A Question of Taste: Caoimhe Garvey

Caoimhe Garvey is originally from Tralee in Co Kerry, but currently lives in London where she works as a musical theatre performer. She is currently playing the role of Jasmine at Cork Opera House’s panto Aladdin (which runs until Jan 20).

Genie (Barry Keenan), Aladdin (Kian Zomorodian), Jasmine (Caoimhe Garvey), Wishee Washee (Adam Colbeck-Dunn), Nanny Nellie (Frank Mackey) and Abanazar (Michale Grennell) arrive at Cork Opera House. Aladdin opens at Cork Opera House on 29 November. Picture: Miki Barlok

Best recent book you’ve read: I absolutely love a thriller so the best book I’ve read recently would have to be I am Pilgrim. I could not put it down. There are so many different avenues the story takes so I was glued to it.

Best recent film: As part of my research for this role I’ve been watching Aladdin, the magic of a fairytale story is a great way to escape from reality, and that’s what we try to do with panto too. For a few hours you can sit in a theatre and be surrounded by magic.

Best recent show/exhibition/gig you’ve seen: Our first few weeks in Cork, a group of us from the panto cast went to watch Wild Youth play in Cyprus Avenue for the start of their Irish tour. They were incredible live and there was such a buzz. It was so nice to see Irish talent being recognised and celebrated and their music is fantastic.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately (new or old): I’ve such a broad taste in music that I don’t think I can pick one, it completely depends on my mood. I use music to cheer me up and also to relax, especially after a ‘two show’ day.

First ever piece of music or show that really moved you: I always loved performing but when I went to see Rebecca Storm perform in Blood Brothers in the INEC in Killarney when I was younger, it was the first thing I saw that really inspired me to take it further and pursue it as a career. I admired her and the whole production so much.

Tell us about your TV viewing: I watch everything really from documentaries to the classic that is Friends on repeat.

Radio listening and/or podcasts: I love podcasts. My favourite recently would have to be Serial. I found it fascinating. Also now its finally December I love Christmas FM to really get you ready for the holidays.

Your three favourite acting performances of all time: I would have to say Imelda Staunton in everything she does but particularly when I saw her live in “Gypsy” in London. I love the film Brooklyn and Saoirse Ronan is amazing in it. And third would probably be Ian McKellen in absolutely everything he does.

Saoirse Ronan

Your best/most famous celebrity encounter: Living in London you see a few celebs around but recently when I was in a production of Twang!!, Matt Lucas came to watch and met us after. He was so lovely and it being a comedy piece it was so nice to hear that he had loved it.

You can portal back to any period of human cultural history or music event – where, when, and why? I’d love to go back to 1920s boom time for Broadway. Not even to perform but to just see the originals of the performances that we still adore to watch and recreate.

Do you have any interesting ancestors or family? Not that I know of but being from Kerry makes me royalty, right?

Unsung hero – individual, organisation or group you think don’t get the profile/praise they deserve? Hospital staff who work on Christmas day. They are the real heroes.

You are queen for a day – what’s your first decree? Life is a musical, everyone must sing instead of speak - just for one day a year, wouldn’t that be fun? (and not annoying at all!)

- Interview by Des O’Driscoll


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