10 Minutes with 'Gutted' Playwright - Sharon Byrne

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Oct. 4, 2019, 9:03 a.m.

10 Minutes with 'Gutted' Playwright - Sharon Byrne

(First published by The Irish Post on 28th Sept 2019)

Dublin playwright Sharon Byrne’s latest play 'Gutted' was inspired by the hard-working Irish women employed at a fish factory close to her childhood home. The play tours the UK between October 2 and 29 2019.

Gutted's performance at Dugdale on 25th October is SOLD OUT, but you can still get your hands on tickets for other performances on the tour - Visit www.gutted-theplay.com for full listings.

Who are your heroes?
Women who have stood up to the establishment. Who have fought for change or broken the glass ceiling in industries. Nora Ephron was a great writer and director, she wrote plays and screenplays. She won a Bafta for best original screenplay for When Harry met Sally – a great script.

What’s been the best decade of your life so far and why?
My 40s because it took me a long time to gain success with my writing and a very long time to have my son. I feel more complete now although I still have to work very hard in my career to prove I am worthy of success. I’m not sure why that is. I also feel more confident in my world and feel I am deserving. I didn’t always feel good enough.

What record sends a shiver down your spine?
David Bowie – Changes.

What is your favourite place in Ireland?
Malahide, Dublin.

What makes you angry?
Trump and Boris and plastic killing our beautiful planet. Cruelty to animals. I can’t look at videos on social media of this kind of stuff. I think humans need to be kinder, more compassionate.

What book influenced you most?
A self-help book – Feel The Fear & Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers. It was recommended by a friend. It’s about going for it, taking risks in Life and taking responsibility for our own happiness in life. And of course, James Joyce, The Dubliners. Epic writer.

What was the worst moment of your life?
Being told I couldn’t have a child.

Which local star in any field should the world outside Ireland know about?
Katie Taylor, an Irish boxer and currently lightweight undisputed world champion since 2017. I watched a documentary about Katie recently, she is an inspiration. She has defeated the narrow minds of men in the field of boxing, proving them wrong about the fact that women can’t be successful boxers. She’s changed attitudes.

If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?
Mortality, not losing the ones we love.

What is the best lesson life has taught you?
If you fail, try and try again.

What is your favourite film and why?
My favourite movie is Muriel’s Wedding. It’s a black comedy but it’s poignant. It’s about family, friendship and loyalty and how friends stand by you despite who you are and what kind of upbringing you have.

What do you believe in?
I believe it’s important to embrace change and personal growth. To stand up for what you believe is right.

What trait do others criticise you for?
I’m stubborn.

What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?
Better Things, a comedy about a single mum.

Who is/was the love of your life?
My son and my dog.

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