Next year’s centenary of the 1916 Rising promises to spawn a number of cultural projects, amongst which is a new RTÉ drama series, Rebellion.
Scheduled to be filmed in Dublin over the coming months, the five-part series will “chart the violent birth of modern Ireland” and stars Irish actors Charlie Murphy, Brian Gleeson, and Sarah Greene. The action begins with the advent of the First World Ward, and culminates in the Easter Rising and subsequent seven-year struggle for independence.
“Quality Irish drama is the cornerstone of RTÉ television and is something the Irish public has come to expect from us,” says Glen Killane, managing director of RTÉ Television.
“Rebellion will form an important part of what is a significant investment by RTÉ in engaging the Irish public around 1916 and television drama achieves this engage ent like no other medium.”
The serial begins in 1914, as Europe is at war and Britain is preoccupied with the German threat. According to Jane Gogan, RTÉ head of drama: “Rebellion will tell personal stories which are intertwined with the political events of the time. However, it is a drama, not a history lesson, and our story is told from the perspectives of a group of fictional characters who live through the political events of 1916. Men, women and children from Belfast, Dublin, and London — people whose lives were irrevocably changed by this extraordinary period.”
Michael Neeson, son of actor Liam Neeson, has been cast as Michael Collins in another 1916 drama, The Rising.
The film will be directed by Kevin McCann, with funding from the Irish Film Board and Northern Ireland Screen.
Another RTÉ One project is Generation, a five-part series focused on the three weeks around the rising, but which will also put the events in Ireland into a global context.
A TG4 project will deliver a Súil Eile aspect of 1916, with Wrecking the Rising following three accidental time travellers whose presence in Dublin threatens to change the course of history.
On TV3, Trial of the Century will explore what would have happened if the leaders of the rising had actually been put on trial.
Filming has also recently commenced in Galway on TG4’s new teen musical drama, Eipic. The series follows the fortunes of five rural teenagers who take over their local abandoned post office to start a musical revolution in 2016.
The story is set against the backdrop of the 1916 centenary celebrations.
A number of other Irish films are also due for release over the coming months. These include:
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