Ac­tor on Se­bas­tian Barry’s ‘Days With­out End’, the ge­nius of artist Barry Mur­phy and the thrill of singing in jazz clubs in Nice

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - ON MY RADAR KATHERINE LYNCH - SHILPAGANATRA

Cur­rent favourite book

I’m in the Pat Kenny Ea­son Book Club on New­stalk, with my lovely friend Brian Kennedy and Mary O’Rourke. It means I read books all the time, but the one that im­pressed me most this year was Days With­out End by Se­bas­tian Barry. It’s a re­ally ten­der work of art. It’s set in the 1850s, and cen­tres around Thomas McNulty who runs off to the US army when he’s barely 17. He goes to fight in the wars against In­di­ans. A lot of the cow­boys who fought the In­di­ans were Ir­ish peo­ple who es­caped the famine, which I didn’t know be­fore. The book is at­mo­spheric, the lan­guage is beau­ti­ful and over­all it’s re­ally poignant. Es­sen­tially, it’s about two men and the life they’re dealt with in some of Amer­ica’s most event­ful years.


My favourite restau­rant is The Larder on Par­lia­ment Street. It’s great for cheap and cheer­ful good food. For the at­mos­phere I love Café Ru­bis, a wine bar with food that’s also on Par­lia­ment Street. It’s very gay-friendly, it’s very bo­hemian, and it has singers most evenings. It serves cheese­boards and re­ally thin, crispy home-made piz­zas. You can meet any­one there. The other night I was in there and there were a group of trans women, me and my friend on an­other ta­ble, and next to us was an­other ta­ble of of­fice peo­ple. It was a lovely mish-mash of peo­ple.


I love watch­ing new co­me­di­ans, and there’s an up-and-com­ing one called Josephine McCaf­frey who’s good. She runs Laugh­ter Lines at The Duke in Dublin, but she’s start­ing to do stand-up on her own now. She’s re­ally funny. She was reared in Eng­land and then came back to Ire­land, so has the same slant as Des Bishop, but from a fe­male point of view and with an English rather than an Amer­i­can slant.


I re­cently fin­ished per­form­ing Mad­house in the Abbey The­atre for the Dublin Fringe Fes­ti­val. It was writ­ten by Una McKe­vitt and PJ Gal­lagher. I got a great re­view from you guys, I nor­mally just get “lewd, crude and rude”. I might give it all up now, I’m done.


I think I’ve dis­cov­ered a ge­nius: an artist called Barry Mur­phy. I bought two of his works in a lit­tle pop-up art stall in Mo­hill, where I’m from. I was walk­ing past and I couldn’t stop star­ing at this paint­ing in the win­dow so I went in and saw more of his work. He strug­gles a lot with life gen­er­ally, he says it him­self, and he spends most of his time paint­ing. He has an in­di­vid­ual style, it’s ab­stract, it’s hon­est, and when he ex­plains the paint­ings, it’s re­ally im­pres­sive. There’s one where the man has no face and he’s hold­ing bot­tles – it’s eerie but it’s beau­ti­fully painted.


I’m head­ing to Nice on Mon­day. I have a tiny lit­tle pied-à-terre there, which I think is French for “you couldn’t swing a cat”. But it’s my lit­tle get­away and I love it. I bought it when I was in the pub­lic eye all the time, so Nice was a great place for me to hide ev­ery so of­ten. I went out one night and met this girl, Julie, who’s a jazz singer and I ba­si­cally woke up with 40 new friends. So I love meet­ing up with them, drink­ing wine and go­ing to jazz clubs, es­pe­cially Shapko. I sing in there some­times. It’s the sort of place where a great mu­si­cian would come in and just start play­ing the pi­ano. It’s a lovely place to hang out.

So­cial- me­dia pro­file

On Twit­ter, I love @Thinkers50. They’re very philo­soph­i­cal and they’re bril­liant at busi­ness think­ing. They have a lot of quotes that I should put in prac­tice but I don’t.

TV show

Or­ange Is the New Black is prob­a­bly what I en­joyed watch­ing the most re­cently. I love all the char­ac­ters in it, es­pe­cially Crazy Eyes. I love that in this day and age, when we’re try­ing to find equal­ity in the work­place, it’s def­i­nitely equal­ity in the work­place: there’s a full fe­male cast and ev­ery one of them is as de­vel­oped as the next. Kather­ine Lynch stars as the Wicked Queen in Snow White at the Univer­sity Con­cert Hall Limerick, which runs from De­cem­ber 17th to Jan­uary 6th

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