Thursday 22 August 2019

My Cultural Life: Annalene Beechey, actress/singer

Annalene Beechey
Annalene Beechey
Wuthering Heights
Matt Haig

Annalene Beechey lives in Kent with her husband Simon and their children, Harry and Rose. Annalene and Simon met while playing Dorothy and The Scarecrow, respectively, in a production of The Wizard of Oz in Leicester. Annalene, who grew up in Co Wexford and trained in The Bull Alley Theatre Company in Dublin, is currently starring as Anna Leonowens in the Tony award-winning Lincoln Center Theater Production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I which will run at Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin, from May 21-June 1.

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Movie: Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights

Oh, the classic 1939 Wuthering Heights (above) starring Laurence Olivier, Merle Oberon, David Niven. The drama, romance and acting is just sublime. I remember so clearly watching it with my family as a child and falling in love with it. I get very involved in films and cry at the drop of a hat.

Music: Pink

I always go back to Pink. Such a great artist and performer, fearless. But I love classical music to relax after a show, usually piano-based, and I'm particularly enjoying Ludovico Einaudi at the moment. It sets my mind at rest. My son has me hooked on some Take That and American Authors music and my daughter has me hooked on Meghan Trainor's Better When I'm Dancin'.

TV: Fleabag


Recently, I thoroughly enjoyed Fleabag (above), for the exceptional writing and inspiring performances. So fresh and new. Just perfect. But I also love the Sky portrait and landscape artist of the year programmes. It's a privilege to be able to watch an artist at work, each process is so unique and exciting to observe. I'm looking forward to visiting the portrait of Graham Norton by Graham Reid at the National Gallery of Ireland when I'm in Dublin.

Artist: Monet

I love how impressionism forces you to focus the eye and mind, the intense colours combining to create an extraordinary image that is for your eyes alone. I will never forget seeing Monet's Water Lilies in Paris years ago. It was astounding to examine every brushstroke over 150 years old and feel it was meant for me alone.

Author: Matt Haig

Matt Haig

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig (above) is very thought-provoking. Some of my friends and I have started a book club inspired by my daughter's unquenchable thirst for books, and this was one of our chosen titles. It raised some really interesting questions about immortality and how the passage of time would be altered by this curse or blessing.

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