Week 3 at The Centre and semi-celebrity Amanda Menton (Yasmine Akram) holds her first “Women in Business” all day seminar when course incumbent Pam is revealed to be not a freaky cat fanatic but an undercover tabloid reporter with a whole new take on who really killed Max “the Mandroid” Murphy.
Meanwhile in Barty’s Bargains former Miss South Kildare Runner-Up and bankrupt developers wife Loretta Bingham (Norma Sheehan) is planning to rebrand the thrift shop as a one stop vintage shopping portal, stage one, a catwalk extravaganza which turns out to be less fashion show and more holy show.
And from unsettling fashion to unsettling news as centre receptionist Grainne (Jennifer Maguire) receives an e-mail from her runaway Turkish husband Mustafa announcing his imminent return but will it be second time lucky or will the her tanned totty high tail it all over again once he uncovers the botched faced lift his ex wife is hiding behind the burka?
The Centre is a brand new sit-com for RTÉ Two featuring an ensemble cast of some of Ireland’s top female comedy talent. The series stars Yasmine Akram (Sherlock), Norma Sheehan(Moone Boy), Sue Collins (The Nualas), Gary Cooke (Apres Match), Katherine Lynch (Single Ladies), Helen O’Brien (Mrs Manning),Johnny Ward (This Must be the Place), Jennifer Maguire (Republic of Telly), and Hilary Rose (The Fear), Steve Wall (Moone Boy) and Denise McCormack (Love Hate).
Produced by WAKA Productions in association with Baby Cow Productions (Moone Boy, Alan Partridge) The Centre follows the daily grind at St Bartholomew’s Community Centre in the heart of Fieldstown, County Dublin, a grim local authority housing estate once voted the third least desirable place to live in Ireland after the puffin colony on Skelling rock and Carlow. We join The Centre staff in the 6 week run up to the annual Fieldstown Community Week Programme as recently appointed Centre Manager Teresa Mannion (Helen O’Brien), struggles to supervise a gaggle of oddball CE Schemers and Back -To-Workers.
Teresa’s world is turned upside down by the arrival of glamorous murder suspect, Amanda Menton (Yasmine Akram). Amanda is Fieldstown’s only local celebrity, having been accused of the murder of her lover, infamous west Dublin gym boss and gangster Max ‘The Mandroid’ Murphy. Having (temporarily) escaped conviction for murdering Max, Amanda arrives at the Centre to run a Women In Business course – and kicks off a no-holds barred struggle for power– watched on by the motley crew of staff.
There’s The Centre’s ‘Manager ‘Canteen Kathleen Brogan’ (Sue Collins), back in the workplace after raising 5 children on a diet of bunburgers and crinkle cut chips. Thrift Shop Manager Loretta Bingham (Norma Sheehan) who formerly enjoyed the high-life as the wife of a successful Carlow Property Developer. Now he’s vamoosed to Florida and she’s living with her nonagenarian Mammy back in Fieldstown. Bernie Walsh (Katherine Lynch) is a settled traveller who runs a bizarre series of courses for the local community.
Office Manager Nuala Mooney (Gary Cooke): is a 40 year old pre-op transsexual who’s been living as a woman for the past 3 years. Receptionist Grainne (Jennifer Maguire) converted to Islam after meeting a hunk called Mustafa on a Club 18-35 holiday to Kusadasi. Meanwhile Community Service youth workers Vinnie Corcoran (Johnny Ward) and Maggie Brennan (Hilary Rose) are paying their debt to society by working for free at The Centre.
A place more hotch-potch than melting pot, St Bartolemeows Community Centre is by its very definition, the centre of the community, a community with more prams and oddballs per square inch than any place on earth. This is Fieldstown, a town so inspiring they named it after a field and it’s beating heart (after The Bookies, The Lounge Bar and the Needle Exchange) is St St Bartholomew’s Community Centre…or as it’s better known The Centre.
The series is supported by the BAI Sound and Vision II fund.