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Eva graduates from school of hard knocks

Eva O'Connor may have earned the recognition of the theatre industry here with her award-nominated turn in Manchan Magan's Broken Croi/Heart Briste, but that cut no ice with the guys and dolls of her college drama soc in Edinburgh.

"Here I was, fresh off being nominated for an Irish Times Theatre Award and I couldn't even land a part in their freshers' play. So you could say I was browned off!"

She took matters into her own hands, writing her own one-woman show, Clinical Lines, which won her acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and earned her funding from the arts council to develop her second show, My Best Friend Drowned in a Swimming Pool, which opens here at the Project Arts Centre next week.

"It's a dark, witty drama, about how four young people cope after their best friend drowns," she says. "How they have different coping mechanisms and how they react to one another within that, using theatre, dance and music."

If she planned on feathering her nest with her Edinburgh raves, Dublin's own fringe had other plans.

"I was like 'look at me, I am young and I'm Irish and I love performing'," she laughs. "And they were like 'no thanks'."

She took the show back to Edinburgh instead, where it caught the attention of the Royal Court and was surmised by Lynn Gardner in the Guardian as 'Gossip Girl on Suicide Watch'.

"But I am 100 per cent committed to performing at the Dublin Fringe at some point."

The Cube, Project Arts Centre, May 9- 12, 8.15pm, Tickets €12/10 http://projectartscentre.ie/ programme/whats-on/1537-my-best-friend-drowned-in-a-swimming-pool

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