Question of Taste: Cork actor Ciarán Bermingham

Ciarán Bermingham is an actor from Glanmire, Co Cork, and is about to play the Fairy Godmother in the Cinderella panto which opens at the Everyman in Cork tomorrow.

Bermingham’s many other roles have included appearances in Game of Thrones and The Young Offenders.

Best recent book you’ve read: 

The Talisman by Stephen King. I read it when I was about 16 and it’s a book that has always stayed with me. Every so often I go back and read it.

Best recent film: 

I know the answer should be some art-house classic film but mine is Avengers – Infinity War. I am a huge Marvel fan.

Best recent show you’ve seen:

Asking For It at the Everyman Theatre and the Abbey’s Jimmy’s Hall at Cork Opera House.

I can’t say I enjoyed Asking For It and given the subject matter it would be difficult to enjoy it, but I thought it was a brilliant piece of theatre with a powerful message.

For me the book should be mandatory reading in all secondary schools and schools should be brought to see the play, it is a scary slice of reality.

Jimmy’s Hall was fantastic, it was a complete fusion of drama, music, and dance.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately (new or old): 

Any time Jack O’Rourke sings I’m happy.

First ever piece of music or art or film that really moved you: 

When I was young (late teens, early 20s) I was lucky enough to travel a fair bit. I never had much spare cash, money was for hostels, trains, and beer.

So you’d always check out what was free to go and see, it was always museums and art galleries.

I remember seeing a collection of Caravaggio paintings in the Louvre in Paris, I had just seen the Mona Lisa and thought ‘yeah she’s interesting’, but when I saw Caravaggio’s work, it was an experience I will never forget.

I know nothing about art, but this was just an overwhelming experience.

Here I was a lad from Cork looking at this masterpiece, The Embalming of Christ, and feeling every emotion that was expressed in the painting, it really blew me away.

The best gig or show you’ve ever seen: 

The first outing of Enda Walsh’s Disco Pigs with Cillian Murphy and Eileen Walsh, directed by Corcadorca’s Pat Kiernan, what a spectacular treat it was.

I can still feel the atmosphere that was created in that space in the Triskel.

Alice in Funderland, this-is-pop-baby’s reworking of the Alice story; anything I’ve seen at The Globe. Seeing Billa O’Connell and Paddy Comerford work together in panto, they were gems.

Tell us about your TV viewing: 

I am obsessed with Trump and CNN, so I watch that on YouTube a lot. I like to binge-watch box sets; Line of Duty is one of my favourite shows, it is one of the best cop shows on TV; I love Black Mirror.

Your three favourite acting performances of all time:

Pat Kinevane in anything, I’d watch the man paint a wall and find it fascinating.

Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth the First, she just kills every role.

Anthony Perkins in Psycho, brilliantly mad.

Besides the panto, your own favourite acting role of all the stuff you’ve done?

Fred in Fred and Alice by John Sheehy and produced by Call Back Theatre.

Your best celebrity encounter:

The biggest gig I’ve been on where there were ‘stars’ was Game of Thrones, but when we filmed it, most people involved were not household names.

The big star was Sean Bean who is an absolute gent, the rest were just actors hoping the show would be picked up for a second session.

The best treat for me was when I met George RR Martin — he’s the sweetest, most fun person to be around. Others that were gem were Peter Dinklage and Richard Madden. These days, the lads from The Young Offenders outshine any celebrity I’ve met.

Unsung heroes:

I think Penny Dinners is incredible, Simon, Focus Ireland... they all are.

You are king for a day — what’s your first decree?

Members of the Government can only speak the truth and not blame the previous government for the crap that goes wrong; look at us, our housing, hospitals, mental health situation; we need solutions, not blame or cross-party antics.


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