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Have you met Peter Gowen?

In 2023 we ask our visiting artists to tell us a little bit about themselves. We hope that these short questionnaires will reveal something that you didn't know or expect about them.

Peter Gowen was born in County Cork. He is known for Breakfast on Pluto (2005), The Paradise Club (1989) and Ondine (2009) as well as his appearance in Coronation Street where he broke many hearts and at least one marriage (his character, Simon Beatty, lured Steph Barnes away from her marriage to Des!)

But mostly Peter is an acclaimed stage actor who appeared on Broadway with Janet McTeer (who won a Tony Award for her performance) in a revisionist revival (with translation by Frank McGuinness) of Ibsen's "A Doll's House". And he will be on stage again, in Birr in the fantastically well reviewed "Country & Irish" this coming Sunday (7th May).

But really, who is Peter Gowen? His answers to our quickfire questionnaire might surprise you!

Q- Tell us about yourself

A- My Name is Peter Gowen. I run Fight2Flight Theatre; a new company. I perform in our latest production of Country and Irish by Patrick McCabe. I am keen to bring top quality theatre to audiences all over Ireland with new plays by Irish writers. Married to Anna; daughter Liza, Son Jack, Grandkids Izzy and Teddy…oh and a burmese cat who thinks he’s a human but behaves like a dog.

Q- What will you play in Birr

A- I play Donie Burris, a classic small town anti-hero and creation of the genius and whacky mind of Patrick McCabe. The play has everything that characterises his work. Lunacy, fun, darkness and a serious look at the nature of being Irish.

Q- Who is your biggest influence?

A- In life: my Mum and Dad who always supported my ambition to be an artist. On stage: playwright Frank McGuiness, his belief in me really boosted my career and generated years of work including a 6 month run on Broadway New York.

Q- Describe yourself as a 10-year-old.

A- A danger. Always up to mischief, never concentrating in school. In bare feet on the strand next to our house at every available opportunity.

Q- What’s your best on stage memory?

A- The spontaneous and euphoric standing ovation for The Sons Of Ulster by Frank McGuinness at the opening night at the Abbey in 1994, where 40 Unionist councilors from the North were part of the audience.

Q- What’s your worst on stage memory?

A- Having an actress’s wig stuck to my costume, while she tried to continue with the scene with nothing but a stocking on her head.

Q- Where are you at your happiest?

A- With my family, and if I’m near the ocean even happier…

Q- What’s your favourite colour?

A- Blue, colour of the sea and sky

Q- What’s the last book you enjoyed?

A- Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart; a heartbreaking, compelling and beautiful portrait of human frailty.

Q- What's the last Play or Film that you enjoyed?

A- Whistle In The Dark by Tom Murphy at the Peacock Theatre in Dublin. Sean McGinley was outstanding. I was in a production of the same play in 1986. He played my older brother

Q- What’s your favourite song of all time?

A- The Plains of Kildare by Andy Irvine and Paul Brady. It’s only taken me 45 years to learn how to play it. ( I play bouzouki and guitar.)

Peter will star in "Country & Irish" on Sunday the 9th of May from 8pm.

Tickets available online here or through our box office : 057 9122911

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