Belfast Telegraph

Disney filming musical The Lodge in Northern Ireland as it takes notes from Game of Thrones

Disney is taking notes from Game of Thrones as it is making a musical drama using locations in Northern Ireland.

The musical is hoped to follow in the success of previous Disney Channel musical films such as High School Musical which became a franchise and was turned into a blockbuster film.

The 10-part series will follow the story of Skye, a 15-year-old city girl who goes with her father to live in a rural holiday lodge following the death of her mother.

Filming is taking place on the 400-acre Montalto Estate at Ballynahinch in Co Down.

Scenes are also being shot in Castlewellan and Tollymore Forest near Newcastle.

Tourists have flocked to Northern Ireland to see the locations which feature in the HBO series Game of Thrones.

Director of programming for Disney Channels in the UK and Ireland David Levine said it hopes to bring song and dance to a place mostly known for swords and dragons.

He said: “Northern Ireland has a great production pool and up until now it has been mostly known for swords and dragons.

“Disney Channel is bringing songs and dancing – we have a great, talented cast who can not only act but sing and dance and we have original songs.”

The Lodge has a cast of 22 and 67 crew of whom 46 are from Northern Ireland.

Disney have said the key themes of The Lodge would include “the ability to accept change”, “overcoming hardship” and “being true to who you are”.

It will feature nine songs which are performed more than 30 times throughout the series and which Disney hopes will become hit tunes as well as comprising a successful soundtrack album.

Levine said: “The Disney Channel has had a great history of bringing music to its audiences.

“We can only hope that we can hit the success of the likes of High School Musical, Camp Rock and Hannah Montana.”

The Lodge stars London-based actress Sophie Simnett as Skye and features mostly British talent alongside young French, Dutch and Scandinavian actors.

It will be launched on the Disney Channel in the UK and Ireland in the autumn and later rolled out to territories in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

 

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