Weekend Q&A: Patsy Montgomery-Hughes

Patsy Montgomery-Hughes (37) is artistic director of Green Room Productions NI, a company specialising in outdoor theatre...

Patsy Montgomery-Hughes
Jane Hardy

How do you unwind at the weekends?

My husband Matthew is a ships' chef and works away for 10 weeks to five months. Depending on shows, on Saturday morning. I drop my daughter Seren (6) off at Rainbow gymnastics Dundonald, next door there's a coffee shop with a baby play area for Dylan (1).

I get a good 40 minutes with coffee and a book, most recently Sherlock Holmes and The Christmas Demon which I quite enjoyed with my online book group. It's a bit of peace without being tortured. We're also National Trust members and every couple of years we glamp at Castle Ward – you always find another nook to explore.

What do you recall most about weekends growing up?

I grew up in north Wales. Every weekend we went swimming, once to the fun pool with slides, then to the bog standard pool so we'd learn to swim properly. It worked as my brother and sister became lifeguards. My parents kept us active so they knew we weren't roaming about getting into trouble. Later I went to theatre and choir rehearsals.

Have you a must-listen to radio programme or podcast?

It's A Happy Life by Fearne Cotton for the bigger picture. It's important to check in as when you're on your own, you can get het up about running out of milk.

Is there a must-watch TV show or Netflix?

I'd put off Game of Thrones forever, as I knew I'd recognise people. But we saw five episodes a night for two weeks, and it was great. Now it's House of the Dragon with wonderful Rhys Ifans.

Is Sunday still special?

Oh yes. I went to different churches, Methodist, Baptist and at Christmas we went to the Church of Wales. Now I take my children to Sunday school at St Barthlomew's in Stranmillis, a lovely church where my grandparents married as my mother is from Belfast.

Have you a favourite eatery or is it a takeaway?

In lockdown, we loved Mourne Seafood Bar's cook at home dishes. Their seafood chowder is the best ever, and they do a wonderful lobster burger thing.

How do you feel on Sunday night about Monday morning?

I like to assess the week – what went well, what could have gone better and work out my goals. I'm pleased with the work we did last year – Belmont Road and the event at the end of the pier in Bangor.

I love water, but can't disclose our next venues which are across Northern Ireland. I am also planning something about the NHS; my sister's a top physiotherapist and I hear from her what's happening. I don't want to lecture people but I would put the arts on a level with the NHS. True art is really helpful to people.