Hearing about a band or artist's influences and inspirations are all well and good, but sometimes, you just want to get to the nitty-gritty in an interview - like, 'what's your favourite takeaway dish'?
Our Q&A series sees us throwing rapid-fire questions at artists to get their most instinctive answers. There's no beating around the bush here - just honest, straightforward insights into their creative minds.
Saoirse Siné is a theatre artist working in Dublin and established Scream For Ireland, and hosts the podcast series, 'Absurd Real History'. Her latest show, 'Grizel' is about Dublin's pig-faced lady and is broadcasting tonight on YouTube at 7PM, which you can watch here for free.
Before tonight's live reading, we caught up with Saoirse for a quick chat.
1. What’s the acting performance (TV, movie, theatre) that you watched growing up, that you still watch today?
I’m going to throw in a curve ball right off the bat and say The Muppets and all of their subsequent movies. Jim Henson created magic with Kermit his friends when at the time, puppetry wasn’t really in the mainstream. I’ve read his autobiography and the skill and energy of puppetry, the muppets in particular has always enthralled me. The ability to work as a team to bring an otherwise lifeless object to life, is pure beautiful magic. Not to mention the talent of the actors they get to treat these muppets as co-stars, the fun explosive humour and wholesome heart.
2. In three words, describe the minute before you walk on stage.
Agonising. Euphoric. Magic.
3. How do you wind down after a show?
The build up to show week and the show itself is often quite intense. Afterwards it’s best to relax with my fellow cast and crew members reminiscing and getting a chance to talk and get to know each other outside of the production, as well as say goodbye. It’s bittersweet, as you go from seeing the same people every day to very rarely (unless you get involved in another show together)
4. What’s the one performance you wish you’d written or performed first?
I get asked this question a lot and as an extremely indecisive woman I find it difficult to answer. I’m going to go with Matilda in the Matilda musical for performance. I’m not a massive musical theatre fan but that musical blew me. It’s everything a live show should do, fill you with excitement, have you in tears and just be completely enthralled. Perhaps what struck me is how the child actress when I saw it looked very similar to me as a child. Tim Minchin did a fantastic job on the score and if when I was younger I could have been the first little girl on that stage performing and blasting out those belters would fill me with a bliss I needed as a child. When I think of my favourite plays out there I don’t wish I’d written them because they’re mostly lacking in strong female parts but I’m trying read/see diverse work.
5. You can only watch one movie, TV show or play for the rest of the week. What is it?
The Infinite Wrench by the Neo-Futurists. The Neo-Futurists are an American Theatre Company that have inspired my work greatly. The show is 30 plays in one hour, you don’t always get to see them all and the performance is always different. Their shows rely heavily on the audience and now more than ever I am craving that kind of experience. Another one of their core beliefs in making their work is that it’s different each time, through various theatrical tricks and audience interaction. So although it would technically be one play I’d be seeing, it would never be the same show. Constantly fresh and in the moment.
6. Name one record, one book and one movie that everyone should hear / read / see.
This is hard because art is all subjective. I’ll say ‘Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer’ by Of Montreal because it’s just great and a real journey from start to finish with raw emotion as well as some absolute bops.
For a book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, a great non fiction book that helps put where we are in humanity into perspective.
Movie is tough but I’m going to go with ‘The Truman Show’ as it’s a very good tight movie with the perfect balance of comic and drama. Jim Carrey’s finest work with strong themes that I think are more relevant now than when it first released.
7. Pick the director and lead actor(s) for a biopic about your life.
Edgar Wright. His films are extremely clever in their cinematography. As to play me? If not myself I’d like to give a young unknown actress with a dream the chance.
8. You’re ordering take-away, what do you get?
Duck with plum sauce is a standard go to if I’m really treating myself at the Chinese.
9. Describe your perfect day off.
Dominating all my friends in a game of Risk with a nice bottle of red.
10. Tell us, in one sentence, why we should come to see 'Grizel: Dublin's Pig-Faced Lady'.
It’s a fascinating story told in an interesting fun way, a great way to support the arts (who have suffered greatly this year) and completely free!