herald

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Body and soul: Sonya O'Donoghue

My parents were . . . hard working, supportive and generous. Dad is a caretaker and Mum worked in a factory.

The house I grew up in . . . is still there but we don't live there anymore. It is a warm and cosy bungalow just outside the Burren in Co Clare. Now the family home is right bang in the middle of the Burren.

When I was a child I wanted to be . . . an accountant. My aunt was an accountant and she was the most glamorous woman in the world, so I wanted to be like her. But I soon changed my mind when I took accountancy classes in school.

If I could change one thing about myself I would . . . lose the squint. I'm really short-sighted and if I meet people on the street I'm always squinting at them.

At night I dream of . . . redemption. I'm mischievous.

When I look in the mirror I see . . . myself. I'm happy with the way I look, it's fine. My face will do, it could be better and it could be worse.

My favourite item of clothing is . . . a pair of old black Doc Martens that I bought in a charity shop in Bantry for €10. I've had them for three years now and have got them re-heeled loads of times. I'm all for recycling.

I wish I'd never worn . . . a hot-pink, sequinned boob tube when I was about 19. It had sequins all over it. I wouldn't be seen dead in it now.

I drive . . . nothing and I'm going to have to learn before I'm 30. I used to drive my parents a bit mad going off to become an actress!

My house is . . . in Stoneybatter in Dublin. It's the best place ever, just like Coronation Street. I love living here, it's really cosy.

My favourite work of art . . . is the statue of the two women sitting on a bench and chatting with their shopping bags, beside the Ha'penny Bridge. I love it, I think it's very strong.

A book that changed me . . . was Impro by Keith Johnstone. When I decided that I wanted to be an actor it was the first book on acting that I read -- it's all about freeing your mind.

My greatest regret is . . . I could say that I wished I'd started acting earlier but then would I have been able to do as well? I'm the happiest now that I've ever been.

My real-life villain is . . . all the people involved in the banking scandals.

The person who really makes me laugh is . . . my younger sister Ciara, she's hilarious. She teaches literature in Dublin.

The last time I cried . . . was today in rehearsals. It was real crying, not the character crying. I was bawling my eyes out because one particular monologue

was so sad.

My five-year plan is . . . to work on the stage. I would like to move to London at some point; I've always seen myself there. I would like to keep getting good work and make a living. I'd also like to fall in love again, I'm up for that.

My life philosophy is . . . it's not what happens to you but how you deal with it that makes you who you are.

Sonya O'Donoghue is in the play Slaughterhouse Swan as part of the 2010 ABSOLUT Gay Theatre Festival, at the New Theatre, 43 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin until this Saturday. Further information and bookings: www.absolutgaytheatre.ie or call 01 677 8511

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