Legal eagles aim to paint Northern Ireland in new light in one-off drama

Gareth (Adam Gillian), Olivia Harley (Valene Kane) and Sir Malcolm Harley (Declan Conlon) star in one-off drama Counsel
Gareth (Adam Gillian), Olivia Harley (Valene Kane) and Sir Malcolm Harley (Declan Conlon) star in one-off drama Counsel

Going up against the final series of Game of Thrones on television tonight is an hour-long drama written, produced and filmed in Northern Ireland which aims to paint the Province in a new light.

Written by newcomer David Allen and directed by Declan Recks (The Truth Commissioner) Counsel is a new drama from BBC Northern Ireland telling the story of Olivia Harley (The Fall) – a female barrister who complicates her professional and personal life when she takes on the case of a young client played by newcomer Adam Gillian.

Locations include Laganside Courts, Belfast City Hall, Ormeau Park and Kingspan Stadium.

Counsel – which will be broadcast tonight at nine o’clock on BBC One NI – is one of two new dramas commissioned for the New Perspectives drama initiative.

According to BBC NI these dramas portray and represent Northern Ireland on screen in new ways, nurture and develop new talent both on screen and behind-the-scenes, and continue to support the local creative sector.

The other drama – Ups & Downs – stars Susan Lynch (Killing Eve) as the mother to a 22-year-old son with Down’s syndrome, played by newcomer James Martin, and 18-year-old daughter, played by Rosie Barry.

The drama – which sees the two siblings head off on an entertaining road trip without their mother’s permission – will be broadcast on Monday, April 22.

Both programmes will be available on the BBC iPlayer.

This New Perspectives scheme was made possible by the £11m of additional BBC funding into content over a three-year period to enable BBC NI to produce more drama, factual and comedy content, boost its service to younger audiences and transform its digital output.