Monday 19 August 2019

My Cultural Life: Charlie Hughes, actor

Athy's Charlie Hughes
Athy's Charlie Hughes
Mocking Bird
U2

Charlie Hughes was born in Athy and started out as an apprentice electrician in an asbestos factory. But soccer was his life and he was honoured to be capped for Ireland at college level under the great Brian Kerr. The 1980s took him to America to play professionally, but back home in the 1990s he was dragged kicking and screaming by a good friend to the Athy musical and dramatic society and he was bitten by the professional acting bug. His biggest fans are his three daughters and wife. He'll perform in Waiting for Godot at Smock Alley, running from July 23 to August 10. His career highlights include the world premiere of The Shawshank Redemption at the Gaiety, Pygmalion at the Abbey, A Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man at the Lyric in Belfast and playing bad man Goo Eyes Delaney in Fair City.

Movie: Blade Runner

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My favourite film is the original Blade Runner. The look and atmospheric sense it created were bold and new, also the sound track is a stand-alone masterpiece. The film also questions our humanity and whether or not we value it or take it for granted.

Artist: Monet

My old school art teacher was a huge fan of Monet. When he first showed us a print of Monet's Sunrise, he didn't need to explain how I should feel when looking at it. It was almost like my eyes took a holiday from the grey that existed in 1970s Ireland. It was the first time an image stirred my emotions.

Book: To Kill a Mockingbird

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Mocking Bird
 

This book was required reading when I was in first year in secondary school. What I will never forget is how the book, though only words on a page, managed to transport me to the southern states of America. As you read you can almost smell and taste this new world. Then, of course, being Irish, I understood the sense of injustice.

Design: Flatiron Building

Every city I have been to excites me. No more so than through its architecture. The first time I visited New York, the scale of the city almost overwhelmed me, but the more confident I became the more I raised my head. The buildings were beautiful and particularly the Flatiron Building. I think it is almost old-world and is really comfortable where it stands.

Album: The Joshua Tree

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U2
 

No album or band has influenced me more profoundly than U2 and The Joshua Tree. Living as an Irishman in America in the early 1980s, nothing could have made me more proud than to hear Americans singing the lyrics of every song written and performed by fellow Irishmen.

Waiting for Godot, directed by Patrick Sutton runs from July 23 to August 10 at Smock Alley Theatre, smockalley.com

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