Stephen Brennan, actor

Stephen Brennan with Anita Reeves in a publicity shot for These Halcyon Days

Stephen Brennan with Anita Reeves in a publicity shot for These Halcyon Days


Are you a saver or a spender?
I’m a theatre actor for God’s sake. Where would I get the money to save?

Do you shop around for better value?
I don’t have the time or the interest to shop around much. I’m a bit of a lamb to the slaughter in that regard, I’m afraid.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
I don’t consider buying a place to live with my family extravagant even if the banks have changed their minds about that. I suppose buying an engagement ring that was never used for €5,000 might be considered extravagant.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
People have forgotten that the Irish used to deal in sterling. Then we were robbed by decimalisation. Then we dealt in punts. Then we’d devalue the punt if we got too close to sterling. Then we joined the euro and couldn’t devalue. I don’t know what value for money means anymore.

Do you shop online or across the Border?
I never shop online and neither should anyone else. The importance of supporting your local butcher, fish shop, newsagent and other small businesses cannot be emphasised enough.

Do you haggle over prices?
I’m no good at it. It’s part of my lamb to the slaughter syndrome.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?
You’re damn right it has. For those of us without a safety net, the fall is dramatic. We are now trying to pull rabbits out of hats. Enjoy the show!

Do you invest in shares?
Do we still do that in this country?

Cash or card?
I’m basically a cash customer, but I’m in New York at the moment and being charged €5.37 by Permanent TSB every time I withdraw cash from the TD Bank ATM which does not not charge for the transaction. Am I a complete mug?

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
I can’t think of the last thing I was able to buy that was value for money.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?

Have you ever lost money?
Eh, yeah. Me and almost everyone else in the world at the moment. Negative equity is something I will never outlive.

Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win?
Not yet!

Is money important to you?
I have never allowed it to become more important than some of the fundamentals in life.

How much money do you have on you now?
$149.92, but that has to last me the week.

These Halcyon Days runs from June 12th-15th, Olympia Theatre, Dublin, followed by a nationwide tour from June 17th. Visit

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea

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