Friday 20 April 2018

My cultural life: Actor Stephen Brennan


Stephen Brennan has been an actor for more than 40 years. He was a member of the Abbey Theatre company for eight years from 1975, playing a wide variety of roles, including Lar in A Life, and was the Abbey's first Hamlet in 1983. He spent a year at the Royal National Theatre in London in 1984, and since 1988 has done a large body of work at the Gate Theatre Dublin. Film and television work has included The Tudors, Eat the Peach, The General, The Boys & Girl From County Clare, Ballykissangel; Father Ted and Bachelors Walk. He has fathered six children in five decades. He will be in the Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival production of Woyzeck in Winter at the Gaiety Theatre from October 3-8 as part of the 60th Anniversary Dublin Theatre Festival.

Film: Garage


Garage (above) is a little movie I have a great affection for, and it lives in my memory for its simplicity and the beauty of its storytelling. It's one of those films like Jim Sheridan's In America, that at first seems to be about very little, but gradually draw you in to something you become totally gripped by, and gives me a great deal to admire in their making. Garage also gave us the happy marriage of Mark O'Halloran, Lenny Abrahamson and Pat Shortt, three names I'd be happy to see on any film's credits.

Artist: John Behan

I was at an exhibition of sculpture at the Solomon Gallery recently, launched by the great Irish sculptor John Behan. John's appreciation, and consideration and love of the work was evident in his opening remarks, and this came as no surprise. I have a small sculpture of a bird on the wing by John, simple, a free spirit. My sister and brother-in-law are lucky to have a couple of more elaborate pieces. What they all have in common, big or small, is the great love of a considerable heart and soul.

Band: Thin Lizzy


Having spent several years of my pimply youth going to discos in The Logue, (Templelogue L.T.C) and the Television Club on Harcourt Street, and watching Ireland lose yet again in the winter muck of Lansdowne Road in the dismal 1960s, it was a great boost to our spirits to have the likes of Phil Lynott (above) and Thin Lizzy come into our lives in 1971. Finally we had something to shout about; an Irish rock band - getting radio plays on Radio Luxembourg no less! Fabulous 208! I'm still shoutin'!

Designer: Holly Brennan

My daughter Holly is a highly qualified designer in visual communication, and is about to be joined in that world by my eldest son Johnny, as a top student out of IADT in Dun Laoghaire. There are many aspects of the new design world, such as web design, and design technologies that I know little or nothing about but admire greatly. I am also delighted to know that whatever I don't know, they've got it covered.

TV: MasterChef


My interest in good drama goes without saying, although it is not always easy to come by. I enjoy MasterChef (above). Plunging people into the unknown in a kitchen and putting a clock on them could be said to be akin to a blood sport, but it certainly produces some great drama. gaietytheatre.ie

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