Katherine Lynch: On My Culture Radar
Actor on Sebastian Barry’s ‘Days Without End’ and singing in jazz clubs in Nice
Katherine Lynch: “I love watching new comedians, and there’s an up-and-coming one called Josephine McCaffrey who’s good.”
Current favourite book
I’m in the Pat Kenny Eason Book Club on Newstalk, with my lovely friend Brian Kennedy and Mary O’Rourke. It means I read books all the time, but the one that impressed me most this year was Days Without End by Sebastian Barry. It’s a really tender work of art. It’s set in the 1850s, and centres around Thomas McNulty who runs off to the US army when he’s barely 17. He goes to fight in the wars against Indians. A lot of the cowboys who fought the Indians were Irish people who escaped the famine, which I didn’t know before. The book is atmospheric, the language is beautiful and overall it’s really poignant. Essentially, it’s about two men and the life they’re dealt with in some of America’s most eventful years.
My favourite restaurant is The Larder on Parliament Street. It’s great for cheap and cheerful good food. For the atmosphere I love Café Rubis, a wine bar with food that’s also on Parliament Street. It’s very gay-friendly, it’s very bohemian, and it has singers most evenings. It serves cheeseboards and really thin, crispy home-made pizzas. You can meet anyone there. The other night I was in there and there were a group of trans women, me and my friend on another table, and next to us was another table of office people. It was a lovely mish-mash of people.
I love watching new comedians, and there’s an up-and-coming one called Josephine McCaffrey who’s good. She runs Laughter Lines at The Duke in Dublin, but she’s starting to do stand-up on her own now. She’s really funny. She was reared in England and then came back to Ireland, so has the same slant as Des Bishop, but from a female point of view and with an English rather than an American slant.
I recently finished performing Madhouse in the Abbey Theatre for the Dublin Fringe Festival. It was written by Una McKevitt and PJ Gallagher. I got a great review from you guys, I normally just get “lewd, crude and rude”. I might give it all up now, I’m done.
I think I’ve discovered a genius: an artist called Barry Murphy. I bought two of his works in a little pop-up art stall in Mohill, where I’m from. I was walking past and I couldn’t stop staring at this painting in the window so I went in and saw more of his work. He struggles a lot with life generally, he says it himself, and he spends most of his time painting. He has an individual style, it’s abstract, it’s honest, and when he explains the paintings, it’s really impressive. There’s one where the man has no face and he’s holding bottles – it’s eerie but it’s beautifully painted.
I’m heading to Nice on Monday. I have a tiny little pied-à-terre there, which I think is French for “you couldn’t swing a cat”. But it’s my little getaway and I love it. I bought it when I was in the public eye all the time, so Nice was a great place for me to hide every so often. I went out one night and met this girl, Julie, who’s a jazz singer and I basically woke up with 40 new friends. So I love meeting up with them, drinking wine and going to jazz clubs, especially Shapko. I sing in there sometimes. It’s the sort of place where a great musician would come in and just start playing the piano. It’s a lovely place to hang out.
Social media profile
On Twitter, I love @Thinkers50. They’re very philosophical and they’re brilliant at business thinking. They have a lot of quotes that I should put in practice but I don’t.
Orange Is the New Black is probably what I enjoyed watching the most recently. I love all the characters in it, especially Crazy Eyes. I love that in this day and age, when we’re trying to find equality in the workplace, it’s definitely equality in the workplace: there’s a full female cast and every one of them is as developed as the next.
Katherine Lynch stars as the Wicked Queen in Snow White at the University Concert Hall Limerick, which runs from December 17th, 2018 to January 6th, 2019.