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RTÉ announces brand new Irish teen drama

RTÉ has announced a new Irish teen drama show, titled Louise Lives Large.

The show launched today and is the broadcaster’s biggest-ever drama commission for young people.

Suzanne Kelly, Head of Children’s & Young People’s Content at RTÉ, said: “The arrival of Louise Lives Large to our platform in 2024 marks a very significant milestone for RTÉ Kids.”

The eight-part series is a witty, dynamic and sometimes poignant drama aimed at 9 to 13-year-olds.

The show was filmed on location in Kildare, and tells the story of artistic 13-year-old Louise Edgar – who has just got the all-clear after a year of cancer treatment.

It’s an international co-production with Canada’s WildBrain and Belgium’s Ketnet with funding partners Coimisiún na Meán and Screen Ireland.

RTÉ said: “The show sees Louise ask ‘what now?’ She has missed out on everything and feels she’ll never catch up with her now worldly, intimating and moreover teenage peers.”

“That’s until she finds an unlikely new best friend in Jess, the school loner, who inspires her to write up the ‘Live Large List’ and leap headfirst back into life, one item at time.”

“Whether she triumphs, fails or makes a complete and utter “cringeshow” of herself doesn’t really matter; Louise is finally and fully living large.”

Creator and head writer Carol Walsh said: “The goal of Louise Live Large is to bring teens and families together to enjoy a great story.”

“It’s also about the journey of countless teenagers who struggle with illness, bullying, and ostracism, in a way that reflects true-to-life experiences but doesn’t shy away from the humour and courage they display. It’s a series about survival, self-definition, and, above all, hope.”

Its ensemble cast is an “honours class” of new talent led by Beth Fallon as Louise, and Aimee Kennedy as Jess making the storylines real.

The stellar cast is supported by Damian Williams, Luan Ní Cheallaigh, Katie Fitzpatrick, Harvey McGann, Rachel Lynch, Matthew Whelan and Noah Rafferty.

The show was created and written by Carol Walsh, and produced by Tailored Films’ Julianne Forde and Mairtín de Barra, Storyhouse’s Maarten Schmidt, Vérité Films’ Virginia Thompson and Robert de Lint, and co-produced by Xavier Rombaut of Polar Bear.

The episodes are directed by Ruth Treacy and Laura Van Haecke.

Suzanne Kelly said: “Since I took up my role in 2019, it was always my ambition to invest and grow home-produced Irish drama for kids.”

“The Irish drama sector is world-renowned and working alongside the sector this past number of years to create impactful, thoughtful stories for our youngest viewers has been such an inspiring collaborative process.”

“The launch of our first homegrown drama series Louise Lives Large, produced by Tailored films in conjunction with Vérité films, Ketnet, Wildbrain and funding partners Coimisiún na Meán and Screen Ireland is the culmination of a lot of hard work, but is only just the beginning of a new re-energised drama offering for Irish kids and I for one am so excited as to what it might deliver!”

Producer of the series, Julianne Forde said: “Who hasn’t felt like they were on the outside at some stage?”

“It’s part of the school experience. We wanted to create a show based around this concept of feeling left behind and counteracting that with a protagonist who wanted to take control of her life.”

“Show creator Carol Walsh personally experienced being out of school for a prolonged period due to illness. From this starting point we developed this series, which has an empowering message about resilience.”

Episode 1 of Louise Lives Large starts on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player on Wednesday, April 3rd at 4pm.

The full series will be available to stream from Wednesday, April 10th.


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