My Weekend: 'I love watching the river wind its way through the city'

Cormac Mohally is appearing in ‘Contact’, a travelling theatre performance presented by Corcadorca.
My Weekend: 'I love watching the river wind its way through the city'
Cormac Mohally and Éadaoin O’Donoghue at rehearsals for Contact, the new production by Corcadorca, running this week and next, as part of the Cork Midsummer FestivalPicture: Darragh Kane

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

Who am I? Well Covid has given me a lot of time to reflect on that question, but first some history on who I’ve been until now. My name is Cormac, I’m from Cork, and I went to Circus School in Belfast in 1999. I started performing on the streets, juggling fire on a unicycle, and after becoming a father at 23, I dug deep and made it my career, and haven’t had a “real” job since.

In 2009, after the crash and recession, I began working with Cian Kinsella, and together created our alter egos in Lords of Strut. We have toured the world, became “Street Performance World Champions” in 2013, and won the “popular vote” on Britain’s Got Talent in 2017.

Since 2017 I have been running “Pitch’d : A Circus and Street Performance Festival” in my home town of Cork City, where I have been living my whole life (except for the academic year spent at clown college). I plan to run the festival again in September, but how, while living through the “Now Normal”, will emerge over the next two months. See www.pitchdfestival.ie 

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night? 

2020 is a year like no other, and LockDown only sent me a little bit round the bend, but mainly I have become more comfortable with myself, and my demons. But a Friday night is a Friday night, so it’s proper dressed up dancing in my kitchen to some killer tunes, preferably curated by someone else. #dancetothedj 

Lie ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

I’ve always wondered this, and in LockDown, with no need for alarms, or appointments to keep, I have gotten into a natural rhythm of waking at around 8am (this morning was 7am for some reason). Not sure if that is a lark or nightowl, but I think it’s normal, whatever “normal” is.

Éadaoin O’Donoghue and Cormac Mohally at rehearsals for Contact, the new production by Corcadorca.Picture: Darragh Kane
Éadaoin O’Donoghue and Cormac Mohally at rehearsals for Contact, the new production by Corcadorca.Picture: Darragh Kane

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

I realised I do ‘carry work’ with me 24/7, and that’s exhausting. The LockDown created a space for me to develop a structure where my weekends are my weekends, not work weekends. I am working on compartmentalising my personal life from my work life, and although they cross over in terms of my work as an artist, I’m putting work to one side when I want to spend time with myself and my family and friends.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

I would bring my 16 year old daughter Samhain to see a musical in London, eat at some classy, yet not expensive, restaurants. Visit friends in Walthamstow and walk in Epping Forrest. I’d stay at the Hilton on Hyde Park cause I did that once, it had a great view of the city, and felt very bougy.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

Recently I had to get in the sea, ssshhh I did break the 5k limit, but I had to be washed and refreshed by the ocean at Rocky Bay. And, thanks to LockDown, I was shocked to realise that there is a woods within 3Km of my house #newfavouritewalk Not telling you where it is though.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

Very much so. And I work with people I consider friends, so I like that I spend time with them during my working week.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

The more time I get to spend with myself I realise I enjoy playing guitar, doing some gardening, and creative projects that do not require any outcome other than experimentation with failure.

Actor Cormac Mohally during rehearsal in Cork for the Corcadorca Theatre Company production of Contact.Picture Denis Minihane.
Actor Cormac Mohally during rehearsal in Cork for the Corcadorca Theatre Company production of Contact.Picture Denis Minihane.

Entertain or be entertained? If it's the latter do you have a signature dish?

It’s great to provide food to others, especially if someone else can cook it. Running the festival gives me an opportunity to feed the artists by paying other friends to cook for our whole cohort. And on a more personal level, I love having friends around the house, or going to theirs to eat and chat.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork - where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

I love the river, so basically any place I can sip coffee, or nibble on some food, while watching the water wind it’s way through the city.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

As a child ‘Where in the World”, but now, it all depends on the weekend. If I was doing shows, it would be like a Friday night for me. Or if having a weekend off (which is a lot lately), it is a movie and just hanging out, enjoying that quiet time before the necessary movement Monday brings.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

I have my radio set to catch the weather in the morning at 7.55am, and I have a daily alarm on my phone to remind me that I should start doing stuff rather than morning stuff.

CURRENT PROJECT

Cormac Mohally is appearing in Contact, a travelling theatre performance presented by Corcadorca and Cork Midsummer Festival with support from The Arts Council, Cork City Council and the Creative Ireland Programme. It is being performed in various locations around the city until June 21. See www.corcadorca.com 

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