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Drama by Birkbeck Professor uncovers Ireland’s history

'Resistance', which follows the lives of protagonists caught up in the Irish War of Independence, begins on Sunday 6 January.

A new five-part series written by Colin Teevan, Professor of Playwriting and Screenwriting at Birkbeck, will be aired on RTÉ in the New Year. Resistance will focus on the Irish War of Independence (1919 – 21), which saw the Irish Republican Army (IRA) use guerrilla tactics to rebel against the British security forces in Ireland.

The new series follows on from Rebellion (2016), also written by Professor Teevan, set during the 1916 Easter Rising. The first episode, which formed part of RTÉ’s contribution to the centenary year of the Easter Rebellion, drew an audience of 619,000 viewers, while the series was nominated for eight awards at the 2016 IFTA Film & Drama Awards.

With members of the original cast such as Brian Gleeson returning to Professor Teevan’s latest script, Resistance will feature some new faces, including Natasha O’Keeffe, Simone Kirby and Aoife Duffin.

Opening in 1920, Resistance will follow the chaotic lives of Frances, Jimmy, Arthur, Dolly, Harry, Ursula and Agnes as they find themselves caught up in the Irish War of Independence. In a society where neither the State nor their families can be trusted, it promises to be a thrilling look into a pivotal moment in Ireland’s history.

Speaking about his new series, Professor Teevan said: "Resistance, the second part of the Rebellion trilogy, is a wartime thriller set against the real events of the Irish War of Independence of 1919-21 and more specifically Michael Collins' spy war with Dublin Castle, the stronghold of British colonial rule. It's fast, action-packed and superbly directed by English director Catherine Morshead. It is also a timely exploration of the personal and political cost of a nation trying to extricate itself from a political union. Its showing in Ireland marks the centenary of the calling of the First Dail (Parliament) and it will be available on Netflix globally from February/March.”

The first episode of Resistance will air on RTÉ One on Sunday 6 January. Watch the trailer below.

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