Cork actress discusses the state of the arts in Nationwide special

Actress Norma Sheehan from Whitechurch in County Cork features in Nationwide on Friday, October 9 to discuss the state of the arts and how those working in it are striving to survive, during the pandemic
Cork actress discusses the state of the arts in Nationwide special

Cork actress Norma Sheehan talks about the crisis facing her industry in Nationwide next Friday

CORK actress Norma Sheehan has come a long way since her Cork Opera House debut, aged 11, as Little Red Riding Hood.

Since then, the 43-year-old has had roles in a huge variety of TV shows on Irish and British TV, from The Clinic to Moone Boy, as well has appearing on stage, most recently in Angela’s Ashes at the Opera House last year.

However, the entire film and stage business has been thrown into crisis by Covid-19, and Norma is among the Irish people in the industry who discuss the issues facing the industry in a series of Nationwide specials, and how those working in it are striving to survive.

Norma, originally from Whitechurch in Cork but now living in Dublin, saw her theatre show, Heal Your Hole, come to an abrupt halt because of Covid-19, and has since put her artistic energy into her regular podcasts which she records from the boot of her car.

She appears in the last of the Nationwide specials next Friday, October 9, on RTÉ1 at 7pm, discussing the state of the arts along with Wexford writer Eoin Colfer.

The presenter of the three specials is Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, and in the first episode on Monday, she visits showbiz couple Sue Collins and Phelim Drew at their home in the Liberties in Dublin.

Sue is former founding member of The Nualas and currently one half of the YouTube comedy sensation The Dirtbirds.

Live gigs may have disappeared, but Sue uses everything around her as inspiration for her online sketches. From homeschooling to coping with teenage children, she has the art of finding comedy in the mundane.

Drew has worked in theatre, TV and film for over three decades, but it’s only in recent years he’s been following in his father Ronnie’s footstep with Phelim and the Drew House Band.

In the Nationwide episode in Wednesday, Bláthnaid visits musicians Mairéad Ni Mhaonaigh in Donegal and Colm Mac Con Iomaire in Wexford.

Mairéad co-founded Altan in the 1980s with her late husband Frankie Kennedy, performing local Donegal tunes to a wider audience.

Shortly after Frankie’s death in 1994, the band was signed to the Virgin label and stepped up to the international stage.

Mairéad also launched her solo career in 2009 and plays with the family band Na Mooneys which includes her daughter Nia, her sister Anna, brother Garóid and nephew Ciarán. Since the locktown she has also found time to do online lessons.

Colm was in Kila until 2013, when he ‘stepped off the bus’, opting for a solo career as a composer and performer. Since then he has released three critically acclaimed albums.

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