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Risteard Cooper

Ristard Cooper

Risteard Cooper (Wikipedia)

Risteard Cooper is an Irish actor, comedian, singer and writer and is one third of comedy trio Après Match.

Cooper graduated from the acting program at the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College. He lived in New York for several years where he worked at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Irish Rep and Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company (founded by, amongst others, John Malkovich) playing Mickey in the American premiere of Jez Butterworth’s Olivier award-winning play, Mojo directed by Ian Rickson.

He has played lead roles in the major theatres in Ireland including Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme at the Abbey TheatreAuntie and Me at the Gaiety TheatreI Keano at the Olympia Theatre, and in numerous productions at the Gate Theatre such as ArcadiaAn Ideal HusbandSee You Next TuesdayEccentricities of a NightingaleBetrayal (Pinter Festival) and The Deep Blue Sea.

In 2009, he played the role of Dmitri in Brian Friel‘s play The Yalta Game, directed by Patrick Mason for the Gate Theatre at the 2009 Sydney and Edinburgh International Festivals.

He played the leading role of Michael in the RTÉ/Element Pictures film Bitter Sweet for which he received a Best Actor nomination at the 2009 Monte Carlo Television and Film Awards.

He starred as Setanta de Paor in An Crisis, an Irish language satirical comedy series for TG4 for which he was also nominated at the 2010 Monte Carlo Awards, this time in the Best Comedy Actor category.

In 2011, he wrote and starred in a series of parodies on YouTube sponsored by sports betting agency Betdaq.

Later that year he played Henry Higgins in the Abbey Theatre’s first ever production of Shaw’s Pygmalion going on in 2012 to star as Joxer Daly with Ciarán Hinds (Boyle) and Sinéad Cusack (Juno) in O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock at the Abbey Theatre, before transferring to the National Theatre of Great Britain.

In 2013 he played Finbar in a production of Conor McPherson’s The Weir at The Donmar Warehouse, which transferred to the West End in 2014. It also starred Brian Cox, Dervla Kirwin, Ardal O’Hanlon and Peter McDonald and was directed by Josie Rourke.

In September 2014 he appeared as Sir Henry Coverly in the ITV drama The Suspicions of Mr Whicher “The Ties That Bind”, while in 2015 he portrayed Dermot Nally in RTÉ’s “Charlie” and most recently, the serial-killer Laurie Gaskell in the critically acclaimed eight-part comedy-drama “No Offence” for Channel 4.

Cooper also writes for the newspaper, The Irish Times.

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Pauline Flanagan

Pauline Flanagan

Pauline Flanagan (Wikipedia)

Pauline Flanagan was a County Sligo-born Irish actress who had a long career on stageAmerican television audiences best knew her as Maeve Ryan’s sister, Annie Colleary, on the soap opera Ryan’s Hope in 1979 and again in 1981. She later returned to the show as Sister Mary Joel.

She appeared in many Broadway plays, starting in 1957 with Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood. he starred in the 1976 Broadway revival of The Innocents. She appeared on Broadway in Philadelphia, Here I Come! in 1994.

She appeared Off-Broadway, several times with the Irish Repertory Theatre, including Juno and the Paycock (1995). She appeared in the Harold Prince play Grandchild of Kings at the Irish Repertory Theatre in February 1992, receiving the 1992 Outer Critics Circle Awardnomination for Best Actress. Other Off-Broadway work included Yeats: A Celebration.

She appeared in the play Summer, by Hugh Leonard at the Hudson Guild Theater, directed by Brian Murray. (Summer premiered at the Olney Theatre, Maryland, in August 1974.)

A resident of Glen Rock, New Jersey, she died at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey one day before her 78th birthday of heart failure following a battle with lung cancer. She was survived by her husband, George Vogel (whom she married in 1958), a sister, Maura McNally, and her daughters Melissa Brown and Jane Holtzen.

In 1997 she won the Barclays Theatre Awards for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role in Jennifer Johnston‘s Desert Lullaby, at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast. (The Barclays Theatre Awards are for outstanding regional theatre (including opera and dance) in the UK.)

She was nominated for the 1982 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for Medea in which she performed on Broadway in 1982. In 2001 she won an Olivier Award, Best Supporting Actress, for her performance in Frank McGuinness‘ Dolly West’s Kitchen at the Old Vic.

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Aisling O’Sullivan

Aisling O’Sullivan

Aisling O’Sullivan (Wikipedia)

Aisling O’Sullivan was born in 1968 in Tralee, Co Kerry.

