Deirdre Molumby profiles the new TG4 series Eipic, a six-part Irish language drama follows five rural teenagers who form a band.
A new comedy musical drama Eipic is available exclusively online today at TG4.tv, before its official broadcast on Thursday evening (Feb 4th) at 10pm. The six-part Irish language drama follows five rural teenagers who form a band, partly in rebellion and partly out of boredom. The series is set against the backdrop of the 1916 centenary celebrations and interrogates the possibilities for revolution, theirs being a specifically musical one, in the contemporary age. The soundtrack is vibrant and features tracks such as the Jam’s ‘Town Called Malice’, ‘Frankly Mr Shankly’ by The Smiths and ‘Video Girl’ by FKA Twigs, all translated as Gaeilge.
Set in the fictional midlands town of Dobhar, and filmed in Woodford, Co. Galway, each of the episodes follows one of its five leading teenage characters. The first takes the perspective of Sully (Fionn Foley) as he forms the new band and comes head-to-head with Oisín (Cian O’Baoill), the new, attractive, rich kid in town. The second episode follows the introvert Mona (Róisín Ní Chéileachair) as she struggles with her irresponsible and juvenile mother, as well as trying to keep the ever-bickering band, which also includes the nerdy but well-meaning Aodh (Daire Ó Muirí) and the vain, glamorous Bea (Fionnuala Gygax) from falling apart.
Fionn Foley and co-star Fionnuala Gygax attended the screening alongside writer Mike O’Leary, who previously worked on Skins, and executive producer Paddy Hayes (Corp + Anam) of Magamedia.
“It’s a teenager’s point of view of the 1916 rising,” Paddy Hayes explains. Mike O’ Leary continues: “It became a touchstone to explore other issues such as sexuality, identity etc., which contrast against the backdrop of the centenary. We were writing this around the time of the referendum last year and it felt very much like a reaction to the contemporary moment. We also wanted it to reject jaded adult cynicism and instead reflect the optimism of the young generation in the series.” Hayes adds: “It’s been great to have new, refreshing faces like Fionn and Fionnuala to tell this story. The energy in the show is really an attribute to the actors.”
Fionnuala Gygax talks about her character, Bea, and about what audiences should expect from the series overall: “My character is a bit outrageous from the beginning. She’s a little silly and superficial initially but you see more depth to her as it goes on. She’ll surprise people with her opinions on things, I hope, and she’ll be a great source of craic, she’s definitely a bit wild.
“As the weeks go on, you’re going to get a deeper insight into each individual member of the band. At the start you see the band as a unit but as the series goes on it delves deeper into their personal lives and they go on their own personal journeys. Cracks will form in the band and different layers and dynamics between the characters will be revealed.”
Eipic will be the first post-watershed teen drama to be broadcast on Irish television. Indicated from its first two parts, the remainder of the series promises to be funny and touching with an electrifying soundtrack.
Eipic stars Fionn Foley, Róisín Ní Chéilleachair, Cian Ó Baoill, Fionnuala Gygax, Daire Ó Muirí, Andrew Bennett, Clive Geraghty, and Tara Flynn. The series is written by Mike O’Leary, produced by Ciara Nic Chormaic (Am an Ghátair), and directed by award winning Louise Ní Fhiannachta (Rúbaí, Páidí Ó Sé: Rí an Pharóiste). Eipic is designed by Nicola Moroney (Corp + Anam) and edited by Conall de Cléir (Cré na Cille), with Colm Hogan (An Klondike) as DOP.
The series was produced with funding from TG4, the BAI Sound and Vision scheme and the Section 481 support measures.