Thursday 22 March 2018

My cultural life: actor Garrett Lombard

Garrett Lombard as Scobie in RTÉ's Pure Mule.
Garrett Lombard as Scobie in RTÉ's Pure Mule.
Tom Murphy
The Starry Nights

Garrett Lombard is best known as Scobie from Pure Mule and has appeared in various TV and film roles over the years, although his first love is theatre. He is currently a member of the Druid Ensemble, whose production of Waiting for Godot opens in the Galway International Arts Festival on July 12 before going on an 'Unusual Rural Tour' Garrett was born and raised in Gorey, Co Wexford. He graduated from Trinity in 2000. Book: Murphy

There are so many to choose from, but recently, while researching Samuel Beckett, I happened across Murphy. Having never, to my shame, been exposed to the hilarity and brilliance of Beckett's prose it was an eye-opening delight. Yes, I know, I know, it's difficult, but I promise you if you stick with it, it does get easier and then you're discovering the most glorious hidden treasure imaginable. Absolutely love it.

Theatre: The Gigli Concert

There are two productions which stand out for me in particular in the past 12 months. The first one is the Gate's production of Tom Murphy's (pictured) masterpiece The Gigli Concert which I saw last year. Rarely do writing, directing and acting meet on a level as high as this, to sum it up in short… world class theatre. The other is an astonishing new play, The Father - a magnificent piece of writing by (watch out for him) Florian Zelles, also coming to the Gate later this year.

TV: The Sopranos

I just couldn't get enough of The Sopranos. Naturally there's the writing, the cast, the level of production, but also you get to see a family live and grow together over a long period of time, and to see these brilliant rounded characters progress (or not) was fascinating. Also, the conceit of the psychiatrist was a really interesting probe into our relationship with psychotherapy and one which didn't fall on one side or the other. More recently, I find Louis Theroux's documentaries unmissable. His exposure of some of the most extreme groups - the Neo-Nazis in America, the Ultra Zionists in Israel etc - made jaw-dropping television.

Art: Vincent van Gogh

So difficult to pick one piece of art, but I had a really amazing moment last year in New York while doing DruidShakespeare. On one of our rare days off I went to MOMA and saw The Starry Nights by Vincent van Gogh. I had seen prints of the painting my whole life, but to see the real thing, the brushstrokes, the vibrance, the energy emanating from it, was, for want of a better word, magical.

Film: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

Of all time, I have to give it to One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. I read the book in school, then did the play. Only after we had finished that were we allowed to watch the film. I was just 16 and I'll never forget the impact it had on me. If I'm honest I think it was one of the biggest reasons I became an actor. Lately, I have to give mention to Room, a fantastic achievement to handle a difficult subject with such intelligence and delivery.

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