By Michelle Crean

It will be lights, camera and action in Killarney next month as a new film is to be filmed in Muckross Estate and at The Bog Village, Glenbeigh on The Ring of Kerry.

Set for an early 2021 release worldwide, ‘The Kingdom’ – inspired during the darkest days of COVID lockdown – is to be one of the greatest Irish period drama feature films and TV series.

It was literally an eureka moment one sunny June afternoon while researching the Herbert Family of The Muckross Estate in Killarney, conceived by author and director of Blue Box Productions Walter Ryan-Purcell.

“The film location is all there, it’s perfect!” he said.

Muckross House, which was built in 1843, the ruins of Muckross Abbey built mid-1400s, and Muckross Traditional Farms will provide incredible scenes for the story of The Herbert Family and their 200 year tenure on the estate.

Walter Ryan-Purcell contacted his friend Mary Wood who had a part in the film ‘Tradition’ produced in Kerry a few years ago by Damian O’Callaghan, Declan O’Shea and Tim O’Connor of OC Productions.

“It was like turning on all the lights in Ireland! The darkness lifted and a new dawn of film production in Killarney is born. Blue Box Productions Ltd., was incorporated specifically for ‘The Kingdom’ alone, a feature film and TV series likely to be shown in most countries around the world. Muckross House is a national museum expertly curated and managed by the Office of Public Works and a group of very dedicated voluntary Trustees. The support, historical advice and perseverance of Seamus Hassett, Patricia O’Hare, Toddy Doyle and Denis Reidy of Muckross has been phenomenal in the build up to this production.”

The story, based in the 1800s, starts with young nine-year-old Kathleen being sent to America during Black ’47 of The Famine Era, after circumstances for her family on a neighbouring estate turn foul.

The Herberts of Muckross and other local landlords live in absolute luxury in their stately homes. However, tensions and emotions within the family and between families arise, fuelled by the upcoming visit of Queen Victoria and other members of The Royal Family. This entangled and gripping story is cleverly written by award winning scriptwriter Luke Corcoran.

Director Damian O’Callaghan and his team have attracted the best of Ireland’s actors and crew and make them work their hearts out to produce real raw world class productions. Starring in The Kingdom are Paul Ronan (The Devil’s Own, Veronica Guerin, How I Live Now), Patrick Bergin (Sleeping with The Enemy, Patriot Games, Robinhood), Niamh Sweeney (Trust, Noel, and Gaiety productions), and Tony Murphy (Charlie Casanova, Fair City).

“Period drama is very much in demand now following the success of Downton Abbey and others. This is a real first for Ireland. A whole new generation on every continent will again fall in love with The Emerald Isle. From the depths of COVID a new era dawns for Irish film-making.”

Blue Box Productions Ltd. is inviting investors to be part of this production company. Further details from wryanpurcell@eircom.net.