Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan


(Ireland, 2016)

The Easter Rising of 1916 in Ireland was the beginning of the most recent of the many rebellions against the British, the long-time invaders of the Emerald Isle. In a way the aftermath of that rising is still being played out today, though they have calmed down in recent years. A cease-fire between the Brits and the IRA only happened in 1997, and a formal end to the campaign in 2005. A lot of people died in that century. So what we are left with today is Northern Ireland, still loyal to the Queen (well, the protestants are, anyway) and the Republic of Ireland.

This five-part series tells the story of the five days of fighting mostly through the eyes of ordinary people and what they experienced. They are fictional, though real historical figures appear, such as Michael Collins and Éamon de Valera. There seems to be a lot of controversy as to the historical accuracy of some of it, but that doesn’t really concern me, not being Irish and having no deeply held opinions in the matter. The British behaved like pigs, there can be no doubt of that, and had three hundred years of oppressive rule, but the group that become the IRA has a lot to answer for, too. As drama, this works very well, and it is handsomely and expensively mounted. Most of the major characters are women, including three who were friends before the trouble began. They are played very well by Sarah Greene, Ruth Bradley, and Charlie Murphy.