Even if you don't know the name Shane Meadows, you'll be familiar with his work. Meadows directed the This Is England series as well as brilliant films like Dead Man's Shoes. Meadows's latest work The Virtues premieres next Wednesday night on Channel 4 and there's a lot of reasons for Irish fans to be interested.
Meadows has set The Virtues in Ireland and the show features a strong Irish cast, like Helen Behan of Bettystown (who played Helen, a nurse in This Is England 88), Mark O'Halloran (Adam and Paul) and Frank Laverty. Without giving away too much of the story, in The Virtues, star Stephen Graham plays a Scouser who decides to return to Ireland and connect with his family. What happens next is pretty intense.
— Channel 4 Press (@C4Press) April 25, 2019
Given Ireland's shameful history of institional abuse, The Virtues is likely to be an especially intense watch for Irish audiences. Meadows never shies away from portraying the more difficult elements of life and society, and this programme should be no different.
Meadows did a brilliant interview in the weekend's Observer where he talked about his motivations for making the show, and why he chooses to profile the people he does:
“I don’t think we should be celebrating people who’ve made the FTSE 100,” he says. “You don’t know why a tramp is what he is. How could you look down your nose at someone on the street? For some people just to lead a sober life is heroic, way better than running a conglomerate or making political decisions.”
This is going to be a show that people will be talking about. The Virtues premieres on May 15 on Channel 4.