A question of taste - Kath Gorman

Kath Gorman:guest curator for the Cork Midsummer Festival.

KATH GORMAN is the guest curator for this year’s Cork Midsummer Festival, taking place over two weekends on June 12–14 and 19–21 . She’s from Staffordshire, but has lived in Kinsale for the past six years. See www.corkmidsummer.com.

Best recent book: I really enjoyed reading Léan Cullinan’s debut novel The Living recently. It’s a real page turner, a highly atmospheric and powerful story set in today’s Ireland exploring what happens after the conflict has died down.

Best recent film: We took our daughters to see Paddington in the New Year period. It’s a great film, beautifully done, with real attention to detail, and works for both adults as well as children.

Best recent show/exhibition/gig: I recently went to see The Whistle by the hugely talented circus artist and Clonakilty native Darragh McLoughlin at CIT’s Stack Theatre. It’s a beautifully crafted piece of performance, extremely playful and interactive (audience participation in a comfortable way). Darragh is definitely one to watch.

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What formats do you access music?

It’s generally either iTunes or YouTube, listening whilst I put the washing away.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately: ‘Lose Yourself to Dance’ by Daft Punk — I love the real retro, electronic feel to it.

Who are your musical heroes: I wouldn’t have any musical heroes as such but I admire women such as Neneh Cherry, heavily pregnant on Top of the Pops back in the 1980s or more recently Sinead O’Connor speaking out about mental health.

First ever piece of music or art or film or gig that really moved you: I remember bawling my eyes out watching Watership Down as a child.

Best gig or show you’ve ever seen: There’s been quite a few but I would have to say seeing The Sultan’s Elephant by French street theatre company Royal de Luxe in London (who brought The Giant Granny to Limerick last year). It tells the story of a sultan and his magical mechanical elephant, accompanied by a little girl giant. Anything that can bring the centre of London to a standstill (in a good way) and make thousands of grown adults cry with tears of joy deserves my top spot for best show.

Tell us about your TV viewing: We’re into the final season of Mad Men and just getting into The Affair on Sky Atlantic and Danish period drama 1864. Otherwise it’s home programmes. Home of the Year was really enjoyable and Room To Improve is a favourite.

Radio listening: I like Anton Savage and Dermot and Dave on Today FM.

Best recent holiday: My husband recently took me to Henry’s Boutique, Castlefreke, for my birthday. It’s just three guest rooms, facing right on to its own private beach, with stunning views and amazing hospitality.

Your best celebrity encounter: People I have especially enjoyed meeting are Imelda May in a tour bus; having a glass of wine with John Banville at Fishy Fishy in Kinsale; and dinner (twice!) with Laurie Anderson at Café Paradiso and Hayfield Manor Hotel in Cork.

Most expensive item of clothing you’ve ever bought: I’m a bit of a bargain hunter so TK Maxx is my favourite store. However my husband did buy me a beautiful cashmere top from Nicole Farhi about 10 years ago which cost more than £400 — I wasn’t sure whether to be pleased or cross with him for spending so much.

Tech habits: I mostly use my iPad — really useful for being in transit, then I have a really basic retro Nokia which has a really great torch! Favourite apps are Houzz and Pinterest for home ideas (we are about to start a major house renovation).

Unsung hero: I think anyone taking on a caring role — whether it’s for a child, disabled or elderly relative — deserve more thanks and appreciation. This includes those many young carers who might be looking after a parent with mental health issues or disabilities.

You are queen for a day — what’s your first decree? That everyone has to try out a new arts activity; it could be singing in a choir, learning to dance, flying in a trapeze or throwing a pot.

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