Saturday 1 October 2016

Tourists 'feared they were being shot at' during Rebellion filming

Elaine McCahill

Published 02/01/2016 | 10:35

There were a lot more bells and whistles on military costumes: From left, Michael Ford as Harry, Paul Reid as Stephen and Andrew Simpson as George in Rebellion
There were a lot more bells and whistles on military costumes: From left, Michael Ford as Harry, Paul Reid as Stephen and Andrew Simpson as George in Rebellion

American tourists dropped to the ground when shots rang out during filming of RTE's 1916 drama Rebellion at Dublin Castle.

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The highly-anticipated drama had the biggest budget of any programme made by the national broadcaster with €6m in funding.

With a cast that includes Ruth Bradley, Sarah Greene, Charlie Murphy and Brian Gleeson, the drama is expected to pull in the viewers when it starts tomorrow night.

Producer Catherine Magee said they were lucky to be able to film in parts of the city where the events took place almost a century ago.

"It was a huge challenge, taking Dublin of 2015 and making it look like Dublin in 1916," she said.

authenticity

"We had great cooperation from Dublin City Council and the Office of Public Works, so it meant we were able to go to O'Connell Street, the GPO, Dublin Castle, City Hall, Kilmainham Gaol and St Enda's, which gives authenticity and life to the production.

"We were meticulous when it came to attention to detail.

"We had the guns they used at the time manufactured so we could fire them during filming to make sure the sound was right.

"We filmed at Dublin Castle during the summer. Everyone was being held back; these American tourists passed by and they didn't know what it was and they were dropping to the floor thinking they were being shot at," she added.

Despite having a relatively big budget, Catherine said the shoot was still a "challenge".

"It was a good budget in lots of ways, but period dramas take longer to film," she said.

"We only had 10 weeks to shoot five episodes, and you might have to wait 25 minutes for a horse and cart to be ready, or hours for a tram to be lifted in by a crane."

Sarah Greene, who plays Corkwoman May Lacey, said that filming at the historical locations felt strange.

"Filming at Dublin Castle was special, but it was eerie, too. We had to just completely block out all the people watching us," she said.

"Going to those places and having tours of Collins Barracks and Kilmainham Gaol really helped to put it all into context for all the actors."

Rebellion is on RTE One at 9.30pm tomorrow.

Herald

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