Wednesday 22 November 2017

My cultural life: comedian Laura O'Mahony

Laura O'Mahony stars in Marion at Clonmel Junction.
Laura O'Mahony stars in Marion at Clonmel Junction.
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.
Hugh Laurie with Tom Hiddlestone in The Night Manager.

Laura O'Mahony's comedy star has been rising steadily in recent years. Having reached the semi finals of the prestigious So You Think You Are Funny competition in Edinburgh, Laura has since starred in RTE'S Comedy Bites, Sketch! and The Republic of Telly. She toured Ireland with the acclaimed Irish Canon (abridged), filled the Cork Opera House with the annual spectacle that is Improvised Panto and will perform the one-woman show Marion, written by Katie Holly at this year's Clonmel Junction Festival. Laura is from Glanmire Co Cork and lives in Ballycotton with her husband Shane and her own one-year-old daughter Polly.

Film: Room

Lenny Abrahamson's Room is a cinematic triumph. Having loved the book I was eagerly anticipating the film release and was much relieved to hear that it was in Abrahamson's safe hands. What starts as a terrifying ordeal almost turns into a love story between mother and son. The strength of their bond is the central crux of this film. This bond resonated with me in particular as I began my own journey into motherhood. The unfathomable love between a mother and a child can overcome all adversity and all obstacles that life throws in the way.

Book: We Need To Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.

Lionel Shriver's novel is cold, sinister and unemotional. The horrific tale of a callous murderer is told through the eyes of a mother in despair. Perhaps the most interesting note in the tone of the book is the mother's own guilt as a result of her son's actions. She is only too aware that she struggled to bond with her son as a baby and now she feels that some of the blame for his deviant behaviour must lie at her door. The story is narrated through the eyes of a woman who looks at her son through a thin veil of hatred but is tied to him by the bond that fuses mother and son together.

TV: The Night Manager

In an age where TV drama seems to be at its peak, The Night Manager holds its own as a gripping and truly engrossing series. Like most good dramas, it toys with you, it plays on your emotions and tricks you into empathising with characters who are deeply flawed and hugely complex. Hugh Laurie (left) in particular weaves his character like a complicated tapestry. Though we are supposed to loath him his charisma is undeniable, almost intoxicating. We are enticed by him though we should be repulsed. This is truly the great success of this show.

Art: Anna Nielsen

When I was 16 I was given a present of an Anna Nielsen print by a good friend of mine. It was called Five Minutes to Curtain Up, and it featured a character drawn in ink peering out from behind a stage curtain. It was black and white and so simple but I fell completely in love with it. Such a simple print but the excitement and anticipation of an opening night were all captured so perfectly in that little figure's stance.

Music: John Spillane

Though Spillane is known for lively, narrative, mischievous songs such as Orca, Orca Killer Whale it is the often lesser known and more poignant songs that strike a chord with me. Prince's Street is a love song, set in the source of all his inspiration, his beloved Cork. Hey Dreamer reminds us all to follow our dreams.

Marion, starring Laura O'Mahony, plays at Clonmel Junction Festival, July 5 - 7.

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