True characters


SUSAN BOYLE, writer, performer and arts facilitator

‘A Wine Goose Chase’ is. . . a one-woman show that tells the story of 2,000 years of Irish wine history

And the bonus is .. . the audience gets to taste wines along the way.

It’s a great story. . . most people seem unaware that Irish people influenced wine making across the globe.

And a new concept. . . I don’t think anyone has thought of integrating wine tasting and theatre before, but they are the two things I’m passionate about, so I thought this would make a lovely and slightly different night out.

It’s the first play I’ve written and performed. . . I was very fortunate to work with Gina Moxley and Sonya Kelly who co-directed the show for the ABSOLUT Fringe, and now it’s touring to Savour Kilkenny.

I know what I’m talking about when it comes to wine. . . I think tasting is the best way to learn. I’ve been going to trade and professional wine tasting for the past 15 years, at a rough guess I’ve tasted over 10,000 bottles of wine.

Some of the props I use in the show are really valuable wines .. . some of the best wines in the world, and all from Irish families.

The audience doesn’t get to drink those. . . but they do taste three wines and each has an Irish connection.

It gives me a buzz when .. . I say or do something that makes people see things in a different way, there is a synergy, a moment of shift and things get exciting.

The best advice I’ve ever been given .. . say yes: do things that scare you, you become a better person if you step outside your comfort zone.

If I wasn’t doing this I’d .. . be a primary school teacher. I love teaching and it runs in the family, six of my cousins are teachers.

When I’m not working . .. I swim, it’s the only thing that really clears my head.

My dream dinner party guests would be. . . Prof Robert Winston, Michael J Fox, Michelle Obama, Mary Robinson and Michael Phelps.

And I’d cook them .. . roast chicken with lots of sides like glazed butternut squash and dauphinoise potatoes, followed by delicious gluten-free chocolate cake. Yes, you can have the words “delicious” and “gluten-free” in the same sentence.

Five things I always have in my larder are. . . rice noodles, honey from my dad’s bees, gluten-free soya sauce, cans of cannellini beans and eggs.

My ideal day off is spent. . . with friends.

I’m passionate about .. . people. I love other people’s stories and history, what inspires them and gets them out of bed in the morning.

I’m really good at .. . making things look pretty. I’ve a good eye for colour and design.

I wish I was better at .. . spelling, I’m hopelessly dyslexic, it frustrates me that the sequence of letters in words just don’t stick in my brain. I hate to think other people think I’m sloppy or lazy if I get it wrong.

Not many people know this about me, but. . . I have bad luck with bananas: a banana boat ride ended in a serious head injury, and I once need stitches after making a banana sandwich.

My guilty pleasure is .. . The reality TV series Toddlers and Tiaras.

In conversation with Marie-Claire Digby

A Wine Goose Chase at Savour Kilkenny food festival is in the Hole in the Wall, Saturday and Sunday, October 27th and 28th at 5.30pm and 9pm. Tickets can be booked at

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