Film fever has gripped Enniscorthy as the town prepares to welcome the makers of 'Brooklyn'.
And Sunset Films has promised that locals will be rubbing shoulders with the stars Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson as they recruit extras for the movie.
Local businesses are standing by to welcome a production which is sure to give the local economy a lift as it adapts the novel of local author Colm Tóibín.
There had previously been some doubt about whether the shoot would come to Enniscorthy at all, but it was confirmed last Monday that the town would indeed play host to the film-makers, who have since been frantically looking around Enniscorthy for places to accommodate their crew for the duration of the shoot from March 30 to April 10.
The Athenaeum Restoration Fund is set to benefit from the long-closed building's selection as a location for shooting of a few scenes of the romantic drama set either side of the Atlantic.
Meanwhile, members of the public have been intrigued to see besuited movie executives out and about in the town, making notes about the streetscape.
It is expected that suitably old-style Castle Street, Court Street and possibly also John Street will all be used to recreate the Enniscorthy of more than half a century ago.
Sunset Films' Stephen Kirk confirmed that hundreds of local faces from around County Wexford will be needed to fill out the scenes.
Hundreds of extras will be taken on after an open casting day at the Riverside Park Hotel on the Promenade this Friday, March 21, from 10.30 a.m. until 6.30 p.m.
'You do not need an appointment,' explained Stephen Kirk. 'Simply turn up, we will supply each person with a short application form to fill out and then we will take your photo.'
Everyone who joins the queue for small parts will be asked to fill out the form and provide a list of measurements to make the job of the costume department easier. He reckoned that most people will be in and out of the hotel in 20 minutes.
'It is a very quick process, very informal. The application is free of charge, there is no joining fee. We will then go away and compile all the information and phone the successful candidates back asking them about dates of availability to come out and work and to come for costume, hair and makeup fittings.' All recruits will be paid.
It all promises to be the biggest thing to hit the county since Steven Spielberg's 'Saving Private Ryan', which was released in 1998. A few children will be taken on but most of the extras will be aged 16 and older. Prior experience of stage or film will be little advantage except in the case of a few 'featured special extras' who will be called on to inter-act with members of the cast.
The directors of Enniscorthy Athenaeum Limited confirmed last week that the 1892 landmark building in Castle Street will be centre stage for the Irish section of the filming of 'Brooklyn'.
The move required a special order from acting county fire officer John Maher allowing the lifting of the closure order which has been in force at the Athenaeum for over nine years.
The move was made only after fire safety measures and management procedures to operate during the month were approved in the light of safety reports submitted by independent fire consultants.
Lengthy talks took place beforehand involving safety consultants, fire safety experts and insurers.
'The Athenaeum directors are very pleased to be able to facilitate the filming of Brooklyn, and hope the venue will add a real touch of class authenticity to the production,' said the board headed by Tony McClean in a statement. 'The film will be a huge boost for Enniscorthy town, while hopefully adding impetus to Athenaeum fundraising activities.'
The movie of the Man Booker Prize-nominated book will feature not only Saoirse Ronan from Ardattin near Tullow in County Carlow but also Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters, all under Irish director John Crowley. The screenplay was written by Nick Hornby.
After the visit to County Wexford, the production is due to move on to complete their assignment on location in New York and Canada.