23 October 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
Magamedia’s Paddy Hayes on surreal comedy series ‘Eipic’ – “Boldly going where no broadcaster went before”
04 Feb 2016 : Seán Brosnan
Andrew Bennett as Aenghus in the first episode of ‘Eipic’
With Magamedia’s comedy series ‘Eipic’ airing on TG4 tonight at 10pm, Executive Producer Paddy Hayes talks us through the new show.

Shot last summer on location in Woodford, Co. Galway, ‘Eipic’ is an off-beat low-fi comedy drama that follows the fortunes of five rural teenagers who take over their local abandoned post office in 2016 to start a musical revolution. The series is set against the backdrop of the 1916 centenary celebrations.

If the story for ‘Eipic’ doesn’t sound familiar, that’s because it isn’t – which heightened Paddy Hayes’ interest in the project.

Speaking to IFTN, Hayes said: “Ciara Nic Chormaic (producer) and myself asked ourselves what are the USPs (unique selling prepositions) we have to sell here with ‘Eipic’ and clearly it was that we were the first post watershed teen drama in Ireland. And the BAI and TG4 are all about additionality so it was a trump card really.”

The selling power of ‘Eipic’ was strengthened when Nic Chormaic and Hayes enlisted Mike O’Leary, one of the writers from the cult E4 show ‘Misfits’, to pen the script.

Hayes continues: “We were able to pitch a clearer picture of what we were trying to achieve with this madcap musical comedy drama. To misquote Star Trek - we wanted the funders to 'boldly go' where no other broadcaster would go.”

If the show features a young cast that are relatively unknown in Ireland, the background team more than makes up for it with Louise Ní Fhiannachta directing, DoP Colm Hogan lensing and Conall de Cléir editing. For Hayes however, ‘Eipic’ is all about the story.

“What is attractive about a teen drama is it is the first time for these characters to flee their nests and find their own way in the world, which is great for both drama and comedy. A coming-of-age drama has universal resonances of course - you can enjoy The Catcher in the Rye at 17 or 70, and I like to think that the same applies for ‘Eipic’ - we are all former teenagers - it's just that many of us never grew out of it!”

With more and more people tuning into TG4 these days and series like ‘An Klondike’, ‘An Bronntanas’ and Magamedia’s own ‘Corp & Anam’ proving subtitles are no longer an issue, how does Hayes think ‘Eipic’ will fare with audiences?

“I don't know how it will fare is the honest answer. It may not be a ratings hit but it will definitely be a cult classic. Trying something bonkers with surreal elements is probably a risk on any channel, let alone a minority language channel - but I think ‘Eipic’ has the Súil Eile element in spades. It also has surreal comedy and cracking music so is very accessible for non-Irish speakers.”

And if it is a hit, does Hayes feel there is enough stories within the world of ‘Eipic’ to warrant another series?

“In my brain, I plan to be shooting series four in 2020, but we'll just get some bums on seats first, and take it from there.”

‘Eipic’ airs Thursday nights at 10pm on TG4 or can be viewed on the TG4 Player: http://www.tg4.ie/en/player/home/?pid=4731155215001.

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