‘My epitaph? Don’t rob these flowers

In Conversation: Lucia Kickham and Philip Connaughton

Lucia Kickham and Philip Connaughton: ‘I’ve probably been very close to death several times but managed to wake up the next morning and carry on,’ Philip says

Lucia Kickham and Philip Connaughton: ‘I’ve probably been very close to death several times but managed to wake up the next morning and carry on,’ Philip says

 

What book do you keep returning to?

Philip The book I return to – and it’s the same as my dad – is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. My dad would always have about 12 books on the go and jump between them like changing channels. But the book he always read was Dracula. I find I’m the same. When his head started to go, he couldn’t keep track of the story. I found that so sad.

Lucia Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho. He has some really nice phrases in it. It’s about a woman who is a prostitute and is struggling with all these different roles of being a woman. I go back to that one.

Is there any artist you feel particularly connected to right now?

Lucia Brian Cranston and his character in Breaking Bad. I’m obsessed with it at the moment. I’m 10 years late to the game, but I’m very much into this Breaking Bad phase.

Philip Neil deGrasse Tyson. I listen to him before I go to sleep. The thing I’m most obsessed with is ufology, it’s not about believing in UFOs, it’s the ufology part.

What is your go-to dessert?

Philip Black forest gateau. I’m trashy. Or in Simon’s Place cafe they have the most amazing cinnamon buns. Sometimes as a dancer you’re trying to lose a bit of weight, so when I really want a dessert but can’t eat it I watch The Great British Bake Off and complain to my boyfriend that I don’t have every utensil I need to bake.

Lucia I think mine is a really simple crumble, apple and raspberry crumble. And I like macaroons.

What was the first record you bought?

Philip Video Killed the Radio Star.

Lucia Mine was Hit Me Baby One More Time.

Philip God, you’re so much younger than me. Was that even a record?

Lucia Of course not, it was a CD.

What was the last gift you bought?

Lucia I bought someone a voucher to get photos printed.

Philip I bought pyjamas for my best pal’s little girl. She’s two. Pinstripe pink and white pyjamas. I kind of wanted them for myself.

What was your most loved item of clothing as a teenager?

Lucia I had this big massive white jumper that was off the shoulder, and I thought I was in Fame.

Philip I had a pair of Doc Martens boots, and at the time the thing was to put a little padlock on the loop at the back, so I thought I was very cool. I also used to beg my aunt to knit me batwing jumpers.

When were you closest to death?

Lucia 2009. I was pretty sick. I had a blood condition. I didn’t know it at the time, but my parents were told not to go too far from the hospital.

Philip I’ve probably been very close to it several times but managed to wake up the next morning and carry on. Do you ever really know if you are close to death? Like that time you were not run over by that bus.

Lucia How many people have saved you without knowing?

Philip Or how many people tried to kill you? I used to force my brother to take me to the Ballymun swimming baths, and he’d try to drown me every week, dumping me under the water. I managed to learn to regulate my breathing.

What is your favourite street?

Philip It sounds weird, but I love Constitution Hill. I can be absolutely anywhere in my mind when I’m on public transport or walking and I suddenly come to and I’m on Constitution Hill, it’s a place that obviously grounds me.

Lucia The first place that comes to mind is Cuba Street in Wellington. New Zealand was the first time I spent a long stint abroad.

Philip I should have looked further afield than Constitution Hill.

Lucia I like South William Street too.

Philip I just love Dublin.

What do you wish you studied more in school?

Lucia I wish I could have done woodwork. I went to an all-girls school so we didn’t have those kind of subjects. I think it would be useful.

Philip I wish I’d studied, or been taught Irish better. I speak Spanish, Catalan and French, and I don’t speak Irish. I think that’s kind of crazy. You speak Irish.

Lucia I do. Would you go back and learn it?

Philip Yeah, but it’s another thing to invest in. It’s like starting Snapchat – just another thing in my life I can’t deal with right now.

What’s your favourite place to visit?

Lucia I really like Galway. Super friendly, right beside the sea, it always makes me feel quite free.

Philip I would say Barcelona. I lived there for 14 years. I love going because of the memories it brings back.

Lucia I really like Amsterdam as well.

Philip I’d like to go to Venice again. When I was 19 or something I was out clubbing in Milan and we ended up saying ‘let’s have breakfast in Venice!’ Of course by the time we got on the train and got to Venice we were all dead. I think I vomited in Venice.

What would be your epitaph?

Philip ‘Don’t rob these flowers.’

Lucia I don’t know if I want one.

Philip Connaughton and Lucia Kickham perform in Assisted Solo, at Project Arts Centre during Dublin Fringe Festival, until September 15th, and at the Everyman, in Cork, on September 22nd

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