Tom Vaughan Lawlor to play Padraig Pearse in TV3 drama commemorating the Rising
Published 23/01/2016 | 11:04
Many of his Love/Hate co-stars feature in RTE's big-budget drama Rebellion.
However, acting star Tom Vaughan Lawlor will be fronting TV3's efforts to commemorate the 1916 Rising.
Filming is set to begin on Trial of the Century in the coming weeks - a hypothetical look at the trial of the rebellion leaders if they had not been executed for their role in the events of Easter 1916.
Vaughan Lawlor, who is best known for his portrayal of gang leader Nidge on crime drama Love/Hate, has been secured for the role of rebellion leader Patrick Pearse in the show.
The three-part series will also feature Red Rock actor Anthony Brophy.
The programme has a scheduled airing date for April, but could be pushed back to May depending on filming, which would see it being aired after the Easter Rising centenary.
A TV3 spokesperson confirmed the involvement of Vaughan Lawlor in Trial of the Century and described it as a "really important" part of TV3's commemoration.
Aside from the courtroom drama, however, an insider said that the Ballymount broadcaster doesn't have "anything major" planned when it comes to rivalling RTE's big-budget Rebellion drama.
"Apart from a few lighter things around Easter week and Trial of the Century, which won't be ready until April or May, TV3 don't have anything major planned," a source told the Herald.
"RTE is the State broadcaster so it is no surprise that they are doing so much."
IFTA-winning actor Vaughan Lawlor is a regular on RTE screens, winning acclaim in the role of Nidge, but also for playing the late political strategist PJ Mara in the highly-rated drama Charlie.
Trial of the Century is being produced by Treasure Entertainment - the team behind 2013 comedy film The Stag - and is described by show producer Rebecca O'Flanagan as "a fresh way to view these historical events".
"It's an imagining of the trials of the leaders of the Rising if they hadn't been executed," she explained.
"The first part will be a dramatisation of the court cases and the final part will be like a live discussion in front of a studio audience."
RTE have been pumping huge funds into commemorating the Rising while TG4 also produced their own Rising programme.
With a budget thought to be around €6m, RTE went all out with drama Rebellion featuring a star studded cast. It airs tomorrow on RTE 1 at 9.30pm.