Who will play Mojo?
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.
Owen McCafferty's genius, early slice of theatre, Mojo Mickybo is set in Belfast in 1970. At the height of the Troubles, two young boys – Mojo (John Travers) from ‘up the road’, and Mickybo (Conor Quinn) from ‘over the bridge’ – strike up a friendship despite their different backgrounds. They share a love for the ‘flicktures’ and an obsession with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and spend their days rolling down hills, building huts, smoking their first ‘fegs’ and dreaming of moving to Australia.
The play is a modern classic and this new revival of it by Bruiser production is outstanding to the point of having been nominated (and won) many awards.
let's chat with John Travers (who plays Mojo). His answers to our quickfire questionnaire might surprise you!
Q- Tell us about yourself
A- Hi I’m John Travers, I grew up in North Belfast and I’ve been an actor for 20 years - since I was 13 in film; then theatre when I was 19. I still love it and I learn something new with every production.
Q- What will you play in Birr
A- I will be playing Mojo in Owen McCaffertys brilliant play ‘Mojo Mickybo’ along with many other characters. Landing this role has been a real dream of mine! The story being told through the eyes of two children during the height of the troubles in Belfast with almost nothing phasing them, their spirit, or the friendship they develop. No better time to do it than now, as the story is so relatable to this day in Ireland and the world.
Q- Who is your biggest influence?
A- I have been very lucky to work with many talented actors and directors from
the age of 13 (now 34) that have inspired me so it’s hard to pinpoint… but if we are talking solely theatre I would have to say ‘Hurricane’ a one man show based on Alex Higgins’ life, performed by ‘Richard Dormer’ in the Waterfront Hall. His performance blew me away when I was 15 and gave me the fire to do that one day… which I have - Woohoo!
Q- Describe yourself as a 10-year-old.
A- A mixed bag I’d say, shy around certain folk and a bag of energy around others, I loved being adventurous and remember the game ‘Tomb Raider’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ the movie bolstering that sense. I was and still am a massive movie and game fan. Fun fact I boxed from when I was 8 until 16.
Q- What’s your best on stage memory?
A- Performing for the first time in the OMAC (Old Museum Arts Centre) in Belfast at 19 years old. A 2 man show - I remember not being nervous at all before walking into the bright lights! and pulling out all the stops … although prior to accepting the role and during rehearsals in another case haha.
Q- What’s your worst on stage memory?
A- Forgetting lines or messing up what had been perfect in rehearsals - I think most actors will agree.
Q- Where are you at your happiest?
A- Being on holiday with my other half or with my animals, although I’m not going to lie, I love a good ol’ pint in the sun! But there’s a time and a place.
Q- What’s your favourite colour?
A- Red or Black or Blue or Green - sorry I can’t pick just one !
Q- What’s the last book you enjoyed?
A- I just recently read ‘The Shining’ by Stephen King, after my girlfriend pushed me to do it. Loved it, but I was also frightened by it ! Can’t wait to move onto ‘Doctor Sleep' now. The movies are great, but there is so much more depth in the books.
Q- What's the last Play or Film that you enjoyed?
A- I just watched ‘Renfield’ a wonderful funny, gory, modern take on Dracula at ‘The Avenue Cinema’ a lovely new cinema in Belfast, with an old school vibe, which I would highly recommend.
The last play I enjoyed was ‘The Song Of The Bones’ a beautiful play performed at The Lyric Theatre. It was a mix of a live band, poetry narration and the story projected with shadow puppetry, a real class mix of art.
Q- What’s your favourite song of all time?
A- It’s hard to pin down, it changes with my mood … but I do like Tenacious D’s ‘Tribute’. I have fond memories singing the who song list with a cast, touring Ireland, from venue to venue, in a van.
John will take to our stage in "Mojo Mickybo" on Saturday the 10th of june from 8pm.
Tickets available online here or through our box office : 057 9122911