk everything to call out the perpetrators.”
Penelope and Ginny Skinner, Writers

Where Was The Following Events Are Based on a Pack of Lies Filmed?

The Following Events Are Based on a Pack of Lies was filmed in Oxford’s Broad Street, Bridge of Sighs on New College Lane, Blackwells bookshop, Radcliffe Square, Old Schools Quadrangle and St Aldate’s, and in Buckinghamshire’s Chenies Manor House and Stoke Poges village. Some scenes were filmed in studios too – these are the real filming locations around Oxfordshire and the creative custom builds.

The Following Events Are Based on a Pack of Lies Filming Locations

Bridge of Sighs

Bridge of Sighs, Oxford Bridge of Sighs, Oxford. Michael D Beckwith, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
In the 2023 BBC One drama, Rob passes along New College Lane under the Bridge of Sighs then onto Broad Street, before handing out flyers in front of the Sheldonian Theatre.

As reported in the Oxford Mail, Alistair Petrie was spotted filming in the central Oxford location in April 2022. Commonly known as the Bridge of Sighs, the bridge’s formal name is the Hertford Bridge – a natural naming choice, since it links two separate buildings belonging to Hertford College.

Cheryl’s Book Launch at Blackwells

Blackwells, Oxford Blackwells, Oxford. Robin Sones, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
The Oxford bookshop location in The Following Events Are Based on a Pack of Lies is Blackwells on Broad Street.

In Episode 1, Cheryl’s book launch is held at the Blackwells and this Oxford filming location appears several times. We see the exterior at the beginning of the episode. Later on, we see the interior complete with banners advertising Cheryl’s fantasy novel, The Dragon Queen of Thewme.

Alice Sees Rob in Oxford

Radcliffe Square Radcliffe Square. Txllxt TxllxT, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
The Following Events Are Based on a Pack of Lies filming location where Alice spots Rob is Radcliffe Square in Oxford. They’re both passing the Radcliffe Camera, which is now part of the Bodleian Library. Unless you’re an Oxford University student, you can only visit by guided tour.

The Quadrangle

Quadrangle, Oxford Old College Quadrangle, Oxford Old College. Ozeye, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
In This Story Is Based on a Pack of Lies, Rob drops the flyers in Oxford’s Old Schools Quadrangle in front of the statue of William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. The buildings surrounding it house Oxford’s 400-year-old Bodleian Library and Divinity School.

Juno Fish

The Following Events Are Based on a Pack of Lies’ Juno Fish location in Oxford is on St Aldate’s, on the corner of Clarks Row. Alice works for Juno (Romola Garai) as a PA, who we first meet during Alice’s cape pitch. In reality, the office is an Oxford gift shop just across the lane from The Independent Café, and opposite Christ Church Meadow.

Arathdoon’s Hedge Maze

The Oxford hedge maze in The Following Events Are Based on a Pack of Lies was specially built in a London studio. In the BBC One thriller, the hedge maze is in the gardens of Cheryl’s house, Arathdoon. One reason for the custom build was budget, but the logistics of filming in a hedge maze also came into the decision.

“That was a slight bit of an obsession, the maze. And then of course off we went with the location manager and looked at various mazes and realised there was just not a hope in hell of putting a film unit within a maze. So I just knew it had to be a partial build, and that's what we ended up with.”
Candida Otton, Production Designer

But only part of the Following Events maze was built. Sections were moved around to replicate the effect of a larger hedge maze.

Don’t be too disappointed if you want to explore it for yourself though. You can find a real hedge maze like the one in The Following Events Are Based on a Pack of Lies in Oxfordshire, at Blenheim Palace. And there’s another rat Cliveden House, just across the Buckinghamshire border.

The Car Chase

Stoke Poges: The Fox and Pheasant Stoke Poges: The Fox and Pheasant by Nigel Cox, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Alice and Rob’s car chase was filmed on Collum Green Road and Gerrards Cross Road in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire. She turns onto Collum Green Road, and passes the Fox and Pheasant pub before tracking her ex-husband to the lake.

Sir Ralph Unwin’s House

Chenies Manor House Mark Percy / Chenies Manor House
Sir Ralph Unwin’s house location in The Following Events Are Based on a Pack of Lies is Chenies Manor House in Buckinghamshire. In Episode 2, Act Two: Down the Rabbit Hole, Alice and her dad try to find evidence against Rob. While Alice is meeting with Cheryl, her dad visits Unwin, an academic who has been taken in by Rob’s adventurer persona.

The stately home is a realistic drive from Oxford, on the border between Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. You may have spotted it in The Crown Seasons 1 and 2, where it appears as Winston Churchill’s home.

Royal Thames Combined Courts

The courthouse location is Aylesbury Crown Court. The characters are seen approaching from Aylesbury market square, towards the real court entrance. The steps outside are also used for the scenes following the court hearing.

Aylesbury Crown Court was also recently seen in 2022 Netflix comedy series Man vs Bee featuring Rowan Atkinson.