2018 #24HrDub Actor Clare Monnelly loves "getting to play pretend for a living"

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Clare Monnelly is our first actor to go under the #24HrDub microscope (have we ever had a microscope as a prop? There’s an idea!) Clare is an actor and writer who trained at the Gaiety School of Acting. She has worked extensively in theatre with Red Bear Productions, Verdant, the Gate and Druid, and was nominated for an Irish Times Theatre Award for her performance in Livin Dred’s Bailegangaire. This year she wrote and performed her debut play Charlie’s a Clepto in Axis Ballymun and on tour, and was subsequently awarded the Jim McNaughton Tilestyle Bursary for Commissioned Artists. Screen work includes Rip to the Rescue, Alison Spittle in Ireland, Smitten, Identicals, Scup and three series of International Emmy Award winning Moone Boy. She is currently appearing as Mary in RTE and Deadpan’s Nowhere Fast.

Introduce yourself please. If you are feeling nostalgic you can even describe yourself as your favourite teacher might if asked today what you were like in school.

I’m Clare and I’m an actor and writer.

May be described as enthusiastic, and sometimes overly so.

Have you participated in The 24 Hour Plays in aid of Dublin Youth Theatre before? If yes what are your fondest/ most nightmare causing memories? If no what are you looking forward to/ terrified of?

Nope. I regularly dream that I am back in school/college and that I have redo my Leaving/Finals. Then I spend ages going around re-collecting notes etc while telling anyone who’ll listen that, lads, I have DEFINITELY already done this. Also I always have the ‘about to go on stage in a play you’ve never rehearsed’ nightmare. So I figure that’s about how I’ll feel doing the 24 hour plays!…. Em… have I signed anything legal yet???

If you took a notion to write a play what element would you definitely include and why?

I do love a good trap door. They are never not magical to me.

Dublin Youth Theatre was 40 years old in 2018. When you think about being 40 what do you hope you have achieved? Or if, like me, you are past that supposedly significant birthday what is the most important life lesson you have learned on your way to today?

I would very much hope to still be getting to play pretend for a living. Cause it is SOME CRAIC. Also, if I don’t have a dog by then, there’ll be trouble.

Have you worked with children or animals? How did that work out for ya?

Both. Got to work with the best bunch of kids EVER on Moone Boy and have since watched them grow up into stunning teenagers/almost adults which makes me feel proud/old in equal measure. Also had to hold onto a very alive chicken for one scene, who threatened to steal my thunder entirely. I feel like we came out pretty even in the cut.

You can follow the minutiae of Clare’s life on The Twitter

See you at The 24 Hour Plays in aid of Dublin Youth Theatre supported by BNP Paribas Real Estate. Tickets available online or call Abbey Theatre Box Office on  (01) 87 87 222.

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