Question of Taste: Cork actor Conor Lovett

Conor Lovett is an actor from Ballinlough, Cork. He is also joint artistic director (with his wife Judy Hegarty Lovett) of theatre company Gare St Lazare Ireland, who will present the premiere of How It Is by Samuel Beckett at the Everyman, Cork, from Jan 30 - Feb 3.

The company will then tour their Beckett music work, Here All Night, to Dublin, Cork and other centres.

Best recent books

Academy Street by Mary Costello and Hanging with the Elephants by
Michael Harding. Both these books are wonderfully written and gave me great pleasure.

Best recent film

Under The Skin directed by Jonathan Glazer. I like films where you don’t know whats going on but are totally gripping.

Best recent play you’ve seen

I saw Grand Finale by Hofesh Schecter performed by his dance company. No words, just dance. I loved the generosity and skill of the performers and there was a relentlessness which I like in a show.

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

Maya Homburger and Barry Guy’s CD Tales of Enchantment. A great selection of contemporary and classic music exquisitely performed. I also love to listen to the latest from
Ergodos.ie, a brilliant Irish label.

Money is no object – what instrument would you buy, and why?

I’d buy one of those giant pipe organs that usually comes built into a cathedral. And if money is really no object I’d spend the next 10 years learning to play it.

First ever piece of music or film or gig that really moved you

When I was 12 I arrived very early to a U2 gig at Cork City Hall and entered in on a soundcheck by the support band, the Unknown Wrecks, a great Cork punk band who performed with two drumkits, I walked into a practically empty auditorium to this primeval sound being performed really loud with incredible energy and it felt very, very strange and very, very powerful.

The best play or performance you’ve ever seen (if you had to pick one!)

Couldn’t pick one. The Pogues at Kenmare Bay Hotel summer of 1984. Nick Cave at Zenith, Paris around 1993. Public Image Limited in Paris in 1991.

Radio listening and/or podcasts:

RTÉ/NewsTalk/Lyric/RADIO 4/NPR and increasingly streaming music.

You’re curating your dream festival — which three artists are on the bill, living or dead?

The Bedroom Convention, Five Go Down To the Sea and Mide Houlihan. Cork’s finest from the last few decades.

Your best celebrity encounter

Once Gare St Lazare had Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Will Eno, Edward Albee and Lauren Hutton all in the same audience to see First Love in New York and they all waited to say hi afterwards. That was a headwreck that ticked a lot of celebrity
encounter boxes at once.

You can portal back to any period of human cultural history or music event – where and when?

Cork City, circa 2018, with its new theatre companies, restaurants, microbrewers, singers, musicians, composers, the directors at the Crawford Gallery, Everyman, Triskel, Corcadorca, the English Market, The Imperial Hotel, Cork School of Music. A lot of the current buzz is the result of inspiring teachers and mentors but also Cork has always had a strong sense of going out into the world and bringing your experiences back to Cork. We’re very lucky to have been such a busy port city.

Unsung heroes

Carers of all kinds. Mary Hickson for the buzz she created and the legacy of her time at the Opera House; the inspiring Regina Crowley at Cork School of Music; Grace Dyas and
Annette Clancy for their courage; Mary McCarthy at the National Sculpture Factory; The Marymount staff; anyone who’s struggled with addiction and fought against it... I could keep going.

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

A day off for everyone, including the King.



Breaking Stories

Physiotherapy hope for cancer patients thanks to Jane Tomlinson’s legacy

Review: Wexford Festival Opera

How to ace being the new girl at work

Tried and tested: Polar’s new Vantage M running watch

More From The Irish Examiner