Entertainment

Monday 5 December 2016

A question of culture: Maria McDermottroe, actress

Published 19/04/2015 | 02:30

Maria McDermottroe
Maria McDermottroe

The actress on her favourite playwright and actor and her love for Leonard Cohen.

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FAVOURITE PLAYWRIGHT?

Frank McGuinness is a very dear friend and I know I am biased, but I love his work and loved working on his plays. The great John B Keane, whose The Field we are doing at the moment, has always been on my list, he wrote such strong, wonderful women .

FAVOURITE ACTOR?

I really don't think that Judi Dench can put a foot wrong - she is a joy to behold. Not to mention Maggie Smith, who really can leave one speechless with one look.

BEST STAGE SHOW?

Centuries ago I saw the Moscow Arts doing the most perfect production of The Seagull in the Abbey. I was touring an Irish Theatre Company production of the same show with Rosaleen Linehan, and as we left the theatre Rosaleen muttered to me, "We were not in The Seagull, we were in The Magpie!"

STRANGEST MOMENT ON STAGE?

Years ago my husband, John Costigan, persuaded me to play the Fairy Godmother in the Gaiety panto. At the very first performance I sat strapped into a swing high up in the flies of the theatre listening to the kids roaring as they waited for the curtain to rise, and the thought occurred to me that this was how the Christians felt before they were thrown to the lions!

FAVOURITE BOOK?

Star of the Sea by Joe O'Connor is so pure and perfect that I went straight back to the beginning and read it again.

CURRENTLY READING?

I am glorying in The Blandings Castle books by PG Woodhouse. I go back again and again to them and laugh every time. Timothy Spall is wonderful in the TV series, and as for the Empress, she's a pure prize-perfect porcine.

BOOK YOU COULDN'T FINISH?

Well, I tried - God knows I tried - Fifty Shades of Grey. Jesus, I couldn't even get through the first one.

FAVOURITE FILM?

Maybe it's me and pigs but I just adored Babe and have watched it ad nauseum. Ask my daughters Nora and Gina. It puts me in good humour and I drive everyone daft by saying all the dialogue.

FAVOURITE GIG?

Leonard Cohen in the O2. I got a ticket at the last minute, went on my own and sang with every song. I adore him.

CULTURAL BLINDSPOT?

I really cannot do war films or cowboys.

Maria McDermottroe stars in The Field at The Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, from April 28. Bookings at 0818 719 388

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