26 October 2017
By Bryan Smyth
On the Hemline is a brand new Cork drama commissioned by RTÉ and Northern Ireland Screen for the new season of Storyland, the award-winning commissioning project that gives emerging Irish drama talent an opportunity to make original programmes, viewable to a global audience on RTÉ Player. The new series of Storyland is live on RTÉ Player.
Set in Cork, On the Hemline sees long-term unemployed northsider Martha’s need to support her daughter Dawn’s acceptance into a STEM programme in secondary school. Through the charity Hemline she meets recently widowed southsider called Sheenagh. Their different worlds collide, but together they embark on a journey of self-development that prepares Martha for her first job interview in years.
On the Hemline is produced by Tyrella Films, set up by Cork lady Oonagh Kearney to create high end film and television work with a particular interest in female-led stories and experiences. Recent work includes award winning Oíche Nollaig na mBan/ Women’s Christmas Night, commissioned by TG4 as part of their Splanc Season to celebrate a centenary of Irish Art in 2016.
The core team for On the Hemline features three Cork women:
- Writer/Director, Oonagh Kearney
- Producer, Barbara Healy
- Production Manager, Sinéad Barry
On the Hemline has an incredible cast largely composed of Cork talent including Eileen Walsh (Pure Mule, The Magdalene Sisters) and Cathy Belton (Red Rock, The Clinic). Several experienced actors from Cork feature including Conor and Louis Lovett, along with emerging Cork talent Emma Willis, with 11 year old, Cork schoolgirl, Kaci Power O’Driscoll making her screen debut as Martha’s lively daughter, Dawn.
Several young people from across Cork City were involved in the production including:
- Local student, Ciarán McCarthy (playing Frog)
- Lucy O’Neill from Aston Secondary School (playing Leanne)
- Several students from St. Mary’s National School, Knocknaheeny and St. Vincent’s National School, Shandon
Filming locations in Cork included:
- St. John’s Central College, Sawmill Street
- The Hollyhill and Knocknaheeny areas
- Terence McSweeney (TMS) Secondary School
You can view the programme now at https://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/storyland-1239/10788159/