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RTÉ’s Forthcoming ‘Rebellion’ Gives New Perspective on 1916 Rising


Forget the Star Wars rebel alliance, we have our own homegrown rebels to watch this January. RTÉ have just unveiled its new epic 1916 drama, ‘Rebellion’, and if first impressions are anything to go by we are in for a treat.

The five part series will follow a group of characters who lived through the the 1916 Rising; from hardcore radicalised republicans to pawns of the occupying British forces, as well as a whole slew of characters just trying to live their day-to-day lives.

Here is how RTÉ describe it:

Rebellion begins with the outbreak of World War I, as expectations of a short and glorious campaign are dashed, social stability is eroded and Irish nationalism comes to the fore.

“The tumultuous events that follow are seen through the eyes of young women and men and their families, lovers and friends from Dublin, Belfast, and London as they play vital and conflicting roles in the narrative of the pursuit of independence.”

Interestingly, ‘Rebellion’ doesn’t follow the characters that we might expect it too. While figures like Pearse, Connolly and de Valera show up from time to time, they are not the main focus of the series.

‘Rebellion’s writer, Colin Teevan (he also wrote last year’s Charlie), explained that he didn’t want to take the ‘great men’ view of history.

“I wanted to explore all viewpoints of Irish life at the time: not only the idealist nationalists and socialists who went out to fight (they were a tiny minority after all) but also the disenfranchised poor, the cynics, the realists, the democratic nationalists, the Anglo-Irish ascendency and the middle classes, many of whom can best be described as small ‘c’ conservatives.”

‘Rebellion’ will feature some familiar faces; Charlie Murphy (Siobhan from Love/Hate), as well as Kieran O’Reilly (the guard who was actually a guard from Love/Hate); Ruth Bradley; Sarah Greene and most famously, Brian Gleeson.

The series will be directed by a Finish director names Aku Louhimies. As an Irish outsider, he may bring an interesting perspective to the well documented events.

The first episode will air at 9.30pm on RTÉ One on Sunday 3 January.

It will also be showing in the US on the Sundance TV channel, folling its run in Ireland.


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