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Inside/Out with Donal O'Kelly, Playwright and Actor - The Cambria, HIFA 2012
May 03, 2012

Describe yourself in five words?
Oh for God's sake.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Never let the obstacles you see immobilize you - from an old man named Lloyd Wright, in Jamaica.

What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever done?
I dressed up as a rabbit once to get punters into my first solo show called ‘Rabbit'. It was awfully embarrassing.

What is your most treasured possession?
I have a small collection of Congo masks. I hope to do a play using them.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
(Laughs, cocks an eyebrow) I'll come back to it. (He comes back to it) It's unthinkable.

Do you have any strange hobbies?
Fishing, but I never catch anything. Futile fishing - it's like a metaphor for life.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
The deepening wrinkles.

What is your greatest extravagance?
I think the Congo masks actually.

What have you got in your fridge?
Usually a lot of hard cheese.

What is your greatest fear?
Whatever it is, it happily escapes my mind at the moment. I'm in Zimbabwe, fear is a long way away.

What have you got in your pockets right now?
Oh this CD! Dumisani Abraham Maraire and Laura Chiora. I play it when I'm writing.

What is your favourite journey?
Oh, I think uh, the field of challenge. It's very enjoyable the people you meet. The other day I was taken to a Glenview settlement - that was some eye-opener of a journey. You're given the challenge to do something about it.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Honestly, people I met in Glenview - the heroics they perform from day to night. Also, playing the music of your tradition is very inspiring. The bearers of the flame of enlightenment and passion. (I'm starting to sound too worthy).

When and where were you happiest?
I'm pretty happy here. This is a big high. But I'm usually pretty happy on stage as well. I love rehearsal rooms and I love being on stage.

What's your biggest vice?
I like beer. A little bit too much.

What were you like at school?
Fairly quiet. Studious. But a bit unpredictable.

What are you doing next?
A big snow plough full of things coming up. I'm supposed to have a solo show ready for the second of June. But it's not written yet.

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