BY SEÁN P. FEENY
ON MONDAY, May 12, a new web series by hugely popular Donegal comedy video channel AyeTV1 will premiere on the world-wide web.
Letterkenny People is the second series to be produced by the Donegal film-makers, following on from the success of their Euro 2012 spoof football analysis show, Donegal Back Page, which put the group firmly on the radar of comedy lovers in the county.
The series also introduced the channel’s flagship character, local handyman Gary Gamble, whose video Letterkenny Tourist Attractions became a fast favourite among Donegal people, amassing 25,000 views on YouTube.
Who could forget the channel’s other popular videos, which included The Spanish Guide to Donegal…Dubbed In Donegalese, which has reached 22,000 views, and of course the pilot episode of Letterkenny People which recently passed the 40,000 views mark.
Following on from the hit pilot, which starred none other than Gary Gamble, the group has produced five short episodes for the new Letterkenny People series which follow the lives of ten fictional Cathedral town residents, fittingly in the lead-up to the upcoming Local Elections.
Based an original concept by Paul Bonar and Paul Dillon, filming for the series took place every weekend over a six-week period.
Paul Bonar said: “We were fortunate to avail of the strong acting talent that is in Letterkenny at the moment. Seasoned theatre actors such as well-known Letterkenny man Andy McGranaghan and Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhride and coming stand up performers such as Michael Leddy and Pauric Gallagher meant we had a richness to the performances. Each episode had a different director, Pauric Gallagher, Brenda Kelly, Frankie Connolly, Michael Leddy and myself.
“This meant that although there is a theme running through the series, each episode has an individual stamp while still maintaining a uniform quality.”
The series was developed, written and directed by RCC Comedy Workshop which has been meeting in the RCC regularly since January to create characters and to develop the scripts for five episodes, said Paul who plays the popular character Gary Gamble, which featured in the pilot episode and this time plays Malaky Tyler, an out-of-work musician.
Malaky gets moulded into a candidate for the upcoming elections by Sean Doigh, a political party stuck in the old ways of Irish politics.
Paul said: “The elections gives an opportunity to explore how local politics impacts on the lives of the fictional residents of Letterkenny. The series is not overtly a political satire, however, more an exploration of the trials and tribulations, and struggles of regular people.”
The cast also includes some of Letterkenny’s up-and-coming comedians and actors such as James Lawne, Thomas Nelis, Kate Doherty, Sinead Gallagher, Frankie Connolly, Paul Bonar, Chris Duddy, Paddy Gallagher, Aidan O’Sullivan, Tasha Connolly, Marie Kelly and Dublin based Croatian actor Mirjana Rendulic.
Midnight in Letterkenny
The theme tune, Midnight in Letterkenny, was written and performed by former Revs frontman Rory Gallagher. As ‘Rory and the Island’, Rory has received close to 1 million views on YouTube with the video for his song Jimmy’s Winning Matches. It also features music from local artists Frankie Connolly and Sinead Gallagher as well as Belfast based musician, Kris D Marsden.
The opening titles were created by visual effects artist, Emmet Griffin. Emmet, who has worked on feature films such as The Dark Night and The Chronicles of Narnia, has managed to encapsulate the iconic imagery of Letterkenny in the opening sequence.
The new web series Letterkenny People will run from Monday, May 12 to Friday, May 17, with an episode posted on the AyeTV1 Facebook page and on Twitter via @AyeTV1 each night.
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