Arts Q&A: Marty Maguire on Elvis, Tom Jones and acting alongside his partner Jo Donnelly

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

Belfast actor Marty Maguire stars in the comedy drama Ardnaglass on the Air at Belfast's Lyric Theatre from February 14-18.

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

Working with the Ulster Youth Theatre in the 1980s, and then being offered professional work by Marie Jones as a result.

2. Best gig you've been to?

Tom Jones at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. He was 60 at the time and his voice was as powerful as ever.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

Tom Jones and Elvis unplugged.

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

If I Could Dream by Elvis Presley. Elvis was the singer that broke the mould. John Lennon said "before Elvis there was nothing”. His quality of voice really touches me, especially his gospel tracks.

5. And the book?

The Top 10,000 Great One Liners.

6. Top three films?

Unforgiven and any Columbo movie.

7. Worst film you've seen?

Can't name it but I think I was in it.

8. Favourite authors?

John Webster, Dennis Lehane and Tommy Shanahan.

9. Sports you most enjoy?

All types of boxing and martial arts. I admire any man or women who steps through the ring.

10. Ideal holiday destination??Lough Eske Castle, Donegal. It's a beautiful location with a dog friendly policy, which is ideal for my two Yorkshire Terrier dogs Murphy and Mabel.

11. Pet hate?

Lack of manners and gaudy ties.

12. What's your favourite:

Dinner? Steak, bread and butter and home-made chips.

Dessert? Rhubarb crumble and custard.

Drink? I've spilt them all.?

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

My partner Jo Donnelly whom I met working on the play Chronicles of Long Kesh and star alongside once again in Ardnaglass on the Air.

14. Is there a God?

I don't know.

:: Marty Maguire stars as rural community radio presenter Hugh Francis O'Connell in c21 Theatre Company's production of Jimmy Kerr's comedy drama Ardnaglass on the Air at Belfast's Lyric Theatre from February 14-18. Tickets at

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