O’Sullivan attended the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin and joined the Abbey Theatre in 1991.

She garnered major acclaim for her performance as Widow Quin in Druid Theatre Company‘s 2004 production of The Playboy of the Western World, which toured throughout Ireland including her native Kerry, and also starred Cillian Murphy and Anne-Marie Duff

In 2011 and 2012, she toured Ireland again with Druid, playing the titular character in Big Maggie by John B. Keane and was consequently nominated for Best Actress in the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards.

At the National Theatre she played in LiolàMutabilitie, and The Cripple of Inishmaan.

She played the role of Aileen Beck in the “Best Boys” episode of the 1995 TV series Cracker.

O’Sullivan had a small part in Michael Collins (1996).

She appeared in another Neil Jordan film, The Butcher Boy (1997) as Francie’s mentally unstable mother.

In a 1998 PBS adaptation of Henry James novel The American, she played the part of Claire De Cintré, opposite Matthew Modine and Diana Rigg.

She played the grieving mother who commits suicide in Six Shooter, playwright Martin McDonagh‘s Oscar-winning short film.[3]

She is familiar to Irish television audiences as Dr. Cathy Costello from Series 1 to Series 5 in the drama series The Clinic, a role for which she has won an Irish Film and Television Awards best actress award in 2008.

She had a leading role in the Channel 4 thriller Shockers (1999). She starred in Seasons 2 through 5 in Raw, an RTÉ drama portraying the lives of a restaurant staff, playing manager Fiona Kelly.


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Gary Whelan

Gary Whelan
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Valene Kane

Valence Kane

Valene Kane (Wikipedia)

Valene Kane is best known for playing Rose Stagg, the ex-girlfriend of serial killer Paul Spector, in The Fall on BBC Two and for her role as Lyra Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  She is also known for her role in the BBC drama Thirteen. She starred as DS Lisa Merchant, described as “superb” by The Radio Times: “The former star of The Fall‘s scenes […] are among the show’s most intriguing, simmering with sexual tension and professional frustration.”

Kane won the BBC Audio Drama Award for Best Supporting Performer for her role in The Stroma Sessions and her film Profile (in which she played a struggling undercover journalist who connects with a Jihadi through Facebook) won the Panorama Audience Award at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival.

She is the daughter of Val Kane “successful Down county Gaelic footballer and coach”and was raised in Newry, County Down. From the age of 15, she was part of the National Youth Theatre, most notably starring in their production of 20 Cigarettes. She left Northern Ireland for London at 18 and trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Kane was cast in The Fading Light by the director Ivan Kavanagh after he spotted her in a short film, July, that was posted on YouTube.  She was chosen partly for her successful experience with improvisation in the short film. 2013 saw her play Rose Stagg in the BBC‘s TV series The Fall, and Dara in the comic Irish thriller Jump. Also in 2013, Kane played the title role in Strindberg‘s Miss Julie at the newly founded Reading Rep.

Other film work Still Early, a short film which premiered at the Galway Film Festival. Kane’s work for the BBC in 2016 includes taking the lead in BBC3 drama Thirteen, the third series of The Fall, and an episode of Murder. Also that year, she played Lyra Erso, the protagonist’s mother, in the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Kane has been seen on stage as Nance, in the Finborough Theatre‘s production of Autumn Fire, The Love in Punchdrunk‘s production The Black Diamond, which sold out “in mere minutes” and Lady Lydia Languish in The Rivals. She also played Girleen in Martin McDonagh‘s The Lonesome West in which one reviewer said “Kane gives Girleen a schoolgirl reality, her confident swagger and challenge covering the only genuine feelings for anyone else that the play possesses”.

Kane’s radio drama work for the BBC includes The Demon Brother and Stroma Sessions for which she won Best Supporting Performer.

In 2018 Valene Kane played journalist Amy Whittaker who investigates the recruitment of young European women by the ISIS in the 2018 thriller film Profile by Timur Bekmambetov. The film takes place entirely on computer screens. It premiered at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival where it won the Panorama Audience Award.

