LOOKING DEADLY: MEET THE CREATORS

NIAMH MCGRATH

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and where you grew up?
My background. I’m from Enniscrone in Co. Sligo – a class place to grow up by the sea. the youngest of 10 so it was a pretty wild house growing up. Lots of playing and not coming home till you were hungry type a craic. Always out gallivanting with mates. There was always something to do and daft adventures to get yourself into. A perfect place for the imagination to run as wild as yourself like.

What sparked your interest in theatre?
What sparked my interest in Theatre was playing. My national school was big into plays so my first role was at the age of 10 playing the wicked witch in the wizard of Oz. I’ll never forget how this big voice came out of me in rehearsals…. I got the buzz every since. After national school came Foroige where I got to write and perform my own sketches and from there I joined the local Amateur Drama group in Castleconnor where my love for theatre grew and grew.

Tell us about some career highlights?
Joining Galway youth Theatre. I loved every second of it – from there going onto The Peacock in a National Youth Theatre show called Strawberries in December.
Another highlight was becoming the original cast member of Alone it Stands notching up over 500 performances over 3 years. Touring to Tasmania, Edinburgh festival and the West End was a dream come true. Next big highlight is performing Looking Deadly with one of me best pals Keith – it’s magic having a show we not only have written together but are touring together as well. It’s the best craic.

Have you ever done any other jobs?
Yes I have done many jobs. I am working in a bar in Dublin as well as working as an Actor which I really enjoy. Other jobs have included many years of drama facilitating to Mayo Youth Theatre and giving drama workshops in many schools and theatres around the country to every age from 4 years to 94 years. I’ve also being a waitress, a health shop assistant, a canteen assistant in a factory, a cleaner in a caravan park, I’ve worked in a vineyard in New Zealand and as a waitress and Actor there too and I’ve also worked in a funeral home.

What can Waterford audiences expect from Looking Deadly?
What audiences can expect is loads of fun…. it’s fast paced which is always exciting to watch so you won’t know which character you’re going to meet next. You’ll also expect loads of heart and drama as you see stakes getting higher for the characters. There is always lots of laughs in the show too so be prepared to get the giggles! And like any good wake – there’s booze, women, old men fighting over the widow and a fall out between the undertakers…. a typical funeral really!

What’s next for You?
What’s next for me is a trip away after the tour to Bali. A very good friend of mine lives there so I thought I might as well head over there and pay a wee visit. After that I’m back to the bar for the busy season ahead and then in the New year I’m hoping to tour another show I did recently in The Viking…..also myself and Keith will have to get back writing another show together sometime in the New Year.

Tell us a random fact about yourself?
A random fact about myself: I love working with Clowns Without Borders – (A charity who brings smiles to children in crisis in Ireland and around the world) I’ve travelled to Jordan and Lebanon performing shows to children in hospitals, schools and refugee camps.

 

KEITH SINGLETON

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and where you grew up?
I grew up in Belgard in Tallaght during a time when The Square hadn’t been built and Rovers were playing in Milltown. I remember having an excellent childhood running wild and free and playing football morning, noon and night on the front green. I was no Robbie Keane but thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and was often in charge of knocking in to get everyone out to play. I better stop typing here, I’m starting to relive my childhood!

What sparked your interest in theatre?
I did a couple of shows with the Stillorgan Player’s when I was sixteen because I fancied a few girls from Stillorgan and wanted a reason to be around them. The girls never took much notice of me (way out of my league), which was a shame I suppose, but I really enjoyed the shows……. When I left secondary school I hadn’t a clue what to be doing with myself. The Guidance Counsellor at my secondary school asked me what did I think I was good at, I said “Making people laugh”, she said “Just make sure they are laughing with you and not at you”. In truth I didn’t really understand the difference. As long as they were laughing I was happy out. One of my very best friends Rosco filled out an application form for me to go to Performing Arts College. Which is sound, because I went along, loved it and have been acting ever since.

Tell us about some career highlights?
My third acting job was as a Merman. Big time bucket list! I toured the World with an Aqua-theatre version of ‘The Little Mermaid’. The set was built in a pool and all of the cast wore tails and mono-fins. This sounds like I’m talking about a dream I had but it actually happened. I was so lucky to be a part of that tour.  I got to be part of a travelling circus called The Smile Project a few years back and went to Nepal for a month touring our show down valleys and up mountains. That was an amazing experience. We could start doing our show in front of a crowd of fifty and by the end of the show there could be five hundred people watching.

Have you ever done any other jobs?
I’ve had so many non-acting jobs but didn’t stay in any of them for very long. I have been a Travel Agent, a Janitor, a Waiter, a puller of pints and a painter of skips. I used to work in Argos and Pizza Hut in The Square. I even got a summer job at a carnival in New Jersey when I was twenty one. I worked on ‘The Supercade Derby’. Roll the balls, get the scores and so on and so forth. I had to speak in an American accent because no one could understand my Irish accent. Most people I met thought Ireland was in London. Sigh. I’m delighted I got to try so many things. Jobs were plentiful back in those days.

What can Waterford audiences expect from Looking Deadly?
They can expect a good laugh and they might get a little teary. They’ll got to see two Actors working very hard and at break neck speed. Also, Niamh McGrath is an Actress that all Theatre fans should get the chance to see in action. By going to ‘Looking Deadly’ you’l have done just that.

What’s next for You?
I’m lucky that I have a few jobs lined up after our tour of ‘Looking Deadly’ because that’s not always the case. I’ll be doing a half-mask show with Big Telly Theatre Company in Belfast called ‘Freak Show’. I’ll be Panto’ing in Armagh this December. Playing the Genie. And I’ll be doing a dance show with an an amazing Choreographer called Eileen McClory. This is really exciting because I don’t get to do many dance shows. Because I can’t dance! Good luck Eileen!

Tell us a random fact about yourself?
I get “Fellaini” shouted at me a lot. Particularly if I’m in a bar. I’m a United fan though so no problemo.

 

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Looking Deadly
Theatre Royal Waterford

Saturday 29th September

For more information please visit our website www.theatreroyal.ie.