Arts Q&A: Christina Nelson on Joan Lingard, Barbara Streisand and Patricia Gormley

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, actress Christina Nelson

Belfast actress Christina Nelson who stars in Patricia Gormley's new play I'll Tell My Ma at the MAC theatre

1. When did you think about acting as a career and what were your first steps into it?

My career started aged 10 at The Lyric Theatre in the chorus of a production of Oliver and the following year I took the title role as Annie. The rest, as they say, is history. I worked all over the world in various great character roles, but 35 years on I enjoy nothing more than performing on stage in Belfast. You can't beat a Belfast audience and, boy, have they supported me over the years. This next show I'll Tell My Ma by Patricia Gormley is definitely a thank-you to them. It's a geg and they're going to love it.

2. Best gigs you’ve been to?

Madness, Depeche Mode and U2.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

Mumford and Sons.

4. The record you’d take to a desert island?

The Broadway Album by Barbara Streisand – full of show tunes.

5. And the book?

I'd take How to Get Off a Desert Island for Dummies.

6. Top three films?

Drop Dead Fred, Hear No Evil, See No Evil and Death Becomes Her.

7. Worst film you've seen?

Groundhog Day. It just irritated me.

8. Favourite authors?

Charlotte Bronte and Joan Lingard. Her book Across the Barricades was a big influence on me. A love story in Belfast – what's not to like? It was also so relevant. My parents were a mixed marriage, as it was called when I was growing up, and visiting grandparents at the other side of town was an adventure, with police checks, random men in balaclavas, helicopters and soldiers.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team?

Show jumping, ice skating and ice hockey. The Belfast Giants are class.

10. Ideal holiday destination?

Port de Soller in Majorca – heaven.

11. Pet hate?

Dirty dishwater left in a sink.

12. What’s your favourite:

Dinner? A good steak with anything saucy.

Dessert? Anything chocolatey.

Drink? Champagne.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

My best friend is my mum.

14. Is there a God?

I like to believe there is a God, or at least something good looking out for all of us.

:: Christina Nelson stars in the one-woman comedy theatre show I'll Tell My Ma which charts the misadventures of a west Belfast family. It runs at Belfast's MAC theatre from January 18 to February 4 ( before touring to theatres across the north of Ireland.

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