Interview with Peter McDonald who plays Eamonn Quinn in This Town

A high octane thriller and a family saga, This Town opens in 1981 at a moment of huge social tensions and unrest

PHOTO: L-R: Bardon (Ben Rose), Eamonn (Peter MacDonald) (Image: BBC/Banijay Rights/Kudos)



31 March 2024

Interview with Peter McDonald who plays Eamonn Quinn in This Town

How would you describe This Town?

I think the series is about identity, particularly how the young characters at the centre try to forge their identify through artistic expression, music and poetry. And how that offers them a life with freedom, joy and all the good things about finding yourself. It’s also about resisting the narratives that have been placed on top of you by the people above, or by people older than you, the people who are perhaps in control of your life up until that point. To me it’s a real celebration of the music and culture of that time.

This Town is very much about people who are disaffected. It was a time of ‘no blacks, no dogs, no Irish’ and the communities this series looks at, and Steven writes about so well, are the people who are both on the edges of society but are also who society mainly consists of. It’s about how young people in this world, with not many advantages, find artistic sustenance.

How did you feel about taking on the character of Eamonn?

I grew up through the Troubles, I’m from Dublin. You never take that on lightly, there is a lot of pain, hurt and traumatisation over the years. It’s a very difficult situation and the solutions were never going to be easy and still aren’t fully resolved so you do feel apprehensive before you take on something that deals with that subject. I’m playing one character who is involved in that, he’s not representative of the whole struggle or the whole political dynamic, but he is one character who was involved in it. I take it on in that spirit.

What I saw was a man who is actually, strangely very vulnerable, but I don’t want to in any way offer a sympathetic portrayal of any character I play. I just find out what the truth is with the other creatives on the show. I’m really telling a story about a father and a husband who has been through the mill of the Troubles and now the way he treats and how he loves those close to him is distorted and misrepresented from where it would be perhaps coming from in other circumstances.

Did you learn anything new about the music of the era from being in this series?

I did a bit but I had to stay away from that side of it. My only disappointment in this show, because I play a bit of guitar, is that I was not involved in any of that. I would have loved to have been in the band. I kept suggesting that Eamonn might turn up with a bodhran or something but he doesn’t take an interest in that side of Bardon’s life. My research and what I was focused on was the conflict that Eamonn is engaged in.


Set in a world of family ties, teenage kicks and the exhilarating music of a generation, This Town tells the story of a band’s formation against a backdrop of violence, capturing how creative genius can emerge from a time of madness. Both a high octane thriller and a family saga, This Town opens in 1981 at a moment of huge social tensions and unrest. Against this backdrop, it tells the story of a group of young people fighting to choose their own paths in life, and each in need of the second chance that music offers.

This Town (6x60) is produced by Kudos (a Banijay UK company) and Nebulastar for the BBC, co-produced with Mercury Studios, in association with Kudos North, Stigma Films and Nick Angel.

This Town is available in full on BBC iPlayer from 6am on Sunday 31 March, with episodes one and two airing on BBC One at 9pm on Sunday 31 March and Monday 1 April. The series continues on BBC One on Sundays at 9pm.

Source BBC One

April 1, 2024 4:00am ET by BBC One  


  Shortlink to this content:


Latest Press Releases

We may earn a commission from products purchased via links featured on our pages