Meet the Edi student spending lockdown in Marianne from Normal People’s flat

Her BEDROOM was Paul Mescal’s dressing room

Staying at home sounds comparatively cooler when your lockdown residence is Marianne from Normal People’s student flat. This has been the exact case for second year Edinburgh student Savanna, who has been spending quarantine pent up in the beautiful Dublin house.

If you haven’t heard of Normal People, let alone not followed the Instagram page dedicated to Connell’s chain yet, then you must have been living under one thicc rock. The BBC Three adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel has taken our quarantine screens by a storm, with the effects of the hype being felt by some more than others, with Savanna having had actual fans turning up on her doorstep.

We spoke to Savanna to find out more about the stunning house and how it came to be Marianne’s flat.

Savanna, her brother Rian and parents have been spending lockdown in the Dublin house

Savanna is a big fan of the show, and said seeing the actors on screen in her house hasn’t lost its novelty. Savanna told The Edinburgh Tab: “It’s definitely weird – like I’m sitting in my living room on the couch watching TV of people in my living room have a chat on my couch! It was a bit weird seeing her and Connell get it on in the kitchen, and watching her friend doing cocaine in my bathroom.”

Marianne in her flat in the show

The house in real life

The house doesn’t actually belong to Savanna’s family, but to a close family friend. Savanna said: “I’ve grown up kinda like a nomad so don’t really have a family home – I’ve lived in Bangladesh, England and Malaysia, but my mum is full Irish. The house actually belongs to her best friend from uni.

“We’ve been coming to the house for as long as I can remember as kids. My parents are now based in Lisbon, but decided to ‘come home’ during this time, so we have all ended up living here in Dublin.”

Savanna revealed that the house is usually occupied by students in real life, saying: “The owner’s nieces and nephew and their friends used it as their student flat whilst at UCD. It was filmed on and off since the summer and I wasn’t there at the time, but the people that were in the house were asked to leave during filming.”

Savanna’s morning routine was catching the sun out on the front steps before fans started turning up to take pictures

In terms of how the house was selected for the show, Savanna explained that the producers had come by and found the house “years ago”.

She said: “They wanted to use it for another production but it fell through. They still had pictures of the house from then and I guess they thought it would be a good fit for Marianne’s flat.”

The producers liked the house as it had a “bohemian feel”, which they “wanted to romanticise in the show”. Savanna revealed they moved the furniture around to “make it look more downbeat”, and even painted the kitchen yellow, adding “the colour has caused family debates if we like it enough to keep it, so a quarantine activity might involve repainting.”

The garden in the show

The garden in real life

Savanna recently posted pictures of the house on her Instagram story revealing it to be Marianne’s flat. She said: “I didn’t have the intention to expose or flex my lockdown location in any way, I just wanted to bring attention to the show itself.”

She continued: “So many people just loved the novel and were bingeing the show, and so were of course excited to see what Marianne’s flat was like in real life, but some really appreciated my story as they resonated with the show in a deeper sense. I think beyond the story of young love (and obvious fangirling for Connell) it touches on some relatable realities about the university experience and being a young adult that other shows often overlook or romanticise.”

Savanna was “ready to ball out” in the last scene which is supposed to be super emotional, but ended up fuming after spotting Marianne was drinking from her favourite mug

Savanna and her prized mug

In terms of the most important question: Whether Savanna was able to meet Paul Mescal or not, the answer was a heartbreaking no. She said: “Paul Mescal’s dressing room during filming was my bedroom apparently, so that’s the closest I’ll ever get to him.”

Savanna’s BEDROOM was Paul Mescal’s dressing room

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