Friday 20 July 2018

Filming to begin on movie of 1983 Maze escape starring Love/Hate's Tom Vaughan Lawlor

Tom Vaughan Lawlor
Tom Vaughan Lawlor

Jane O'Faherty

It was one of the most controversial events of the Troubles, but now the 1983 Maze escape is being made into a movie.

The break-out remains the biggest in UK prison history and the story of how 38 Republican inmates escaped from the former high security jail near Lisburn is to hit the big screen.

During the escape, prison officer James Ferris (43) from Donaghadee, Co Down, suffered a heart attack after being stabbed with a chisel and died.

Filming begins this week at the recently decommissioned Cork Prison and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, who played gang leader Nidge in RTÉ's 'Love/Hate', will star.

Maze Prison
Maze Prison

North Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly took part in the prison bust and in 2013 he brought out a book called 'The Escape'. It remains to be seen if he features in the film and if so who will play his part.

'Maze' is written and directed by Stephen Burke. It is partly funded by the Irish Film Board and is due for release next spring.

It has a £1.6m budget and will be filmed in the Cork Prison for four weeks before moving to Sweden where, over a week, the H-block cells will be recreated, reported the 'Sunday Times'.

Vaughan-Lawlor will play IRA man Larry Marley, who was one of the chief organisers of the escape but did not actually participate as he was due for release a short time later.

'Maze' is produced by Jane Doolan and Brendan J Byrne who made a documentary in 2008 about the escape. Ms Doolan said the surviving escapees and their families were aware the film was being made and no objections were received.

Irish Independent

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