My Weekend: Looking forward to opening our doors for Culture Night

Education and Community Manager at The Everyman Maev O'Shea tells us about how she likes to spend her weekends
My Weekend: Looking forward to opening our doors for Culture Night

Maev O'Shea Everyman Theatre, Cork. Picture: Miki Barlok

Tell us about yourself:

My name is Maev O’Shea, Cork-born and -bred, I am mother to three fabulous young women: Aisling (21), Clodagh (18), and Roisin (16). I work as education and community manager at The Everyman, as well as creative associate with the Arts Council.

A graduate of UCC, I have worn many different hats in my working life: Teacher, drama facilitator, education manager, arts administrator, fundraiser, marketing manager, and, since 2020, I work on building youth and community engagements in our beautiful, vibrant, and historic theatre: The Everyman. 

The Everyman is for everyone and my job, together with The Everyman team, is to ensure that this is true!

Having lived abroad in Germany and Switzerland for a few years and landed back in Dublin, like many Corkonians, I finally settled in Cork; now living in Ballintemple. I grew up in The Everyman: I attended the opening of the Everyman Palace Theatre back in 1990 and am thrilled to be part of the team welcoming audiences back.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

For me, Culture Night — which takes place on September 23 this year — is the perfect way to spend a Friday night! All the cultural venues are open and buzzing. 

The streets are alive with performance, music, circus, and much much more! 

Because there’s so much on offer, I love the way that you can ‘happen upon’ some brand-new way of being creative and taking part in the arts.

Friday night can also be family night, so experiences for everyone, regardless of age, are the best, I think. This Culture Night Friday, I’m really looking forward to welcoming smallies and their adults to a fun afternoon event with some very special panto guests and our free theatrical tour, ‘Behind the Scenes’, too — oh yes I am!

Lie-ins or up with the lark? Which is it for you?

I am naturally an owl, but by necessity a lark: No lie-ins for me!

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Yes, without doubt: When you work in the theatre, weekends are part and package of the job.

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

If money were no object, I would love to head to Venice on a city break during Carnevale and bring all the family, too!

Inch Beach at Power Head, East Cork, where Maev likes to walk. Picture Dan Linehan
Inch Beach at Power Head, East Cork, where Maev likes to walk. Picture Dan Linehan

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

In Cork, there is an abundance of beautiful places to choose from to rest and relax.
I am a big fan of East Cork, from Cobh to Midleton, Ballycotton to Youghal. Inch beach, in particular, is a gorgeous place for a dip and a walk — it’s really family friendly.

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

The weekend is an ideal opportunity to catch up with family and friends! On Saturday mornings, I usually practice yoga at Yoga Republic on Douglas Street with my yoga family. Saturday nights can find me out on the town with my gals and pals. My partner, Matthias, lives in Germany, so we set aside one weekend a month for time together in person!

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

In addition to yoga, I am a reluctant runner and trot out two to three times a week with my extremely patient running buddy.

I love to read: Most recently, Donal Ryan’s The Queen of Dirt Island; Rachel English’s The Letter Home; and The Amusements, by Aingeala Flannery. I found my bookclub through Cuidiu Cork (Irish Childbirth Trust). However, now that we’ve graduated from the ‘smallies’ stage, we’ve decided to call ourselves ‘Cui-DONE’ Book Club!

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

While I would never say no to an evening out at one of the many brilliant eateries in Cork city and county … and someone else doing the washing up … I do love to host.
During the summer, we’ve been having lots of fun with the BBQ, but my signature dish is a real ‘Irish Mammy’ dinner: Roast chicken with potatoes and veg.

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

Such a variety of wonderful restaurants, growers, and makers in Cork — and, in particular, on MacCurtain Street. My favourite spot changes according to the day, the meal, and position of the sun! Favourites in the VQ for coffee and lunch include Cork Coffee Roasters, Isaac’s Restaurant, and Five Points. For a really special meal, I like to head east to either Ballymaloe House or The Cush in Ballycotton.

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

Sunday night, we might extend the weekend with an early evening trip to the cinema. It’s a guilty pleasure. Alternatively, we invite family around for a Sunday roast. This is followed then by necessary panic/preparation for the week to come.

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

If I’m not awake beforehand, then Monday’s alarm is at 7am.

Anything else you are up to right now...

Together with the rest of The Everyman team, I’m putting the final touches on our autumn-engagement activities for the autumn winter brochure.

As well as Culture Night, we’re getting ready for two youth programmes of weekly drama workshops — Theatre Making and Citizenship Cork (15 – 18 years) and Everyman Young Company (18 – 25 years).

Our post-show talk calendar is filling up with opportunities to meet the cast and creative teams behind The Steward of Christendom, Solar Bones, to name a few.

I am lucky to hold the position of creative associate to the Arts Council and am working with two East Cork schools — Walterstown National School, Cobh and Scoil Realt na Mara, Ballycotton — on their plans to place art at the heart of school life. It’s challenging and exciting.

I completed a leadership and drama facilitation course with Youth Theatre Ireland this year. Results are out soon.

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