My Weekend: Walks and chats are always on the cards

Renowned actor, Catherine Walsh, plays the role of Madge in Brian Friel’s Philadelphia Here I Come! directed by Geoff Gould which will open at the Cork Opera House on October 5. Produced by Patrick Talbot Productions, it also stars Alex Murphy as Gar Private. Full information on
My Weekend: Walks and chats are always on the cards

Catherine Walsh (Madge) in Brian Friel's Philadelphia Here I Come! which runs at Cork Opera House from October 5 to 16. Picture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

My name is Catherine Walsh, a proud Corkonian and a Roy Keane fan! I am currently rehearsing "Philadelphia Here I come" for the Cork Opera House, playing the role of Madge the housekeeper.

I have four siblings: a teacher, a social worker, an IT specialist and another actor. Two actors in one family might come as a surprise but we grew up with uncles and aunts who loved singing, story telling, writing poetry and plays.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night? 

In Dublin, a meal with a glass of wine in Fallon & Byrne's is always a treat or the Market Bar on Fade Street for tapas and a bit of atmosphere.While at home in Cork, you cant beat a pint in Tom Barry's beer garden In Barrack Street.

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

I'm up with the lark for rehearsals during the week and I enjoy a lie-in at the weekends.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Yes, because I like to work on the scenes for the following week and when your rehearsing the character tends to follow you around.

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

London for the museums, galleries and the theatres - always a treat! I'd travel there with one of my sisters and we 'd stay with another sister (who lives in London) and my two entertaining nieces. I also get to enjoy my brother-in-law's cooking, he's the best chef I know!

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

A favourite getaway is Enniscrone in Sligo and Kilcullen's traditional Seaweed baths but closer again to home after a week of rehearsals, ideally I would love an hour of acupuncture at the Arnica Clinic on Langford Row.

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

Yes. Walks and chats are always on the cards, so we head to the Marina, Tramore Valley Park or the Lough. Then there's the inevitable trip to town on a Saturday with coffee stops at Costa near the Opera House - my mother's favourite haunt! Or Coffee Roasters on Anglesea Street.....a favourite haunt of mine!

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

I love listening to podcasts like "This American life"," The West Cork Podcast" and a podcast called "Dead Eyes". This last podcast by Conor Ratliff is about how Tom Hanks fired him from a small role in The Band Of Brothers.

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

To be entertained. As entertaining would be a nightmare ...when you can’t cook!

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

The Good Day Deli is always a treat and as a location holds a lot of memories as... it is in the grounds of South Presentation Convent (Nano Nagle Place) where I went to school and had many the happy day rehearsing a school play directed by my Irish teacher, Ger Canning(RTÉ Sports Commentator).

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

Sunday night definitely comes too quickly and no matter how I try to switch off, my mind is always busy with thoughts of the following week's scenes and the work in the rehearsal room that lies ahead.

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

7.30am. In the past I might have hit the snooze button but now I have to make time for my porridge AND my antigen test!


Patrick Talbot Productions is bringing Philadelphia, Here I Come!, the modern classic by renowned playwright Brian Friel to the Opera House this month. This will be the first major dramatic presentation for live audiences in Cork since the easing of restrictions. It will be at the Cork Opera House from Tuesday, October 5 to Saturday, October 16.

Philadelphia, Here I Come! premiered in 1964 and subsequently transferred to Broadway where it received numerous Tony Award nominations. It is regarded as Friel’s first masterpiece. He would go on to write such legendary titles as Translations, Dancing at Lughnasa and Faith Healer.

Disillusioned with his dreary existence in suffocating 1960s Ireland, young Gar O’Donnell decides to emigrate to America and live with his Aunt Lizzy in Philadelphia. Over the course of his final day and night Gar wrestles with the wrenching pain of leaving while wondering if he can completely re-invent himself in America.

Tickets €28/€22 Concession

See or call 021 4270022

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