Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I live and work in Cork and I spent the first seven years of my life in west Cork. I love working in theatre, as a writer, actor and as a mentor to young writers and performers. My part in the Cork Midsummer Festival this year brings together those three strands - I’ll be appearing as Paulie in Evening Train at the Everyman, my own play ‘WHALE’ will be shown in development at the Opera House, and the plays developed on the Young Playwrights Programme, mentored by Katie Holly and I, will be staged.
Lie-ins or up with the lark... which is it for you?
Increasingly, I’m an early-riser, especially at this time of the year with the brighter mornings, but I’m always happy to take an opportunity to lie-in. Coffee, porridge and BBC 6 music help to smooth the transition into waking.
Does work creep into your weekend at all?
Yes, it does, all the time. Being a freelance artist, you’re essentially never fully off. At the moment, weekends are taken up with putting the final touches to ‘WHALE’, a new piece of writing for two performers, which I’ve been developing as Theatre Artist in Residence at Cork Opera House and UCC. It’s about a young girl and a blind woman who meet on a beach, listening for whale-song. I can’t wait for it to meet its first audience in June.
If money was no object, where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?
I would go to Reykjavik with my partner Rebecca. We were in Moscow recently for a screening of her film Good Favour, but as yet, neither of us had the opportunity to go to Iceland. That said, a weekend might be too short...
Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?
Clonakilty. My sister Jane and her family live there and it’s always great to head to Inchydoney, or to Deasy’s in Ring. The town is close to where I grew up and there are lots of McCarthys about, so I always feel at home there!
Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?
My sister Sally-Anne lives just over the river, and my parents nearby, so we tend to find lots of opportunities to meet up. Sally-Anne, being the older sister, she tends to pick up the coffee bill more frequently than I do...
Do you get to indulge in any hobbies?
I enjoy yoga with the wonderful Sile Ní Bhroin — who offers yoga as Gaeilge as well as in English! — play football of the astro turf variety when I’m not nursing an injury, and read as much as possible. I’m liable to play the guitar and sing if the mood strikes me...
Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?
At the moment, being entertained would be preferable, with a good deal of the week taken up with the various shows gearing towards Midsummer — it’s always a really exciting time of the year in Cork for the arts.
We have so many places to eat out in Cork — where are your go-to spots for coffee/lunch/special meal?
Cork Coffee Roasters is my haunt for coffee, ideally the Bridge Street café. The fantastic French bakery on Washington Street is a new highlight for lunch. As for a special meal, right now, I’d opt for a table at Cafe Paradiso.
Sunday night comes around fast. How do you normally spend it?
Again, I take each Sunday as it comes. On a Sunday just past, Mick Flannery was playing a minute’s walk up the road at St Luke’s so that made the decision easy.
What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?
It’s generally an early start on a Monday, but depends on what the week’s work holds — writing or rehearsal or performance all dictate a different schedule. This morning it went off at 5am because I had to get the 6 o’clock bus to Evening Train rehearsals in Dublin (how bad!).
Evening Train will run at the Everyman in Cork from June 13 to 22, at 7.30pm. Based on the album of the same name by Mick Flannery, Evening Train has been adapted for the stage with book by Ursula Rani Sarma and directed by Annabelle Comyn and also starring Charlie Bonner, Brian Doherty, Deirdre Donnelly, Ger Kelly, Ian Lloyd Anderson and Kate Stanley Brennan.
Tickets €25 to €35. Book on www.everymancork.com