Hundreds of fans turn up to celebrate popular show’s second year
There isn’t a typical “Republic of Doyle” fan, according to the guest list for Wednesday night’s Season 2 premiere in St. John’s. An invitation-only event held at the Majestic Theatre, actors from the show mingled with crew members, Crown attorneys and politicians — and one special fan, in particular.
As show star Allan Hawco was speaking to The Telegram, a man approached him with a cardboard CBC-TV poster for the show, bearing Hawco’s picture in full colour.
“Premier Dunderdale is taking this poster, and she’s wondering if you could sign it for her,” the man said.
Hawco pulled out a Sharpie and obliged, writing, “Thank you for your continued support.”
A large screen set up on the stage was tuned to CBC-TV, and when the show started, the crowd went quiet.
Maybe it was the resolution of character Malachy Doyle’s life-or-death cliffhanger from last season that enthralled them; maybe it was Jake Doyle’s running around Gower Street in his underwear.
Whatever the case, the party stopped while the show was on, only coming to life again after a round of applause at every commercial.
During the show, Hawco stayed near the middle of the room, watching silently and intently with a furrowed brow.
“It’s not something you can enjoy — you’re in the middle of watching it and you’re trying to judge whether or not people are liking it,” he said afterward. “You’re trying to feel out what the energy in the room is. It’s not like it was the first time I’d ever seen it. I’ve been living with that episode and all those episodes for so long now, and I don’t feel like we missed anything. It’s been a really exciting night.”
The episode picked up where last season left off without missing a beat, starting in right away with the scenic shots of downtown, punches in the face, bickering between the Doyle men, and Jake’s smooth talking for which “Republic of Doyle” has come to be known.
In addition to the regular cast, this season has a number of well-known guest stars, including Gordon Pinsent, Paul Gross and Great Big Sea’s Alan Doyle, who plays a convict in Episode 2.
“It’s just a little small part, but it’s great fun,” Doyle said.
“I love the way St. John’s looks in it and I love the way the guys never, ever allowed it to be a small, good-for-local kind of thing. This is an internationally excellent show, and I think that’s awesome.”
Members of St. John’s city council also have small roles in the season finale, as extras in a pub scene.
Health Minister Jerome Kennedy told The Telegram he’s a fan of the humour and acting in the show, and sees it as an asset to the province on a few different levels.
“It’s certainly proving to be a great investment on the part of the province from a cultural perspective, a financial perspective, but most importantly to showcase our province and our talent,” he said.
Hawco said he’s humbled by the praise and just hopes Newfoundlanders and Labradorians feel it’s their project as much as it is his.
“I know that we’re really proud of it and we hope that everyone else feels they’re a part of it too. I hope everyone was able to enjoy themselves and I hope they watch it,” he said.
“Republic of Doyle” airs on CBC-TV Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m.