Aoibheann McCaul is an actor and theatre-maker, best known for her RTÉ work playing Caoimhe Dillon in Fair City and Ciara in Hardy Bucks. She has appeared on stage in shows at The Abbey Theatre, Project Arts Centre, Smock Alley Theatre and The Axis, Ballymun:

Aoibheann is performing in this year's Dublin Fringe Festival, in a new play entitled From All Sides by Lee Coffey, produced by Bitter Like A Lemon in Association with the Axis Theatre Ballymun.  The production runs until 17th September in Smock Alley Theatre and from 20th – 22nd September in the Axis Theatre - details here.

Film

I’m finding there seem to be fewer choices at the cinema in recent years, as the industry seems to be leaning more towards high quality TV productions, so it requires a bit of routing!  I love going to the cinema, especially in beautiful venues such as The Lighthouse Cinema, and seeing things as they are made for – on the big screen. Most recently, I caught Maudie by Irish director Aisling Walsh starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke. Based on a true story, the film primarily focuses on the two characters and the development of their relationship over 40+ years, warts and all… It is such a beautiful, moving film, and an acting masterclass in creating raw, honest, and real characters, which Hawke described in a Q & A afterwards, as being more concerned in true representation of multi-dimensional humans from all sectors of society, rather than glossy ‘likeable’ characters.

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I also love short films!  My favourite being two wildy different shorts from the same Irish director Conor Ferguson, Atlantic and The Wednesdays. It can be hard to catch them as they aren’t in the mainstream, but that’s where the online world may actually be helping rather than hindering the industry, such as the viral success of Heartbreak written by Emmet Kirwan and directed by Dave Tynan, who are currently filming Dublin Oldschool, based on a play by Kirwan.  I’m extremely excited for this, having loved the play, love the director, and it has a great cast.

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Music

When I was younger I used to be more into discovering new music than I am now. I love music – I especially love going to concerts, seeing the music being performed live, soaking up the atmosphere and rejoicing in the mutual adoration with complete strangers!  

I use Spotify mainly for listening to music in the gym – which contains anything from Ariana Grande to Linkin Park. I also use it for drama workshops, so anything at all is possible to pop up, with bands like Sigur Ros, and film scores being useful. For normal day-to-day listening, I love Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Walking on Cars, Bruce Springsteen songs from musicals such as Wicked and Moulin Rouge, and a bit of Christy Moore or The Dubliners. I thought the recent performance by Christy Dignam and Finbar Furey of The Green Fields of France on The Late Late Show was magic.

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Book

I’m not a great one to read. I never have been. Since studying Drama and Theatre Studies and working as an actor, I find reading scripts and plays consumes a lot of my reading time! However, I do read on holidays when there is forced relaxation (not a mindfulness/relax and read type of girl). I know I’m very late to the party, but I loved The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, which I couldn’t put down on my last holiday. I was completely intimidated by the size of the book but a couple of chapters in, there was no work involved as the writing takes you on a very vivid journey through the world. It was great to then watch the film afterwards!  I will probably go with an Irish author next, and I know Caroline-Grace Cassidy has a new fiction novel out, and I love Stefanie Preissner’s intelligence and wit, so I can’t wait to get stuck into Why Can’t Everything Just Stay The Same (to be published October 5th).

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Theatre

If we are talking live performance – I remember so vividly my reaction to first seeing Bitter Like A Lemon’s Leper and Chip in Smock Alley Theatre, that made me spring from my seat like someone had just pressed the eject button at the end of the performance. I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT, which is what led me to now working with the company. Lee Coffey’s writing is so fresh, vivid, visceral, that he tears you through dark worlds, usually at break neck speed. Reading his latest script From All Sides which runs at this year’s Dublin Fringe Festival, I was literally buzzing with excitement, and absolutely terrified with nerves – hoping I can do this piece justice, as Amilia Clarke Stewart and Conall Keating did with Leper and Chip, and are also in this show. I can not wait to share this wonderful piece with others.

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TV

I don’t have many channels, so I love watching Netflix with my partner. We do various series together. Loved House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Suits & Bloodline (but the earlier seasons of all, as they tend to become a bit convoluted as they seem to try and continue), Designated Survivor, and The Ozark which we’ve just finished, and will watch like hawks for the next season.  When on my own, I enjoy crime documentary series such as Making a Murderer, Amanda Knox and The Keepers.

In terms of reality TV, I love First Dates (especially the Irish one), to see real people and how they behave, and I can’t wait for the Irish Say Yes to the Dress, and Blind Date – even if only for Al Porter because he is GAS.

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Gig

I was recently at Beyonce in Croke Park. It’s a shocking financial spend when you buy the ticket, but when I got there, and was part of the whole big concert experience, I could easily say it was worth every cent. There is nothing like the productions these top artists can put on! It goes beyond the music you love, and becomes a spectacle show which almost feels immersive as every person in the pit is throwing themselves into together! You make best friends, find kindred spirits, and connect with strangers on a unique one-off experience level. I even found myself throwing a random teenager on my shoulders for fear her height was preventing her from getting the full experience. I can’t wait for Ed Sheeran in the Phoenix Park… the one man machine!  That will be incredible seeing him create the beats and all the music himself live with just a loop pedal for support!

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Art

I’ve been neglecting visiting museums of late, and need to get into the National Gallery now that it has re-opened. I love seeing all sorts of local arts and crafts while travelling, and came home with multiple paintings from Tanzania, which I’ve yet to hang – forgetting my limited wall space when I got swept up with all the colour! My most memorable museum visit was to the Salvador Dali museum in Barcelona as a teenager, when the insane and absurd became extremely accessible to me. I’d love to go back.

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Podcast

I tend to listen to Ted Talks, so it’s not so much as podcast, but choosing the subject I’m interested in at the time and learning more about it. My most recent was by Stacy Smith on The Data behind Hollywood’s Sexism. Fascinating.

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Tech

The Depop App - it’s really useful for buying clothes second hand, when I haven’t managed to get them the first time round/couldn’t afford them/want to rebuy items I damage! I think it is genius and have no problems going second hand! I actually feel smart and smug when I get something gorgeous at a bargain because someone no longer wants it.

The Next Big Thing...

From All Sides by Lee Coffey.  It’s fresh, exciting, in your face with plenty of additional elements that are going to set tongues wagging. I can’t wait for it.

Aoibheann McCaul performs in Bitter Like A Lemon’s latest play From All Sides which premieres at Smock Alley Theatre from Sep 12-17 and Axis Ballymun from Sep 17 22 as art of Dublin Fringe Festival 2017.