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Fran v Nidge: Peter Coonan's got a 1916 drama too... and there's time-travel involved

The “dark comedy drama” goes out on the weekend of the actual Rising centenary, at the end of April.

WE GOT OUR first look at Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Padraig Pearse last week. Best known (for the moment) as Love/Hate kingpin Nidge, the actor will be starring in a 1916-based drama for TV3 in which the Rising leader is afforded the sort of trial he never received in real-life.

But did you know that Vaughan-Lawlor’s Love/Hate co-star Peter Coonan also has a Rising-related project coming up?

The Dublin actor – best known as Fran in the gangland drama – stars in TG4′s main 1916 dramatic production: a comedy-drama based on three friends travelling back in time to just before the Easter Rising.

As you can see from the photos below – the Tile Films production strikes a decidedly less sombre tone than the likes of RTÉ’s Rebellion.

ris2 Source: Tile Films

Here’s the press bumf for the drama – which goes out on the weekend of the centenary, between 23 and 25 of April:

“Three modern day Dublin men endure listless and unexciting lives. Their only enjoyment comes from staging re-enactments of the Easter Rising. The men are gearing up for a full dress rehearsal of the Rising when a mysterious box transports them back in time to 1916, just before the Easter Rising.

No sooner have they arrived in the past than they commit a monumental blunder that changes everything…

‘Dark comedy drama’ 

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, writer James Phelan described it as a “dark comedy drama”.

In terms of making sure everything is spot-on historically, the time travel basis of the plot essentially meant the creators were off the hook:

“We were always treading the line about whether we were being potentially disrespectful… but I don’t think so,” Phelan said.

“The mere fact that these guys have time-travelled into history means everything is new and that’s what I think excited TG4.

The line I took with it the whole time was to be very truthful and fair to the historical characters and just follow these modern guys, and it’s from these modern guys’ perspectives that a lot of the comedy is derived.

sean_purcell_(peter_coonan)_appeals_to_the_looters Source: Tile Films

Phelan added that director Ruán Magan was ”steeped in 1916″ history, having helmed several documentaries.

Based on his experiences on set and on viewings of early edits, he said fans of Coonan could expect ”a lot more comedy” than they’d seen from the actor in his career to date.

I think you could always tell it was in his wheelhouse. This is a role where he plays the hothead of the three guys who travel back.

Signing up the Love/Hate star was, Phelan reckons, “a great coup” for the production.

Note: Wrecking the Rising goes out at 9.30pm on TG4 between Saturday 23 and Monday 25 April. TV3′s Pearse drama ‘Trial of the Century’ will air in April or May, with final air dates yet to be confirmed. 

Read: Tom Vaughan-Lawlor to play Padraig Pearse in new 1916 drama

Read: Dev’s grandson says RTÉ’s portrayal of him in Rebellion was ‘an embarrassment’

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