2019 saw Kane in Anne Sewitsky‘s Sonja: The White Swan which premiered at Sundance Film Festival and in BBC TV Movie Counselin which she played the “an alpha female barrister [who] complicates her professional and personal life when she takes on a young client” 

Kane could also be heard on the Monobox Speech Share podcast reading from Marina Carr‘s “Portia Coughlan” 

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Lorraine Pilkington

Lorraine Pilkington

Lorraine Pilkington (Wikipedia)

Lorraine Pilkington was born 18 April 1974 & is an Irish actress from Dublin, who is best known for her role as Katrina Finlay from Monarch of the Glen

Born in Dublin, Pilkington grew up in the affluent suburban village of Malahide, and attended Manor House SchoolRaheny.

Trained at the Gaiety School of Acting, Pilkington began her career at the age of 15 when she appeared in The Miracle directed by Neil Jordan. She appeared onstage in the plays The Plough and the Stars and The Iceman Cometh

At age 18 she moved to London where she was given a part in a Miramax film which eventually fell through. After returning to Dublin, Pilkington appeared in films including Human Traffic and My Kingdom, a retelling of King Lear

In 2000, she was cast as Katrina Finlay, a schoolteacher in a Scottish village in the BBC television series Monarch of the Glen. After leaving the show at the beginning of the third season, she appeared in various other television productions such as Rough Diamond and Outnumbered

She married Simon Massey, the director of Monarch of the Glen, in 2001. They have three sons, Milo, Luca and Inigo.

In 2008, she appeared in a short film by Luke Massey Within the Woods, with James Chalmers.

In 2016 she voiced the lead role in a Paramount animation, Capture the Flag.


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Amybeth McNulty

Amybeth McNulty

Amybeth McNulty (Wikipedia)

Amybeth McNulty is an Irish-Canadianactress, born in Donegal in 2001. She is known for her starring role as Anne Shirley in the CBC/Netflix drama series Anne with an E (2017–present), based on the 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

McNulty was born to an Irish father and a Canadian mother. She is from LetterkennyCo. Donegal. McNulty is a natural blonde, contrary to the widespread public belief that she is a redhead. She dyed her hair red for her role in Anne with an E

McNulty has previously appeared in the RTÉ One series Clean Break and Agatha Raisin.[3] Since 2017, she has starred as Anne Shirley in the CBC/Netflix drama series Anne with an E, which is based on the 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.


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Patrick Colbert

Patrick Colbert

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Stephen Mangan

Stephen Mangan

Stephen Mangan (Wikipedia)

Stephen Mangan was born in 1968. He has played Guy Secretan in Green Wing, Dan Moody in I’m Alan Partridge, Sean Lincoln in Episodes and Postman Pat in Postman Pat: The Movie.

As a stage actor, he was Tony-nominated for his portrayal of Norman in The Norman Conquests on Broadway. He also starred as Bertie Wooster in Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense at the Duke of York’s Theatre, which won the 2014 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.

Mangan was born in Ponders EndLondon, to Irish parents. He has two sisters, Anita and Lisa.

Mangan was educated at two independent schools for boys: at Lochinver House School, in Potters BarHertfordshire, and Haileybury and Imperial Service College (now co-educational), a boarding school in the village of Hertford Heath (also in Hertfordshire). He was in a school prog rock band called Aragon, who recorded an album called The Wizard’s Dream.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Law at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, Mangan took a year out to care for his mother, Mary, who died of colon cancer at age 45. Weeks after her death, he auditioned for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and went on to study there for three years. His father, James, died of a brain tumor at age 63.

After graduating from RADA in 1994, Mangan did not pursue lead roles on-screen, preferring to take what he saw as the less limited opportunities on the stage. Between 1994 and 2000, he performed in plays throughout the UK and the West End before joining the theatre company Cheek by Jowl for an international tour of Much Ado About Nothing, earning him a nomination for a National Theatre Ian Charleson Award. He worked again for director Declan Donnellan at the Royal Shakespeare Company in School for Scandal, and at the Savoy Theatre in Hay Fever.

In 2008 he played the title role in The Norman Conquests, directed by Matthew Warchus, at The Old Vic and then at the Circle in the Square on Broadway.  The production was a huge critical success earning several Tony Award nominations, including one for Mangan himself and won the Tony Award for Best Revival.

In 2012 he appeared at the Royal Court in a Joe Penhall play, Birthday, directed by Roger Michell, playing a pregnant man.

Mangan starred as Bertie Wooster in Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense at the Duke of York’s Theatre alongside Matthew Macfadyen as Jeeves from October 2013 until they were replaced by Mark Heap and Robert Webb in April 2014. The production won the 2014 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.

