Dan Gordon on Van Morrison, Seamus Heaney and whiskey

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, actor Dan Gordon

Belfast actor Dan Gordon plays the part of The Great Nivelli in war time drama Nivelli's War, a co-production between the Lyric Theatre and CahootsNI, which runs at Belfast's Lyric Theatre until March 19


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

When I was five I played a shadowy shepherd with a stuffed giraffe on the fringes of the school nativity play. I knew then I was destined to be Joseph. I later trained as a drama/English and PE teacher but it was too hard – so I got a job in the Lyric Theatre as stage management and then sneaked on a costume when everyone was watching.


2. Best gigs you’ve been to?

Status Quo at Dalymount Park in 1979, Liam O'Flynn (Uilleann pipes solo) with the Ulster Orchestra in No Tongue Can Tell by Neil Martin at the Ulster Hall in 2004 and Van Morrison, Cyprus Avenue 2015.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

Daniel O'Donnell.

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

The Best of Van Morrison, Vol 2.


5. And the book?

How To Kill Stuff, Make It Taste Like Burgers, Then Build A Boat And Get Off A Desert Island – by Bear Grylls, of course.

6. Top three films?

The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola), Life Is Beautiful (Roberto Benigni) and A Bronx Tale (Chazz Palminteri).

7. Worst film you’ve seen?

Dumb and Dumber.

8. Favourite authors?

Seamus Heaney, John le Carré and Alan Bennett.


9. Sport you most enjoy and top team?

Rugby (Ireland), football (Down) and soccer (Liverpool).

10. Ideal holiday destination?

Carrickfinn, Donegal.

11. Pet hate?

Dog crap.

12. What’s your favourite:

Dinner? Not easy after the dog crap – Ulster fry.

Dessert? Sherry trifle.

Drink? Bushmills Whiskey, 16 years old.

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

I have four best friends I would lie down in traffic for. We are all in the same business: Stephen Wright (director/TV producer); Tim Loane (playwright/screenwriter); Neil Martin (cellist/Uilleann piper/composer) and Stephen Killen (TV location/floor manager).


14. Is there a God?

A lot of people think there is – I'd really love them to be right.

:: Dan Gordon stars in Nivelli’s War, a theatrical account of a Holocaust survivor told through magic, illusion and music, at Belfast's Lyric Theatre until March 19. Tickets at Nivelli's War is a co-production between the Lyric Theatre and CahootsNI. 


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