Characters of Cork: All the world’s a stage for Sophie

The Everyman Theatre’s artistic director Sophie Motley moved to Cork from rural Shropshire during the pandemic and loves the city. The arts are her passion, so it’s all too easy to work too hard
Characters of Cork: All the world’s a stage for Sophie

The Everyman's Artistic director Sophie Motley Photo Darragh Kane

THE artistic director of The Everyman has a deep passion for music and stories, one that she tries to share with Cork through her work at the iconic theatre.

Speaking to The Echo, Sophie Motley said she loves stories and believes that when you add music, you get something magical.

“I have an eclectic taste in music, from folk to pop: I embrace it all,” Sophie said

She is working on her directorial debut, bringing John B Keane’s Letters Of A Country Postman to the stage. 

This is the first stage performance of this piece.

Having moved to Cork in the middle of the pandemic, when she took up the role with The Everyman, Sophie said that it is one of the best things she ever did.

“I love the city, it’s really vibrant, and artists can still afford to live in the city centre. In some places that is not possible: They get pushed out by costs.”

Sophie feels at home in Cork.

“There is a great atmosphere, it’s amazing, Cork is on the up. It’s full of exciting people.”

The Everyman team is reaching new heights, and new audiences, by bringing theatre to as many people as possible.

“I’m very proud of The Everyman Outdoors series we did at Elizabeth Fort. I think that was a great achievement.”

Life lessons

The Everyman's Artistic director Sophie Motley Photo Darragh Kane
The Everyman's Artistic director Sophie Motley Photo Darragh Kane

Sophie, who is in her 30s, said she has learned a lot in recent years and if she could go back and speak to her younger self, her main message would be not to work so hard.

“I think working in the arts, because it’s your passion, it's very easy to just work too hard. It’s important to have balance, take holidays, and time for yourself. Life is more important than work and it’s important to have space in your life for living.

“The other thing I would tell myself is not to wear quite so many colours at the same time,” Sophie joked.

One of her favourite things is to take a seat at L’Atitude on a Friday evening and watch the world go by.

“It’s a lovely thing to do,” said Sophie, who is a country girl who lived in rural Shropshire before moving to Cork city. One of the things she misses is horse riding, which she did a lot of back in the UK.

The Everyman artistic director said it is important to realise the value of life experience and to listen to someone who has done it all before.

“I think taking the time to listen before making a decision is something I have learned to do,” Sophie said. “We should appreciate the wisdom that life experience brings.”

'Don't procrastinate'

Another piece of advice she follows is, ‘Don’t get it right, get it written.’

“Not every idea is a good idea, but you won’t know which ones will work unless you try them out. ‘Don’t procrastinate’ is the main message, just do it.”

With a keen interest in all sorts of music, Sophie also enjoys the peace and tranquility of silence, especially early in the morning.

“I quite like driving, and sometimes I drive to a beach in early morning, before the day has begun; no radio, no noise, just silence. It’s beautiful.”

Although her life centres around the arts, Sophie also likes to cook and entertaining friends is one of her favourite pastimes.

“I really like cooking for a group, having a gang over and putting together a dish.”

Living life one glorious moment at a time, Sophie said she follows social media, although with a very strict rule.

“No food, no faces. I love it for beautiful pics, but I have no interest in seeing people at a certain place, etc, I like to see pretty pictures!”

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