Arts Q&A: Ciaran McMenamin on Glastonbury, the DUP and Fermanagh's first Ulster title

Enniskillen-born actor Ciaran McMenamin, who released his debut novel Skintown last year, can currently be seen in the Cinemagic feature film Grace & Goliath

1. When did you think about a career in acting and what were your first steps into it? My mother Anne had a hunch and sent me to the youth theatre at the Ardhowen in Enniskillen. It was a good hunch. There had been no opportunity for drama at St Michael's College, Enniskillen, were anything other than science or GAA was inrelevant. So that class and that building changed my life forever and for the better and I never looked back.

2. Best gigs you’ve been to? Top gig ever, hands down, was Nick Cave at the Royal Albert Hall a couple of years ago. Watching one of your favourite songwriters whip up a storm in a venue that offers history all around you, was genuinely amazing. After that, take your pick from a myriad of Glastonbury experiences. I've been to eight. Everyone should go to Galstonbury at least once – it changes something in peoples heads for the better.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band? I actually had my fantasy wedding band at our wedding on Lusty Beg island in Fermanagh last year. The Mass Band from Sligo. They had been amazing at my sister's wedding and they were amazing all over again for mine. Funk, disco, indie, rock, the works.

4. The record you’d take to a desert island? The impossible question. You get get tired of anything if you over listen. Music must be walked away from and rediscovered regularly. But, pound for pound the best album produced in my lifetime is OK Computer by Radiohead. Sorry, The Stone Roses' first album was close.

5. And the book? A fish cookery book.

6. Top three films? Jaws, Kelly's Heroes and The Conversation.

7. Worst film you’ve seen? I was actually in the worst film I have ever seen, which is nice. I can't say what it was called, but it might have been about the Northern Irish football team at the '86 World Cup.

8. Favourite authors? William Boyd, Roddy Doyle and Zadie Smith.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team? I love Man United, I love Fermanagh and I love snooker. I dreamt last night that we sacked Jose Mourhino and United were reborn, then Jose jacked in the soccer and him and Ronnie O'Sullivan managed Fermanagh GAA team to their first Ulster title.

10. Ideal holiday destination? Mullaghmore in Sligo, but with Italian food and Greek weather.

11. Pet hate? The DUP.

12. What’s your favourite:

Dinner? Liver, bacon, onions, peas and chips.

Dessert? I'll take a cheeky cheeseboard and a glass of red.

Drink? Smithwicks.

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

Barry McElduff. No, not that one with the loaf on his head. Barry was a couple of years behind me at school and we became mates at the at the Ardhowen Youth Theatre. It is a friendship that has matured a lot better than we have. He performed the best best man's speech I have ever heard at my wedding last year, for which I am eternally grateful.

14. Is there a God? Well look, if there is he is really bad at his job.

:: Ciaran McMenamin plays Marcus in the movie Grace and Goliath. Produced by Cinemagic, the award-winning Belfast-based film and television charity, the film is currently on general release. To find out more about the Cinemagic Festival 2018 programme check out

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