Mangan’s breakthrough television performance was as Adrian Mole in the six-part BBC TV show series Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years in 2001. That same year he appeared in Sword of Honour on Channel 4, alongside Daniel Craig.

In 2002, he appeared as Dan Moody in the I’m Alan Partridge episode “Bravealan”. A scene where Alan repeatedly shouts “Dan!” at Dan from a distance in a car park, while Dan pretends not to notice him, was named the second best moment from the series by Metro, and in 2014 Mangan said that he has “Dan!” shouted at him by passers-by almost every day.

Mangan played Guy Secretan in the BAFTA-winning British sitcom Green Wing. In Channel 4’s The World’s Greatest Comedy Characters, Guy was voted 34th. He starred as Keith in Never Better, a British television sitcom on BBC Two. He plays a recovering alcoholic Keith Merchant and Kate Ashfield is his long-suffering wife Anita. The series was written by Fintan Ryan for World Productions.

In 2009, Free Agents, a romantic black comedy starred Mangan, Sharon Horgan and Anthony Head. Originally a pilot for Channel 4 in November 2007, the series began on 13 February 2009.  It spawned a short lived US remake, which was cancelled after just four episodes aired, although four more were later released on Hulu.

He played the title role in Dirk Gently, a British comedy detective drama TV series based on characters from the Dirk Gently novels by Douglas Adams. The series was created by Howard Overman and co-starred Darren Boyd as his sidekick Richard MacDuff. Recurring actors included Helen Baxendale as MacDuff’s girlfriend Susan Harmison, Jason Watkins as Dirk’s nemesis DI Gilks and Lisa Jackson as Dirk’s receptionist Janice Pearce. Unlike most detective series Dirk Gently featured broadly comic touches and even some science fiction themes such as time travel and artificial intelligence. He has said that he was “bitterly upset” at the BBC’s axing of the series after four episodes due to a freeze on the licence fee.

He played the title role in “The Hunt for Tony Blair“, a one-off episode of The Comic Strip Presents…, a British television comedy, which was first shown on Channel 4 on 14 October 2011. The 60 minute film was written by Peter Richardson and Pete Richens and presented in the style of a 1950s film noir. It stars Mangan as the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is wanted for murder and on the run as a fugitive. The film received its world premiere at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in August 2011. It first aired on Channel 4 on 14 October 2011; it received a mostly positive reaction from reviewers, and was nominated for a BAFTA award (Best Comedy Programme 2012) and the British Comedy Awards (Best Comedy Drama 2011).

He appeared in Episodes, a British/American television comedy series created by David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik and produced by Hat Trick Productions. It premiered on Showtime in the United States on 9 January 2011 at 9:30 pm  and on BBC Two in the UK on 10 January 2011.

The show is about a British husband-and-wife comedy writing team who travel to Hollywood to remake their successful British TV series, with disastrous results. On 11 December 2013, it was announced that Showtime had renewed Episodes for a fourth season. Episodeshas received positive reviews by critics, with many singling out Mangan, Tamsin Greig, and Matt LeBlanc‘s performances.

In 2018 Stephen Mangan played the lead role in a comedy British TV Series Bliss that was aired on Sky One.

Mangan’s first film part was as Doctor Crane in Billy Elliot. He played French cabaret singer Pierre Dupont in the cult film Chunky Monkeyalongside David Threlfall and Alison Steadman. He appeared in the Miramax film Birthday Girl, starring Nicole Kidman and Vincent Cassel.

He appeared opposite Keira Knightley in the 2002 short New Year’s Eve, and played the leading role in SuperTex (2003), a Dutch film, filmed in English and directed by Jan Schütte. He played a comedian in Festival is a 2005 British black comedy about a number of people at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe directed by Annie Griffin. The general shots of the festival were filmed during the 2004 event. Mangan was nominated for a Scottish BAFTA for his performance.

Confetti, a 2006 British mockumentary romantic comedy film, was released on 5 May 2006. It was conceived and directed by Debbie Isittand stars many British comedians, including Jessica StevensonJimmy CarrMartin FreemanMark HeapJulia DavisRobert Webb, and Olivia Colman. It follows a bridal magazine competition for the most original wedding, the ultimate prize being a house, and the three couples who are chosen to compete. Mangan plays one of the grooms, a professional tennis player.

