BBC 'Ripper' drama shown to Irish cast
THE IRISH cast and crew of the BBC drama Ripper Street were given the first opportunity last night to see the finished series, which was shot entirely in Dublin.
The Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield provided the venue for the screening of the first of eight episodes of the crime drama, which is set in London’s East End at the time of Jack the Ripper.
Ripper Street was filmed in the former Clancy Barracks beside Clancy Quay in Dublin’s Islandbridge. Filming took 19 weeks.
Clancy Quay was once one of the Celtic Tiger’s most ambitious developments, but is now in receivership.
Fortunately, the preservation of a series of Victorian warehouses and streets made it an ideal location for the claustrophic confines of London’s East End in the aftermath of arguably the most famous unsolved murders in crime history.
The first episode featured a murder and prostitution.
The series was filmed in Ireland because of the suitable location and because Section 481 tax breaks made it cost-efficient for the production company, Tiger Aspect.
The series stars Matthew Macfadyen as Inspector Edmund Reid, Jerome Flynn as Detective Sergeant Bennett Drake and American actor Adam Rothenberg as police surgeon Captain Homer Jackson. Rothenberg turned up for last night’s preview and the writer Richard Warlow also made an appearance.
Irish members of the cast included the actor David Wilmot, who attended last night’s airing, and the well known actress Charlene McKenna. Warlow said the €8 million production for almost eight hours of drama looked more expensive than it was – and “that is down to you” he told the cast and crew.
Ripper Street is already being heavily promoted by the BBC, though no slot has been decided for it yet this autumn. The BBC is making a big play on the series location in Whitechapel which is near what is now the site of the Olympic Park.
The catchline states: “As the sun sets on the Olympics, darkness rises.”
The series was co-produced by Dublin-based Element Pictures, the production company behind the much talked about Irish film What Richard Did, which is in cinemas at present.