Gleesons team up for comedy set in Dublin

Acting duo star in new Channel 4 series starting next week
Gleesons team up for comedy set in Dublin

PLAYING FOR LAUGHS: Domhnall Gleeson as Doofus and Brain Gleeson as Frank in Frank Of Ireland

STANDING at a church altar, the Gleeson acting brothers find themselves in character, contorted into a peculiar kind of stranglehold which involves fingers in mouths, two MMA enthusiasts and a guitar.

It’s a peculiar set-up to be sure.

And yet, in many ways, it perfectly captures the physical, somewhat slapstick nature of the duo’s latest black comedy, Frank Of Ireland, which will start a six-week run on Channel 4 on Thursday at 10pm.

Written by Peaky Blinders actor Brian Gleeson and his brother, Ex Machina star Domhnall — sons of Brendan — alongside Your Bad Self creator Michael Moloney, Frank Of Ireland is a curious blend of physical comedy underpinned by delightfully dark humour.

“It is a physical, slapstick and ... we were talking references earlier — if you grew up watching Jim Carrey in Dumb And Dumber, I think that element of it is important to us and is definitely there,” says Brian, 33.

“But I suppose it’s a kind of a classic sitcom format, really, but you know, structured with an Irish sensibility, I suppose.”

As the name would suggest, Frank Of Ireland centres around 32-year-old ‘manchild’ Frank, who still lives at home with his parents in Dublin — a failed musician, narcissist and fantasist, played by Brian.

It’s a prime example of arrested development.

According to his brother and co-writer Domhnall, 37, the character of Frank can only be described as a “kind of 13-year-old personality that’s never grown up because he’s too comfortable in life and has a temper and expects the world to do him favours”.

“And then we have Doofus,” continues Domhnall with a grin, “who is more like a nine-year-old, who’s younger and looks up to Frank and [is] more naive and more stupid and doesn’t know as much.

“He’s younger. He’s very innocent...”

Depicting the at-times co-dependent relationship of the on-screen brothers, the series follows the unconventional pair as they face all manner of misadventures in the wake of Frank’s ex-girlfriend moving on with a new partner.

In the opening episode, the duo head to Aine’s grandmother’s funeral, and Frank decides he’s going to learn MMA.

Cork actress Sarah Greene plays Frank’s ex-girlfriend Aine, who becomes something of an obsession for Frank, who hasn’t written or played a song in seven years and five months — the precise length of time since their break-up. However, that’s merely a coincidence, as Frank assures anyone who will listen.

Desperate to win her affections once again, he embarks on a mission to compete against her new lover.

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