Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Sunday 26 February 2017

A cast with connections to the writer's heartland

Gordon O’Neill of Goldfish Telecom donated all his suits to charity after taking a more casual approach to workwear
Gordon O’Neill of Goldfish Telecom donated all his suits to charity after taking a more casual approach to workwear

When writing Smalltown, Gerard Barrett had just one actor in mind to play the father and farmer struggling with the death of his wife.

"Pat Shortt was always the person. He has that beautiful quality where he can be utterly funny and heartbreakingly dramatic. People were tweeting saying 'Pat Shortt is my father'," said Mr Barrett.

"He understands the complexities of rural life and I could trust him to go on the journey," he added.

The writer and director said it was important for him to select a cast with a connection to the heartland.

"The cast were all from Kerry, Clare, Tipperary, Cork, Leitrim and Wicklow. I didn't have time to educate people about rural Ireland.

"There isn't a huge amount of dialogue to ensure that it didn't become over-dramatic. It was about keeping it honest so that families watching could discuss the issues in their own living rooms," he said.

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