Life

Saturday 20 October 2018

Some things in this life just really do add up

Busy Lauren Larkin and Peter Daly juggle parenthood, acting roles, playwrighting and an accountancy practice

Actors Peter Daly and Lauren Larkin were married in December. Photo: Frank McGrath
Actors Peter Daly and Lauren Larkin were married in December. Photo: Frank McGrath
Andrea Smith

Andrea Smith

One of the things Peter Daly loved most about Lauren Larkin from the very beginning is that she is so sure of her own mind and doesn't take no for an answer. "It also infuriates me at times, because there are limited possibilities around some things in this world and it can't always go her way," he says, gazing fondly at his wife of 10 weeks. "I love it way more than it annoys me though, and it makes me realise that maybe my own imagination is a bit limited."

It's just as well that Lauren (26) is persistent, because the loved-up pair would never have gotten together in 2013 if it had been left up to Peter. Although they both knew and liked each other from the acting world, Peter (45) had just come out of a fairly serious relationship six months earlier and wasn't on the look-out for another. He was also worried as there is an age difference between them.

"I knew Lauren was a good bit younger than me and I didn't want to be that guy," he says. "I think it's fair to say that Lauren pursued me, and I'm so grateful that she did. I put up a bit of a fight but gave in eventually and it was the best decision I've ever made. It has been incredible and we both knew from very early on that this was something different. Lauren is the funniest person I've ever met by a million miles, and she's a great friend to everyone, including me."

The pair actually got together at a birthday party for their friend, Fair City's Rebecca Grimes. Lauren feels they are very much on the same level, but worries about being left on her own if Peter dies before her. "I was attracted to him as he's really nice and I was intrigued by him," says Lauren. "He's so kind, compassionate, caring and very hard-working."

Peter reckons Lauren wasn't looking for anything long-term initially and was probably just thinking that getting together might be fun for the night, to which she nods and agrees. However, it turned into a great love affair and they quickly became very serious. There was no formal conversation about moving in together, but after about six months, Lauren had moved all of her stuff into his house. "I said, 'So do you live here now?' and she said, 'Yes!'" says Peter.

Peter had thought he didn't want children, but changed his mind because Lauren was very sure that she did. The Dundalk man is delighted about that now, and says that their baby son Robin is the best thing that has ever happened to them. They were very sociable and went out a lot prior to his arrival in May 2016, and even though he was planned and very much wanted, having a baby was a shock to the system. Robin is a very happy, smiley boy, who has a penchant for waking up very early but is a dream child apart from that. Peter reckons that his parents, Trevor and Rosemary, are probably slightly raging about the injustice of that as he was a "complete demon" as a child who "couldn't be brought anywhere". He turned into a lovely teenager though, and his interest in acting came about when he was a business student and joined his colleges' respective drama societies. After graduation, he trained as a chartered accountant with PwC and also did evening and weekend courses at the Gaiety School of Acting. He decided to leave PwC to become an actor, and has had many theatre, TV and radio roles. Peter is also the owner of the firm Peter Daly, Chartered Accountants, and does a lot of tax work for the freelance industry.

It can get very busy juggling it all, especially as he's just about to star in a one-man play he wrote called Money, directed by Phillip McMahon. In it, he gets to grips in a humorous and entertaining way with what actually happened during the recent boom and bust years. He feels it will really resonate with Irish people. Money is part of THISISPOPBABY's Where We Live series, which forms part of St Patrick's Festival in March. The series will run at The Complex in Dublin's Smithfield for two weeks with a blend of theatre productions, music events, talks and discussions, film screenings, live art and more, all centred around what it feels like to live in Dublin and Ireland today.

As an actor, Lauren has also been very busy, and she won Best Performer at the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2014. Her TV credits include Love/Hate, and she's currently working on a new play written by Veronica Dyas called My Son My Son. Set in the Liberties, it's about working-class women, education, crime and being a single parent, and it runs at Project Arts Centre from May 23-26.

Lauren grew up in Cabra as one of Phyllis and Paul's five daughters. When she was 14, she joined Dublin Youth Theatre, and although she began midwifery at Trinity College, she left to pursue acting full-time. She recently completed a payroll qualification and will assist Peter part-time in his business with that.

Peter and Lauren say childcare can be hard, especially juggling it around work and the irregular hours involved in acting, but the baby has gone on tour with them all over the world. Peter proposed to Lauren at Dublin Zoo when Robin was a few months old, and they were married in December 2017 at the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham.

They had a very personal service and wrote it themselves, but Lauren has already broken one of her pledges. "She keeps taking my car and never fills it up with petrol, even though she wrote it into her vows," Peter laughs.

Money runs from March 12-15 at The Complex, Smithfield, as part of Where We Live, which runs from March 6-18. presented by THISISPOPBABY (thisispopbaby.com) with St. Patrick's Festival

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