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East Clare inspiration for ‘Normal People’ actor Frank Blake

FOR a young actor, being in lock-down while some of your highest-profile work graces screens around the world, must be something of an anti-climax. For Frank Blake, the enforced isolation in his native Tuamgraney, during the height of the buzz around Normal People, is not without its advantages, however. Frank, who plays the complex character of Alan in the adaptation of the award-nominated novel by Sally Rooney, has been using the time to explore his own screen-writing abilities. Given that his great aunt, Edna O’Brien, is one of the country’s greatest living authors, it’s probably a safe bet that he has more than a little literary talent. Now based in Dublin, the actor has been clocking up significant screen and stage roles, including a part in Druid’s landmark production of Richard III. He returned to East Clare shortly before the lock-down was announced, and just as the BBC3’s Normal People, directed by Lenny Abrahamson, was set for a stratospheric launch. …

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Tuamgraney man takes lead role in hit TV drama

THE Banner county is well represented in a new television series which has taken audiences by storm since it was unveiled at the end of last month. The BBC3 adaptation of Sally Rooney’s award nominated novel ‘Normal People’ stars Paul Mescal whose father comes from Cree and whose late grandfather Michael was a prominent figure in the local drama scene in West Clare. The show, which is directed by Oscar nominee Lenny Abrahamson also features Tuamgraney actor Frank Blake in the prominent role of Alan, brother of the lead character, Marianne. Frank is the son of Michael and Mary Blake of East Clare Equestrian Training Centre at Drewboro. Since graduating from the prestigious Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art, which runs in association with RADA and Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Frank has been quick to be selected for hit productions including ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘The Frankenstein Chronicles’. His theatrical work includes the stage adaptation of ‘Asking for It’ from …

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