Entertainment Theatre & Arts

Tuesday 15 January 2019

My cultural life: Niall Buggy

Niall Buggy
Niall Buggy
Fanny and Alexander
Portrait of an Artist

Niall Buggy started at the Abbey theatre aged 16. Since then, he has performed on stage in London, New York, Sydney, Perth, and toured with Abbey theatre, National, and Royal Court. Film and TV includes Cruise of the Gods, Father Ted, Close My Eyes, Zardoz, Mamma Mia, Mr Turner. He won an Irish Times Theatre Award for Uncle Vanya, and an Olivier Award for Dead Funny. He won the Clarence Derwent Award and an Obie Award for Aristocrats. Niall will play Peter Flynn in the Abbey theatre and the Lyric Hammersmith production of The Plough and the Stars by Sean O'Casey which will be at the Gaiety theatre from April 24 to May 5.

Film: Fanny and Alexander

Fanny and Alexander

Many years ago I saw Fanny and Alexander (above) and it has stayed with me. I suppose one of the ultimate goals of the artist is to see all through the eyes of a child. It seems Bergman does that effortlessly. A great achievement. I felt, not just that I was observing, but at times part of it. I also have great affection for The Wizard of Oz as it has all the magic of film, and also goes from black and white to colour. Bliss.

Music: Puccini

My mother had a beautiful singing voice so I was lucky enough to hear Puccini at parties in our house. She could also sing jazz and blues. So, myself and my younger sister started singing at a very young age. Myself and my siblings all sing when and when not required. Tastes have always been eclectic. Irish trad, blues, opera, musicals, pop. Pharrell Williams's Happy is a great number.

TV: Gogglebox


It would have to be Gogglebox (above). I find the people on it funny and caring and, at times, quite moving. I was a great fan of the late Caroline Aherne who narrated it originally. She also created what has to be the most original and inspired comedy half hour The Royle Family. Some of the truly great moments of television are in that programme.

Design: Sean Kenny

Well, Sean Kenny was a friend and his designs for the theatre were unique in their ability to move and change according to the story. I was privileged to see his design for the National Theatre in London and although I don't understand the technical aspect of the work, I was deeply impressed by the way it seemed to change for whatever piece of work was required.

Writer: James Joyce

Portrait of an Artist

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (above) is, of course, a great novel and the musicality of Joyce's language is inspired. It seems that great writers create their own language and invite us to share it. Although Joyce might seem, at times, impenetrable to me, I feel I still have to discover a way through some of his work through his words. So much to discover, yet.


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