In need of a few new questions for your next Zoom quiz? Here's one for you - what town has more hairdressers and barbers per head of population than any other town in Ireland? (Hint: the answer's in the name of the show.)
Yes, that's right, Abbeyfeale in Co. Limerick. With a population of just over 2,000 people, the town boasts an impressive number of 16 hairdressers and barbers across two streets.
Made by Atom films, Abbeyfealegood is a new documentary directed by Alex Fegan, giving viewers a closer look at the town's salons, their owners and the locals who frequent them. All while exploring "the full spectrum of human experience" in a small rural Irish town.
Food for a #writers soul the documentary #Abbeyfealegood on @RTEOne ...growing up in a small #country town, I could totally relate to the banter, the characters...it sums up #rural life perfectly. Well done to all involved!
— Helena Farrell (@HelenaFarrell77) April 21, 2020
Why so many though? According to the RTE website:
"Although pubs, restaurants and shops have closed, hairdressers and barbers have sprung up in their place. It could be said that they are the lifeblood of Abbeyfeale.
Locals frequent them to look good and to feel good, and whether they be young or old, they also come to talk. There is a unique and intimate bond between customers and hairdressers and some of them have known each other for decades... And, in the mirrors of these salons, stories unfold that elevate ordinary, everyday existence into something universal and extraordinary. "
Hitting Irish tellies last night, the show aired on RTE and people have been loving it - describing it as "heartwarming" and "second to none".
— Anne O Brien (@aobrien05) April 21, 2020
Do yourself a favour #Abbeyfealegood
Life affirming, heart warming, laugh and cry telly. RTE player
— Rónán Johnston (@Ronan_Johnston) April 21, 2020
Really enjoyed the programme tonight... just what we all needed right now. Some great charactersdown there in Abbeyfeale. Just thinking of you all tonight#Abbeyfealegood
— Orla Berry (@Mayomolly) April 20, 2020
Elderly barber stands back and quietly, unconsciously, wrings his hands as the man in foreground talks about his 19 year old son's suicide. Extraordinary, touching, beautiful television from a small Irish town. #Abbeyfealegood https://t.co/ij2WXxESkc
— Tom Doorley (@tomdoorley) April 20, 2020
Well I enjoyed #Abbeyfealegood just finished on RTE. A Snapshot of modern day rural towns in Ireland and how hairdressers and barbers have become community hubs. The accents and witty nuggets have made me homesick for a town just over the border! 😢 #3rings #Florrythebarber
— Louise Galvin (@lougalvin4) April 20, 2020
I’m dead proud of my hometown tonight #abbeyfealegood
— James O'Mara (@o_mara1) April 20, 2020
Well I watched #abbeyfealegood with a lump in my throat for the entire hour. What a gorgeous programme. Went from laughing to crying. Men speaking so openly about their emotions was so moving. Absolute wreck now 😭
— Shane Beatty (@ShaneBeattyNews) April 20, 2020
Brilliant to see humour, heartbreak and humanity so well portrayed in my hometown in #abbeyfealegood. @rte showed the resilience, warmth and understated wit we take for granted in rural Ireland. pic.twitter.com/fj9n3C8ipa
— patrick harnett (@patrickharnett2) April 20, 2020
— liz horgan (@libbyhorgan) April 20, 2020
All 16 of the town's hairdressers and barbers may currently be closed, but we have no doubts that business will be back booming once again as soon as the restrictions are lifted.
And in case you missed it, you can still catch Abbeyfealegood on the RTE player for the next 30 days.
(Header image courtesy of RTE)