- 23 Jan 20
McSweeney's 'An Actor's Diary' discusses 'Derry Girls' and her dad's passing.
Nothing whispers “Christmas!” quite as seductively as Winter Papers, the clothbound festive annual assembled by Kevin Barry and Olivia Smith. Back for a fifth run out, its bounteous delights include At Ballindoon, a new short story from Mr. B who, as we know, is a master of the form; former Hot Press-er Peter Murphy in conversation with the endlessly fascinating Carmel Winters; another great interview that finds Siobhan Kane quizzing Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh; a foray into fiction, The Artists’ Colony, by Patrick Freyne; Wally Cassidy’s Limerick hip hop photo essay; and Jessica Traynor’s ace ‘Nureyev In Dublin’ poem.
Despite professing to being a reluctant writer, Siobhán McSweeney, AKA Sister Michael, nips in and steals the show with her An Actor’s Diary.
In the midst of filming the latest Derry Girls – “I do love this show, this character, our gang of dicks” – something terrible happens. “My lovely, difficult, infuriating, witty da passed away tonight,” reads her entry for October 30, 2018. “For a misanthrope like him, I find it hilarious that he was surrounded by so much family and love when he left us. He’d have been furious.”
But immensely proud, one imagines, of the wit and eloquence of his daughter’s writing.
“There were thirty people in my year in drama school when we graduated fifteen years ao,” Siobhán concludes shortly before Christmas. “There’s less than a handful of us still working as actors now. Blind, ignorant, arrogant, slow, stupid, plodding stubborness has brought me here... God bless it, everyone!”
Winter Papers 5 is published by Curlew Editions.