Arts Q&A: Belfast playwright Rosemary Jenkinson on Ana Matronic, Joe Orton and dancing with cowboys in Oklahoma

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, Belfast playwright Rosemary Jenkinson

Belfast playwright Rosemary Jenkinson, follows up her satirical sell-out Michelle and Arlene with a Christmas show, Trump’s Big Bad Belfast Christmas

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

I was mad into books as a child, but it took me ages to get serious about writing. I didn't have my first short story published until I was 30. I then started writing and sending out plays before finally being commissioned by a Dublin theatre company, Rough Magic, which set me on my way.

2. Best gigs you've been to?

I rarely go to gigs as I prefer theatre.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

The Scissor Sisters as I recently did a Tedx talk at Stormont alongside Ana Matronic and she was super cool.

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

Derek and Clive (Live).

5. And the book you'd take to a desert island?

Lolita by Russian American novelist Vladimir Nabokov or a Bear Grylls survival handbook.

6. Top three films?

All About Eve, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Thelma and Louise.

7. Worst film you've seen and why?

I haven't seen any bad films. If I don't like them I switch them off!

8. Favourite authors?

Joe Orton, Colette and Dario Fo.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team?

Cricket and England. While I was at Durham University I played cricket for the women's team. I enjoyed batting but my running between the wickets was a bit languid and I kept getting run out.

10. Ideal holiday destination?

Always the USA – preferably the wild west states like Oklahoma and Texas. I worked as a waitress in a catfish restaurant in Oklahoma years ago and loved doing the two-step with cowboys.

11. Pet hate?

People who cycle on the pavement. Once I was walking round a street corner and a cyclist banged right into me.

12. What's your favourite:

Dinner? Steak, chips and mushrooms.

Dessert? Crème brulee.

Drink? If alcoholic – Champagne. If not – tea.

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

I have a core group of best friends, so it's really hard to choose one, but it's got to be Sean O'Muireagain aka John Boy. I met him in a shebeen in 2003 which encapsulates perfectly why we get on so well together – love of fun and parties. I always bring him to the opening night of my plays as he has a very infectious laugh!

14. Is there a God?

There must be a God, otherwise I wouldn't waste time doubting God so much. My mum died this year after a long illness and the last time I saw her she told me it was farewell and not goodbye, so I definitely believe I'll be seeing her again.

:: c21 Theatre Company present Trump's Big Bad Belfast Christmas, written by Rosemary Jenkinson and directed By Stephen Kelly, at Belfast's Black Box on December 20 at 1pm and 7.45pm. Tickets from

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