He starred in Beyond the Pole, a 2010 British mockumentary adapted from the cult BBC radio series of the same name. It received its UK cinema release in 2010. It was directed and produced by David L. Williams.  The film was shot on floating sea ice off the coast of Greenland, and stars an acclaimed cast of actors and comedians including Mangan, Rhys ThomasMark BentonAlexander Skarsgardand Helen BaxendaleVariety magazine described the film as a cross between The Office and Touching the Void.

In 2013 Mangan played Alastair Caldwell in Rush, a British-German biographical sports drama film centered on the rivalry between race car drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the 1976 Formula One motor-racing season. It was written by Peter Morgan, directed by Ron Howard and stars Chris Hemsworth as Hunt and Daniel Brühl as Lauda. The film premiered in London on 2 September 2013 and was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival[30][31] before its UK and US theatrical releases on, respectively, 13 and 20 September 2013.

In 2014, Mangan voiced the title role in Postman Pat: The Movie, a British 3D computer-animated comedy film featuring Postman Pat, star of a long-running BBC children’s series. It was originally due to be released on 24 May 2013,[33] but was pushed back to a year later. Pat’s singing voice was performed by Ronan Keating. Other voice actors in the film included Jim BroadbentRupert Grint, and David Tennant.

Mangan was host of the Evening Standard British Film Awards for four years (2009–2013). On 27 April 2014, he returned to host the British Academy Television Craft Awards in London for a third time. Mangan recorded the role of Cloten in Shakespeare‘s Cymbelinefor the Arkangel Shakespeare audiobook series, directed by Clive Brill.

Mangan is married to actress Louise Delamere. They have three sons.

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Marie O’Neill

Marie O’Neill

Marie O’Neill (Wikipedia)

Marie O’Neill was born in 1886 and was an Irish actress of stage and film. She holds a place in theater history as the first actress to interpret the lead character of Pegeen Mike Flaherty in John Millington Synge‘s controversial stage masterpiece, The Playboy of the Western World (1907).

Born Mary Agnes Allgood at 40 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin, she was one of eight children of compositor George and french polisher Margaret (née Harold) Allgood,[2][3]she was known as “Molly”. Her father was sternly Protestant and against all music, dancing and entertainment, and her mother a strict Catholic.  After her father died in 1896, she was placed in an orphanage. She was apprenticed to a dressmaker. One of Allgood’s brothers, Tom, became a Catholic priest.

Maud Gonne set up Inghinidhe na hÉireann (Daughters of Ireland) in 1900 to educate women about Irish history, language and the arts, and Allgood and her sister Sara joined the association’s drama classes around 1903. Their acting teacher, Willie Fay, enrolled them in the National Theatre Society, later known as the Abbey Theatre. Maire was part of the Abbey Theatre from 1906-1918 where she appeared in many productions.[9]In 1904 she was cast in a play by Irish playwright Teresa Deevy called Katie Roche  where she played the part of Margaret Drybone, there were 38 performances in this production.

Marie O’Neill

In 1905 Molly met Irish playwright John Millington Synge and they fell in love, a relationship regarded as scandalous because it crossed the class barriers of the time. In September 1907 he had surgery for the removal of troublesome neck glands, but a later tumour was found to be inoperable. They became engaged before his death in March 1909. Synge wrote the plays The Playboy of the Western World and Deirdre of the Sorrows for Allgood.

Under her professional name Maire O’Neill, she appeared in films from 1930-53, including Alfred Hitchcock‘s film version of Seán O’Casey‘s play Juno and the Paycock(1930). She made her American debut in New York in 1914 in the play General John Regan at the Hudson Theatre.

In June 1911 she married G. H. Mair, drama critic of the Manchester Guardian, and later Assistant Secretary of the British Department of Information, Assistant Director of the League of Nations Secretariat in Geneva, and head of the League of Nations office in London, with whom she had two children. He died suddenly on 3 January 1926. Six months later she married Arthur Sinclair, an Abbey actor. They had two children but divorced.

Her life suffered a full share of tragedies; she was crushed by her brother Frank’s death in World War I in 1915, her fiancé Synge died before they married, her beloved husband died after 15 years of marriage, and their son died in an air crash in 1942. Her sister Sara’s husband and baby died of influenza during the Spanish flu. Sara died two years before her; they had become estranged.

She died in Park Prewett Hospital, BasingstokeEngland, on 2 November 1952, aged 66, where she was receiving treatment after being badly burned in a fire at her London home.

Joseph O’Connor‘s 2010 novel, Ghost Light, is loosely based on Allgood’s relationship with Synge.