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RTÉ One’s new drama Charlie to air on 4 January 2015
RTÉ today announced that its new three-part drama, Charlie will begin at 9.30pm on Sunday 4 January, 2015 on RTÉ One and run over three successive Sundays. For a preview of the show click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_V96DVP2otI
Written by Dublin-born award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Colin Teevan and directed by Kenny Glenaan and Charlie McCarthy, the drama based on real events explores the emergence of modern Ireland through charting the rise and fall of the charismatic and divisive figure of Charles J. Haughey. The drama covers the period from Charles J. Haughey’s bid for power in 1979 and chronicles his attempts to maintain that power until his departure from politics in 1992.
The ensemble cast includes Aidan Gillen (Charles J. Haughey), Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (PJ Mara), Risteárd Cooper (Dermot Nally), Peter O’Meara (Brian Lenihan), Gavin O’Connor (Sean Doherty) and Marcus Lamb (Des O’Malley). Also joining the cast is English actress Lucy Cohu (Terry Keane). Charlie is produced for RTÉ by Touchpaper and Element Pictures and co-funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television Licence Fee.
Writer, Colin Teevan said: “I was not interested in writing a bio-pic or a drama-doc about Charles Haughey, what I wanted to do was tell a global story set in Ireland, one that was both local and international. I was interested in the dynamics of power: what the individual does with power and what power does to the individual. While it is set in an Irish context, it is about the nature and limits of democratic power, something that has resonance across the globe today.”
Rob Pursey, Executive Producer, Touchpaper said: “This is a drama that resonates beyond Ireland. It isn’t a history lesson, it’s a story about a man who dares to aspire to something and about the dangers of those aspirations being realised. The humour in the drama is also wielded subtly to shine a light on the subject of power and there are some brilliantly nuanced performances from the cast.”
Jane Gogan, Head of Drama, RTÉ Television said: “This is the first time that RTÉ Drama has commissioned a series about a political figure. In commissioning this drama we did not set out to be judgemental nor reverential, but rather to get beyond myth and caricature and endeavour to portray this political and public life in a way that would be a fair representation. Without the BAI Sound and Vision Fund it wouldn’t have been possible to make a series of this scale and ambition.”
Actor Aidan Gillen said: “I think initially the draw for me was simply that it was going to be a drama about Haughey, not having even seen a script, because he was a fascinating, divisive character and because, in a way, you know what people are going to be expecting, which gives a lot of scope to try and deliver something different.”
Charlie starts on RTÉ One on Sunday 4 January and each of the 90 minute episodes, airing over three successive Sundays, covers three distinct periods in Haughey’s political life. In Rise (1979-1981) Charles J. Haughey confounds his critics and succeeds in his bid to become Taoiseach, championed by a close circle of allies; in GUBU (1982) Haughey seizes his opportunity to regain power and to lead Ireland onto the stage of World politics; and in Fall (1989-1992) a bid for absolute power and a fitting legacy leaves him exposed as his enemies circle.
Charlie will also be available on RTÉ Player.
Images from press event today will be issued by photographer Andres Poveda. Images of actors in character are available for download here on the RTÉ press pack.
RTÉ TV Press & Publicity contacts: Anne-Louise Foley, 208 3298/085 1288911; Tara O’Brien 208 2287/085 863544481; Neil O’Gorman, 208 2321/087 2077192
Watch the Charlie promo here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_V96DVP2otI
Colin Teevan is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and academic. Previous series written for television include Single- Handed (RTÉ), Vera (BBC) and Silk (BBC). Recent stage work includes The Kingdom and The Bee (Soho Theatre), The Lion of Kabul and There Was A Man, There Was No Man (Tricycle Theatre), and Kafka’s Monkey and Monkey! (Young Vic) The Walls (National Theatre) and How Many Miles to Basra? (West Yorkshire Playhouse) for which Colin was awarded the 2007 Clarion Award for Best New Play. Adaptations include Peer Gynt (National Theatre of Scotland and Barbican Theatre) Dr Faustus (West Yorkshire Playhouse and Citizens Glasgow) Bacchai (National Theatre). He has also written over 20 plays for BBC Radio and won the coveted Tinniswood Award. Colin is Professor of Playwriting and Screenwriting at Birkbeck, University of London.
Aidan Gillen is one of Ireland’s most talented actors, Aidan is best known for his roles in Queer as Folk (1999), The Wire (2004), Love/Hate (2008), Game of Thrones (2011). He has won two IFTAs and also hosts Other Voices.
Lucy Cohu is an award-winning English stage and film actress, best known for portraying Princess Margaret in The Queen’s Sister (2005), Evelyn Brogan in Cape Wrath (2007) and Alice Carter in Torchwood: Children of Earth (2009). She’s also
appeared in many feature films including: Gosford Park (2001), Becoming Jane (2007), and The Awakening (2011).
Peter O’Meara is an award-winning Irish actor, who first came to the screen in HBO series Band of Brothers (2001), and has appeared in many TV series since, including Peacemakers (2003), CSI: NY (2004), Without A Trace (2006), and Strike Back (2011). It was Love/Hate (2013) which particularly brought him to prominence for Irish audiences.
Gavin O’Connor is an Irish actor best known for his work on The Tudors (2009), Dorothy Mills (2008), The Front Line (2006), Single-Handed (2010) and Rasaí na Gaillimhe (2009-2012). His first film as a writer/producer was nominated in World Competition at The Montreal World Film Festival in 2013.
Marcus Lamb has broad experience of acting on screen and stage. The youngest son of actors Peadar Lamb and Geraldine Plunkett, Marcus has toured extensively with Druid Theatre Company from Japan to Europe. He is a founding member of Mouth on Fire Theatre Company set up in 2010 to perform the works of Nobel Laureate Samuel Beckett. He is best known on television for roles in The Tudors (2009), Rasaí na Gaillimhe (2009-2012), and in features for Life’s A Breeze (2013).
Jody O’Neill is an actor, playwright and producer. She starred in Rough Magic’s Digging for Fire at the Project Arts Centre and in the company’s productions of Travesties and Plaza Suite. On television, she appeared as Carina in The Clinic and starred in the short film, The Tunnel. Jody received an Arts Council New Work Award for her new play Celebrity in 2010 and was one of six playwrights invited to participate in the pilot year of the Abbey New Playwrights Programme. Her first play Whereabouts received the judge’s special award at the Irish Times Theatre Awards in 2007.