In conversation with FRANCES O'ROURKE
is an actor who studied drama at Trinity College and has worked with the Abbey Theatre and Druid. He has toured with the DruidMurphy production for most of this year. He is a founder member of Livin’ Dred Theatre Company based in Cavan. He lives in Kilmainham, Dublin
I’m from Cavan town and I’d been involved in youth drama in school but I was heading off to do architecture. Someone gave me a form for the Samuel Beckett course in TCD and the next thing I was doing a course I’d never even heard about.
Bryan had graduated the year I started. I met him in my second year when he came to assist our movement teacher. I kept my distance, respectfully. He talks of our first meeting but I don’t remember it. I just thought there was something interesting about this guy . . . there’d be jokes about Monty Python, or Back to the Future, when I’d think, oh, he got it.
We both come from modest, poor-ish country backgrounds. My dad died soon after I’d finished TCD. Bryan’s dad had died three years previously, so there was an understanding.
We didn’t see each a lot of other for a while after I graduated; we were both touring. But when I went to visit him, I loved talking to him. Every conversation we had it was, ‘oh, you had that experience too’. We laugh at the same stupid jokes, love movies, comic books and have a deep, deep passion for Batman.
We’re flatmates but we’re not a couple. If either of us was gay, it would be the greatest love story ever. One weekend, we’d gone to the movies, out for a pizza and I’d texted to say I loved hanging out with him. My brother showed the text to my mother, who said: ‘ Is there something you need to tell me?’
Our friends have accused us of having a bromance. When girlfriends come into our lives they have to be people who’ll get along with both of us. But Bryan is the most lovely charming man so it’s hard to see how they couldn’t, although I’m no picnic.
We devote a lot of time to each other. We’ve had a flat in Kilmainham for a year-and-a-half and find ourselves thinking, if he’s had a long day, it’d be great to have some hot food ready. We’re not party people: on Saturday nights, we watch movies, eat chocolate. But our aspiration is to have family, children.
I adapted A Christmas Carol for two people and we staged it for the first time last year in a small Cavan theatre. I have eight brothers and sisters and 14 or 15 nieces and nephews, most of whom came to see the show. It was lovely to do a play with your best friend that all your family could come and enjoy in your home town.
A Christmas Carol is at The Ark, Temple Bar, on December 8th, 15th and 22nd