Saturday 20 April 2019

My cultural life: Alan Hughes

Alan Hughes
Alan Hughes
The Coroner's Daughter
Moulin Rouge

Alan Hughes lives in Dublin with his husband Karl Broderick with whom he produces the annual panto at the Tivoli Theatre. Alan has been starring in panto for over 20 years and has been part of the team on Ireland AM TV3 since it began. Panto is a big part of his life and until January 14 he can be seen starring as the much loved character Sammy Sausages in The Cheerios panto Sleeping Beauty at the Tivoli, alongside Mary Byrne, Michele McGrath and Rob Murphy as Buffy.

Film: Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge

A movie that means a lot to me is Moulin Rouge (above). I actually could watch it every day. There are songs in that movie that I love, yet I didn't care for the original versions... like Roxanne by The Police and Your Song by Elton John. I love the way the film is edited - and I know that's a bit of a Marmite subject; some people hate the movie because it's so fast and jumpy. Ewan McGregor impressed me a lot as did the direction by Baz Luhrmann.

Art: Photography

We have the Camera Club on Ireland AM, and you can just see how special some of the pics are. Capturing a moment... or every line and wrinkle on some very old man's face... I especially like black and white images… they feel timeless. There's this beautiful photo of Debbie Reynolds giving it socks on stage and her tiny daughter Carrie Fisher watching from the wings… I really identify with that photo. You see how behind the scenes is plywood and tatty and how the front of the stage is shiny and beautiful. No matter how you are feeling, you go out there and give your all.

Band: Queen


I love Queen. I was, and still am, a big fan of the late Freddie Mercury (above). I saw the band recently in the 3Arena with Adam Lambert standing in for Freddie. He was great but there was only one Freddie. I saw them in Slane in the 1980s and they were brilliant.

Design: Georgian architecture

Now this one I find a little tricky. I guess I love Georgian design... the houses. It's amazing to think we built way more impressive houses back when we had more basic tools. We are very lucky that so many of them are still around today.

Book: The Coroner's Daughter

The Coroner's Daughter

I loved The Coroner's Daughter. It's based in Dublin in the early 1900s, and is a murder mystery. It was written by my nephew Andrew Hughes. It's his third book and he's gotten amazing reviews and been shortlisted for many awards. He's such a quiet, unassuming young lad, you'd never believe he was this best-selling author. He autographed my copy, and when I came home from holiday and our friend Olive, who was house sitting for us, said she'd borrowed it and was raving about it. She nearly died when I told her it was written by my nephew. So I started to read it and it's a real page turner. I'm a bit fan of Agatha Christie too.

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