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Fiona Looney's Play Next Door airs tonight

1 of 1 Fiona Looney is first up in the new RTÉ One Play Next Door series
Fiona Looney is first up in the new RTÉ One Play Next Door series

Irish writers Fiona Looney, Deirdre Purcell and Pat McCabe have taken the challenge of being filmed for a new TV series whilst creating a brand new play for RTÉ One which kicks off tonight.

Play Next Door is the title of the series and columnist, playwright and presenter Looney told RTÉ TEN what it was all about it:"Play Next Door is a wonderful project that we were involved in last year where we were essentially taken out of our comfort zones and brought to a strange location.

"We were told to set a play there, in response to the environment and location in which we found ourselves.

"Each programme is a two-part programme - the first part is a documentary which follows our time living in this unfamiliar environment...and it charts the process of creating a play and the second part is the play itself."

Fiona Looney's Play Next Door is on tonight, Thursday January 9 on RTÉ One at 10.15pm with Pat McCabe and Deirdre Purcell's documentaries and subsequent plays on the following two weeks on January 16 and 23 respectively.


The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto author McCabe added: "I was very taken with the idea. I don't get a chance to do many films or plays so because of its originality its quite challenging to write a play set in one location having just lived there for a month.

"I've never done anything like it before."

Best-selling writer and presenter, Purcell added: "I was terrified about it at the beginning for the simple reason that I'd never written a play!

"I'd written a screenplay for RTÉ and the BBC, which was a big four-part series and I tend to have a very broad church when it comes to novels.

"The challenge for me was to truncate this major landscape that I write in normally to bring it into a very small environment.

"To be filmed while you're thinking and while you're changing and while you're despairing...is very challenging."

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