New Irish film looks at Bipolar Disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome

The Drummer & The Keeper tells the story of two young men who form an unlikely friendship

Written by Hannah Byrne


A new Irish film, The Drummer & The Keeper, tells the story of two young Irish men who form an unlikely friendship. Gabriel, a reckless and angry young drummer, is told to join a mixed-ability football team as a way of dealing with his bipolar disorder. It’s here he meets Christopher, a 17 year old aspiring goalkeeper with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Gabriel’s bipolar disorder makes him a great musician, but his psychotic and delusional episodes have his family at breaking point. The film provides a striking and honest portrayal of someone living with bipolar, touching on important themes of mental illness, medication, and substance abuse.

This film also provides an insight into life with Asperger’s Syndrome. Christopher lives in a care residence but longs to move back home, and the film illustrates the challenges he faces in his day-to-day life.

The Drummer & The Keeper starts an important conversation around mental illness and developmental disorders, but at the heart of it, this is a touching story about friendship and the strength of human bonds.

The film was written and directed by Nick Kelly, a former Irish singer/songwriter, and stars a host of Irish talent including Dermot Murphy (Gabriel), Jacob McCarthy (Christopher), Charlie Kelly, Peter Coonan, Aoibhinn McGinnity, Annie Ryan, and Niamh Algar.

The Drummer & The Keeper is in cinemas now.


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