Wednesday 17 July 2019

Drama is bound to spark debate, says writer

Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Mara in 'Charlie'
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Mara in 'Charlie'
Lucy Cohu takes on the role of Terry Keane
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

These days everyone is a critic; something writer of RTE's three-part political drama 'Charlie', Colin Teevan, is all too aware of.

The Dublin screenwriter is expecting viewers around the country to question his depiction of the former Taoiseach as he had such a long-lasting impact on Irish life.

"I'm sure every taxi driver in Ireland has their own Charles Haughey script in their head," he said.

"But this is my version of Haughey's story and luckily I got to make it.

"He is a controversial character so the drama will create conversation and debate."

Teevan was compelled to write the drama as he wanted to "understand" the Ireland he grew up in.

"I was interested in the dynamics of power," he said.

"What the individual does with power and what power does to the individual.

"I wanted to understand two things: how the Celtic Tiger came into being and to understand the Ireland that I grew up in."

The first episode, which airs on RTE One at 9.30pm tomorrow, follows the then Health Minister Charles J Haughey as he confounds his critics and succeeds in his bid to become Taoiseach.

Directed by Kenneth Glenaan and Charlie McCarthy, the drama charts his career until his departure from politics in 1992.

Aidan Gillen will take on the central role of Haughey and has described it as one of his most demanding roles to date.

"It was massive not only in terms of the character I was playing but the amount of screen time. I think I'm on screen for 90pc of the series," Gillen said.

"It would have been easy to turn down but he's too intriguing not to take on."

Former 'Love/Hate' star Peter O'Meara appears as Brian Lenihan Snr, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor plays PJ Mara, Risteard Cooper takes on Dermot Nally and Lucy Cohu plays Terry Keane.

The drama has piqued the interest of several members of Leinster House already.

"I'll be watching," Pat Rabbitte said. "Haughey cast a long shadow over Irish politics - to see how they depict him will be interesting."

Irish Independent

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