Una Mullally

Society, life and culture on the edge

PopLives #27: Mark O’Halloran

Mark O’Halloran is an award-winning Irish actor and scriptwriter. He wrote and starred in Adam & Paul, and also wrote the screenplays for Garage and the RTE series Prosperity. He also wrote the 2011 play Trade which won the New Play Award at …

Thu, Dec 20, 2012, 08:05


Mark O’Halloran is an award-winning Irish actor and scriptwriter. He wrote and starred in Adam & Paul, and also wrote the screenplays for Garage and the RTE series Prosperity. He also wrote the 2011 play Trade which won the New Play Award at the Irish Times Theatre Awards. He recently appeared in Dubliners at the 2012 Dublin Theatre Festival.

What are you reading?
I am currently reading ‘The End: Germany 1944-45’ by Ian Kershaw. I have become very interested in World War 2 history for some reason and have been reading all sorts of war chronicles as well as biographies by Gita Sereny and others. Not sure why exactly. The period is so extreme and the destruction of Europe so huge I find it all sickeningly compelling. It is important to try and understand it all too. My favourite works of fiction this year were ‘We The Animals’ by Justin Torres and ‘Hawthorn and Child’ by Keith Ridgeway. Both had a huge impact on me.

Last film you saw and your verdict?
A few nights ago I had a friend round and we watched Grey Garden, the Maysle brothers documentary. It is a stunning piece of work and worth repeated viewing. The last thing I saw in the cinema was Argo and I thought it was appalling. Why did it get good reviews? Why did people like it? Baffling.

Last gig/concert you went to and your verdict?
Last concert I was at was at the National Concert Hall to hear the premiere of a piece written by my niece Emma O’Halloran and performed by the symphony orchestra and the Dublin Laptop Orchestra. It was fantastic.

Last stage production you saw and your verdict? 
I saw ‘Conversations on a Homecoming’ at the Gaiety during the theatre festival and thought it was extraordinary. I am a huge Murphy fan. I also went to see ‘The Dead’ in the Abbey last week and enjoyed it very much indeed. A reminder of how beautiful, accessible and deeply moving Joyce can be.

Last gallery / museum / exhibition you visited and your verdict?
I popped into the National Gallery yesterday. I take a saunter round there occasionally, as I live nearby. I am particularly drawn to the early religious paintings they have. It is the best part of the collection I think.

You have a golden ticket to Easons, what magazine is first on your list?
I always get Granta, the periodical of new writing. The New York review of Books too and then all the music mags. In my teens buying the NME was essential. Since then I have graduated to the more mature end of that spectrum and get Q, Uncut and Mojo. I like reading the reviews – how sad is that?

What are your most clicked bookmarks?
Facebook, twitter etc.

Do you have a favourite podcast or radio programme? 
I wake to the radio every morning so it’s Morning Ireland I listen to most of all. Sets up my rage levels for the rest of the day.

When you fall into a YouTube hole what’s the general subject matter of the videos you’re watching?
People falling over or comedy dogs.

What song should we listen to right now?
‘Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst’ by Kendrick Lamar. I am a huge fan of the album and have tickets bought to see him play Vicar street in January. Very excited.
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Which boxset/TV series do you have on the go at the moment?
Like everyone else it’s been the year of the Breaking Bad boxset. Jaw droppingly good at times.

Which app do you use the most?
Probably Grindr.

Do you play video games or mobile platform games, and if so, what’s your favourite at the moment?
I’ve no idea what that means.

What is your favourite club night of all time?
I’m have never really been a club person. In fact I find club culture sort of alienating or empty. (I’m wrong of course, I know.)

If you could transport one international cultural outlet (gallery, theatre, venue, club, etc) to your home town, what would it be and why?
The Tate Modern or the BFI.

Previously on PopLives: Amy Conroy, Louise McSharryMaeve HigginsRay YeatesNialler9Jeanie FinlayKevin BarryBrigie De CourcyJohn ScottWillie WhiteNiall MuckianPhil BoyleAngela DorganRoise GoanJoshua GordonMick MinogueEilis BoyleAnnie MacBen FrowMichael McDermottSinead O’Connor,  Shane LanganKathy ScottEoghan KidneyMichael Roe, and Phillip McMahon.

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