X+Y: The underrrated gem filmed in Sheffield starring Asa Butterfield from Netflix show Sex Education

Sex Education is one of Netflix’s biggest hits, and a critically acclaimed film shot in Sheffield is perfect for fans left wanting more.

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 5:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 5:10 pm

Series three of the comedy-drama about the sex lives of teenagers and their parents at Moordale Secondary School is now streaming – and the good news is that the show has lost none of its mojo.

For those who like their TV a little more gentle than Squid Game, Asa Butterfield is central to the programme’s charm as geeky sex guru Otis Milburn, who teams up with Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey) to offer fellow pupils much-needed advice about matters between the sheets.

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Asa Butterfield as Otis Milburn, and Emma Mackey as Maeve Wiley in season three of Sex Education (pic: Sam Taylor/NETFLIX © 2020)

But most viewers will be unaware the 24-year-old also starred in X+Y, an underrated gem of a movie from 2015 also featuring future best actress Oscar-winner Sally Hawkins and shot largely in Sheffield.

What else has Sex Education star Asa Butterfield appeared in?

Butterfield, whose other films include The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Hugo and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, played Nathan Ellis in the 2014 film, released in the US as A Brilliant Young Mind.

Nathan is a maths prodigy who, having lost his father in a car accident, is taken under the wing of a maths teacher (Rafe Spall) who spots his brilliance and mentors him.

The youngster, who has autism and struggles to connect with those around him, seeking refuge in numbers, undergoes a coming of age when he is chosen to represent the UK at the International Mathematical Olympiad and encounters love for the first time.

The touching film was a hit with critics and audiences alike, achieving an impressive 87 per cent ‘fresh’ rating on the reviews aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.

Where in Sheffield was the movie X+Y filmed?

But it remains criminally under the radar, despite the Observer film critic Mark Kermode praising it as ‘funny’ and ‘heartwarming’, and the Independent calling it ‘likeable, well-observed and ultimately uplifting’.

The film was largely shot in Sheffield, with High Storrs School, Sheffield Town Hall, Thornbury BMI Hospital, King Edward VII School, the Rails of Sheffield shop, Aston Hotel, Crookes Cemetery, the University of Sheffield and High Storrs Drive among the locations used.

X+Y is available to watch in the UK via Amazon Prime Video, among other platforms.

What other films and TV shows have been shot in Sheffield?

The Full Monty, which became an unlikely global phenomenon after being released in 1997, grossing more than $250 million worldwide, is by far the biggest hit to have come out of Sheffield.

But the city has graced the big and small screens many times over the years.

Only last month, the city hosted a premiere for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, which began life as a musical at the Crucible Theatre, with scenes for the film having been shot at sites including The Moor, the Parson Cross estate, Endcliffe Park, Crookes, and Attercliffe.

Sheffield also played a starring role in series 11 and 12 of Doctor Who, with locations including the Park Hill flats.

Other notable films and TV shows shot in Sheffield include the ITV drama series Brief Encounters, the TV adaptation of David Walliams’ Billionaire Boy, 2014 film Testament of Youth, Shane Meadows’ acclaimed This is England trilogy, and How to Talk to Girls at Parties, starring Nicole Kidman.