Who is Brendan Connellan?
In the last four years Brendan has started to think of himself as a writer. Though he used to tell stories all over downtown, it only dawned on him later that he could and should write some plays. “I’d die for dialogue. I love it,” he said. The first time actors read aloud my lines, I was almost hiding behind the couch but I got over that pretty quickly. Then it became exciting. I’d hear things I’d want to fix right away and would be itching to write the follow up. I want to do this till I die.”
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m remounting a play called Pompa Pompa! It’s funny but it’s also very sad. It’s about survival and what each of us do to hang on. That tends not to be pretty. Perhaps it’s an Irish thing to blend the funny with the sad. You have to lull the audience into thinking one thing then slit their throat with another. That makes it sound like a hit-and-run. Part blood, part laughter.
Do you have upcoming events you would like people to attend?
Pompa Pompa!, April 9-13th, 2013 at Theatre Row on 42nd St, between 9th and 10th.
Seven performances – Tues at 7, Wed-Sat at 8 and matinees on Wed, Sat at 2.
I am also directing and producing the show.
As an extra bonus, AWOW’s Niamh Hyland and Moley O’Suilleabhain are among the cast and will knock people’s socks off. They’re a treat and a half.
What are the top five things on your bucket list that you want to do?
1) I’d like to get lost in a jungle in Asia, just to see how I’d cope. But I probably wouldn’t so that would take care of the bucket there and then.
2) I’d like to read a thousand more books but I did a quick calculation and figured out that, at best, I might get to devour just 700. That made me quite sad.
3) I’d like to feel more of a connection with the ocean and the moon and not be so caught up in the concrete corridors that hem us in if we let them.
4) So many ships crashed in the high waves around Cape Horn. I’d like to feel those winds. I have always loved wind, the wilder, the better.
5) I’d like to actually travel around Ireland properly. It’s pathetic that I never really get to go much further than the outskirts of Dublin whenever I am there.
What is your favorite place in the world to visit and why?
Paris. Death feels so near. Anywhere that jolts you out of torpor is a wonder. Life feels so very short there.
Who is your greatest inspiration and why?
My family. We’re all completely different but we’d do anything for each other.
What picture do you love to stare at and why?
Any El Greco. The way that the colours wobble and throb feel so futuristic. He couldn’t get anybody to pay any heed to him in Rome or Madrid so hid himself away in Toledo, threw out the rule book, ripped out the pages and painted the way he wanted to. Standing ovation every time.
If you could dream about trying out something you haven’t tried out in the arts yet, what would?
I’d like to set a poem to music and force myself to sing it without any backing music, without any place to hide. Flowers sometimes grow in the mud.
What was the best gift that someone gave you that inspired or facilitated an interest in your art.
A lifetime ago, an English teacher gave us back our essays, calling out the grades one by one. I didn’t hear my name being called and was a little concerned. Then, he started raving about the last one. My eyes were bulging when I realized it was mine. I was 15. I was good at Maths. It had never dawned on me that I might actually be good at writing. It wasn’t really talked about at home. Maths got you jobs. Reading was for the holidays. Now, writing is my biggest pleasure in life.
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