Whitehead actor’s praise for Monday Club

Derek Halligan (middle) with director Brian Mulholland producer Corinne Heaney following The Monday Club's premiere.  Photo by Neil Harrison Photography  INCT 17-723-CON
Derek Halligan (middle) with director Brian Mulholland producer Corinne Heaney following The Monday Club's premiere. Photo by Neil Harrison Photography INCT 17-723-CON
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The absence of The Troubles in a new locally-produced feature is a refreshing change for Northern Ireland cinema, a Whitehead actor has said.

Derek Halligan stars in The Monday Club, which had its debut screening at the Movie House in Belfast last Thursday evening.

The veteran performer has a number of film, television and stage credits to his name, including Fifty Dead Men Walking, Divorcing Jack, and Hollyoaks.

The 75-minute film centres on Danny McGlinchey, played by Halligan, the last surviving member of a group of friends known as The Monday Club.

In the film, Danny spins a series of “yarns” about his deceased friends, interspersed with tales from the “characters” of modern-day Belfast.

“[One] thing I loved about The Monday Club was that there was no mention of The Troubles at all; when I first got the script, I flicked through waiting for the first mention of the IRA or the UVF,” he told the Times.

“We have such a wealth of talent here and there are so many great stories to tell, yet everything tends to concentrate on that period of conflict.

“Another thing I loved was the dialogue - anyone can write a script, but writing good dialogue is difficult.”

Derek’s scenes were filmed over three days at Millar’s Bar in Ballycarry - a location chosen for its old-fashioned feel, according to producer Corinne Heaney.

“We were overwhelmed by the support we got on Thursday night,” added Corinne, also from Whitehead. “[The film] was to be shown in a smaller screen but it sold out, so they moved us to a larger 250-seater which sold out as well.”