Aoife O’Sullivan is appearing in Dream Factory at the Everyman this Saturday and Sunday. Bookings on 021 4501673 or everymancork.com
Tell us about yourself;
Hiya, my name’s Aoife and I play the role of Breeda in Lord of Strut’s upcoming Musical Dream Factory at The Everyman.
My last production in my home town of Cork was at the CAT Club in Three Men and a Boat back in 2019.
I’m over the moon to be back performing at The Everyman where I made my theatre debut aged three as Tinky Winky!
Where were you born?
I was born in the old Maternity Hospital across from UCC, Erinville.
Where do you live?
I live in Tooting, South West London, but I was born and raised in Glanmire.
Loads!!! I’m so lucky to have such a close big family but my immediate family is my mom and mad, Maria and Paul who met in Mayfield Community School. My mom did my dad’s make-up for a school talent show. Apparently he did a great rendition of Purple Rain by Prince, dress and all - I didn’t lick it off the floor! And my sister Laura, who’s currently studying Montessori at MTU.
My character in Dream Factory has no siblings, just her mom and dad, which she is more than happy with. I couldn’t imagine my life without a big family!
Emma Gillivan, she was my first ever co-star in The Everyman as Dipsy!
We spent our whole childhood putting on shows in the kitchen.
Her dad Philip owns the Shelbourne next door to the Everyman and we would always pop in for a 7up after the Panto - we’ve moved onto slightly stronger stuff since then! She’s my oldest and closest friend and I’m very lucky to have her!
Earliest childhood memory?
Walking the fields with my granda and his dog Gus. Jam sandwiches made by nan in the old Dunne Stores bag.
We’d eat them at the top of the hill and I’d stand up on the rock under the tree and we’d sing away!
Person you most admire?
I’m going to cheat and say two people, my mom and dad. I am who I am because of them - so if you’re looking for someone to blame, blame them!
Where was your most memorable holiday?
My partner Kit and I went to Jamaica a few years ago. It was a once in a lifetime trip and the most memorable moment had to be swimming in the Blackwater River with a group of local lads and a few crocodiles.
We spent the day laughing and sharing a couple of Red Stripes to give us the Dutch courage to jump in with the crocs!
Favourite TV programme?
At the moment I’m making my way through White Lotus and loving it. The cast of Dream Factory are great for recommendations, I now have a list of ‘must watch’ long enough to get me through the rest of the year!
Favourite radio show?
RedFM reminds me of home, it’s constantly playing in the background in the kitchen and if ever I feel homesick it’s the first thing I put on.
Does KC’s count as a restaurant?
Last book you read?
The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman.
Best book you read?
My sister got me Miriam Margolyes’ book This Much Is True for Christmas a couple of years ago. I have always admired Miriam and her work. I strive to be on her level of unfiltered and unbothered! I also got to meet Miriam at a book signing this summer - the Christmas gift that keeps on giving, thanks Lals!
Last album/CD/download you bought?
RAYE’s album My 21st Century Blues. There’s a song on the album Environmental Anxiety that I think encapsulates Dream Factory really well.
It changes on what sometimes feels like a weekly basis but at the moment it has to be Battles by Atlas. It’s our cardio warm up song for Dream Factory, the show is super high energy and it gets us pumped for the day!
One person you would like to see in concert?
Not my usual style, but if I could I’d love to see Johnny Mathis perform. My Nan Sull passed away in summer last year and our lives were filled with the sounds of Johnny Mathis, her favourite singer, so his music now brings a great sense of comfort. But he wouldn’t be allowed to sing When A Child is Born, sorry Johnny, that one just doesn’t do it for me.
Do you have a pet?
We have two dogs, Olga and Piper. They both have come from the amazing Cork charity My Canine Companion (MCC) who provide families and schools all over the country with Autism Service Dogs. I trained Olga as a puppy over lockdown to become a service dog and she went on to help a local family and Piper will hopefully have some My Canine Companion pups of her own soon! The freedom and independence MCC provide to families all over the country is phenomenal and they’re always looking for puppy walkers in the Cork area if you’d like to get in touch.
Morning person or night owl?
Night owl for sure. We’ve been spoilt with 10am starts for rehearsals but in fairness our movement director Deirdre Griffin has us all bright-eyed and bushy tailed after our morning warm-up!
Your proudest moment?
Training Olga to be a successful autism service dog was a massive achievement.
Also, any performance where I look out and see grandparents in the audience is a very proud moment for me.
Spendthrift or saver?
I’ve gotten quite good at saving, to be fair. The show hits home on current topics like over- spending and greed but in a really interesting way - once you hear the song Stuff in the show, you’ll know what I mean. Garry, our musical director, has done an amazing job with the music for the show. He’s put his GMCBeats spin on musicals, full of base and mad catchy!
Name one thing you would improve in your area in which you live?
It’s great to see the growth and new families in the Glanmire, I think it’s important to have the local amenities to support that growth. Independent businesses in the area receive so much support from the people of Glanmire, I’d love to see more of that.
What makes you happy?
Watching sunsets. My favourite spot to watch them would be on the cliffs of Rocky Bay with the dogs.
How would you like to be remembered?
The person you can always count on to get everyone on the dance floor!
What else are you up to at the moment?
Hard to think that this version of Dream Factory in development will soon come to a close. The whole cast and crew have put in an insane amount of work creating the special sneak preview just for Cork. It’s such a unique, fantastical, poignant and most importantly fun, musical. I’m so grateful to have worked with the powerhouse that is Jenny Jennings and the hilarious Lords of Strut. A day didn’t go by where my cheeks weren’t sore from smiling!
I’m back to London once this run is over to work with The Old Vic’s Community and Education department. I’ll be going to secondary schools in London giving workshops on The Old Vic’s new musical Sylvia.