ALUMNUS OF THE MONTH – Donal Hurley
Donal Hurley will appear as Old Mahon in ‘Playboy of the Western World’ at Smock Alley theatre this month. He graduated from the Gaiety School of Acting in 1987 and is presently a member of the Smock Alley Players. Recent roles include Sharkey in ‘Seafarer’, Jap in ‘Kings of the Kilbrun, High Road’, The Bird in John B Keane’s ‘The Field’, Morgan in ‘the Drawer Boy’ at the Millbank Theatre.
1. Did you always want to work in the theatre/acting business?
Yes, since the age of six. I used to entertain summer visitors to our village by staging the first one man circus and for this I charged one old penny (pingin) so I could buy penny toffees in the local shop!
2. How did you start off in the business?
I started with the Brendan Smith Theatre academy and did some plays on the all-Ireland circuit. I attended the Gaiety School of Acting in 1987 and played in The Abbey and The Peacock and also on the Fringe with Horizon in the years that followed.
3. Any tips for aspiring actors?
Stick with it. It is worth the hard work and the retirement plan is ‘out of this word’!!!
4. What did you like most about being at The Gaiety School of Acting?
The range of tutors available at that stage of my career was invaluable.
5. Favourite actor?
6. Favourite writer?
7. Favourite play?
Philadelphia, Here I Come
8. Who has been the most influential person in your life so far?
Jim Carthy, an Actor from the old Abbey school where he had started in the 1940’s. He was a great colleague and friend.
9. Earliest memory?
Going to the Panto’s aged four with my Mum and Dad. I always wanted to be on stage with them.
10. What would be your idea of the perfect day?
Lying on a sunny bank, fishing for trout with a cold can of beer!