Saturday 3 December 2016

My cultural life: actor Killian Donnelly

Published 07/11/2016 | 02:30

Killian Donnelly
Killian Donnelly
The 100 year old man
Kinky boots dvd
Glen Campbell

Musical theatre performer and actor Killian Donnelly is playing the role of Jackie Day in Donegal at the Abbey Theatre until November 19. He was born and raised in Kilmessan, Co Meath, and joined the local musical society in Navan when he was 15. He's 32 and has a British girlfriend named Lauren, "but now with Brexit I may have to dump her," he jokes. He also has an incredible extensive knowledge about dinosaurs and insists, "Seriously. Ask me anything?" Other theatre work includes Huey Calhoun in Memphis (Shaftesbury Theatre, London), for which he received a 2015 Olivier Award Nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. Concerts include The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary (Royal Albert Hall ). Film and television work includes Les Miserables and The Tudors.

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Author: Jonas Jonasson

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The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. I'm currently halfway through it and loving it. It does exactly what it says on the tin. Allan escapes his old folks' home minutes before his 100th birthday. We then meet many characters on his journey. There's murder, kidnapping, deception and an elephant, what more do you want? It's been made into a movie too but I'm waiting until I finish the book.

Film: Kinky Boots

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Following my run in Donegal at the Abbey Theatre, I'm flying to New York to play the lead in the musical Kinky Boots, currently running on Broadway. I thought it's time to have a look at the film. Based on a true story it circles around Charlie (Joel Edgerton) who inherits his father's shoe factory. However, to save it from closing he finds a niche market in making "thigh high red high heeled boots" for drag queens. I downloaded the movie the other night and loved the many differences between it and the musical, but also the similarities.

Design: Dublin

Having lived in London for the past 10 years, I've loved every chance to come home. That's why working currently at the Abbey Theatre has been a wonderful point in my life on and off the stage. Dublin has grown so much. It's got this wonderful contemporary look about it while still possessing its old rich charm. I'm walking everywhere and doing lots of museums and tours that I never did when living here. Recently I got the open top bus tour and found myself taking pictures. Of Dublin. My city!

TV: Glen Campbell

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Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me is technically a movie/documentary but I had to mention it. Glen Campbell (above) is a country and western singer/ guitarist who people would probably most recognise for Rhinestone Cowboy. The film is a fly-on-the-wall documentary as Glen embarks on his final tour around America while dealing with the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. It's brutally honest, and heart breaking. Incredible telly.

Music: Foy Vance

I have been known to annoy people when it comes to listening to music. I tend to listen to the same thing for hours, days, weeks on end. I grew up in the 1980s so a cassette tape with two songs on it would happily pass the time as I would listen, rewind, listen again. Right now it's Foy Vance's album, The Wild Swan. It's all I'm listening to at the moment. An incredible voice and a real storyteller. You know it's a great album when you'll happily take the long way to work.

Sunday Independent

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