My Weekend: This is my sixth panto!

Bethany Cosgrove is the Stage Manager for the Cork Opera House panto, Sleeping Beauty
My Weekend: This is my sixth panto!

Bethany Cosgrove, Stage Manager Cork Opera House for Sleeping Beauty.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m from Cork and grew up in Glanmire. I’m the youngest of three. My parents always encouraged our creative side, my sister Martha is a wonderful artist, and my brother Alex is a brilliant musician, he’s currently in UCC studying English and Music.

I now live in Cobh with my husband, Stephen, we met studying graphic design in college. A few years ago he set up his own design and signs company, Grip Visuals.

I’m currently stage manager for the Cork Opera House panto, Sleeping Beauty. This is my sixth panto, last year I was given the opportunity to step up from assistant stage manager.

I’ve also been Stage Manager on a few Opera Concerts, and Morrígan during the summer, but Panto will always hold a special place in my heart. I have made some of my closest friends in Cork Opera House during Panto.

I studied graphic design in CIT, and I still work in design today. Working in theatre can be quite unpredictable so having another source of income is important. A few years ago the marketing team in Cork Opera House needed someone to cover their designer, and I’ve been working with them ever since.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

Friday nights are currently spent in the Cork Opera House. They can be long days, but it’s a very rewarding experience. When I’m not working on a show I love a cosy night in.

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

I love a lie-in! There’s nothing nicer on a day off, in bed with a coffee and a good book.

Bethany Cosgrove backstage.
Bethany Cosgrove backstage.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Being self-employed, most weekends are spent working, especially during panto season. A big positive though is you can always have a weekday “weekend” when everywhere is a lot quieter. 

I’m lucky that my husband is also self-employed, so we can plan a day off together most weeks, even if we don’t get to have a typical weekend. 

I’d take losing a few weekends over an office based 9-5.

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

I have a few answers to this. I’d love a long weekend in London with my husband, eating good food, and a few shows and exhibitions. Or bringing my sister to Disney, we went a lot as kids and I love reliving those memories.

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

Myrtleville beach is very special to me, we often drive up there late at night and just enjoy the sound of the waves and the stars. The views are beautiful.

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

Working in the arts you definitely have to love what you do, you end up sacrificing a lot of family events and you might not see friends for a few months. This year we met up with family on holidays in France and got to spend some uninterrupted time together. 

My family is quite spread out, during lockdown we got in the habit of a weekly zoom call with my uncles in Canada, and we kept it going after, I’ve missed a few since we started rehearsals but once shows are up and running I’m looking forward to jumping on every Saturday evening.

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

Last year I set up a tropical fish tank, it’s a very rewarding hobby.

Pop on a podcast and I could spend a few hours aquascaping, and maintaining the tanks, it really relaxes me. The only problem is, I now have four tanks…

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

Bit of both. If I’m entertaining, It’s typically a big pot of pasta and a good film.

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

I live in Cobh, the last few years we’ve gotten some great cafes and restaurants, especially for brunch, Seasalt is a personal favourite. You can’t go wrong with Cork Coffee Roasters in town.

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

Sunday is my Friday while working on a show. During Panto season we normally have Monday and Tuesday off, which is pretty good going while working on a show. I normally spend Tuesday at home having a very low-key day, recharging for the week ahead.

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

It could be anywhere from 6am to 10am, but I will always try to squeeze in an extra half hour in bed. No matter what I will hit snooze a few times.

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