Three times Irish Times Irish Theatre award-nominated actor and writer Clare Monnelly is known on stage and screen for roles with Druid Theatre Co, The Abbey Theatre, Axis Ballymun, The Gate Theatre, Livin’ Dred Theatre Co and many more, as well as Moone Boy (Seasons 1 – 3), Identicals (2015) Electric Frank (1998) and Nowhere Fast, a new RTÉ2 female-led comedy created by Alison Spittle. In 2018 Clare was awarded the Jim McNaughton / TileStyle €10,000 Artist Bursary at the Allianz Business to Arts Awards. She is currently using this award to develop new work in partnership with Axis. Clare was also recently awarded a special development bursary at this year’s Stewart Parker Trust Awards.

Clare takes her critically acclaimed play ‘Charlie’s A Clepto’ on tour this month, opening in The Civic on 11 March and we had a chat in advance of the show!

Can you tell us a little about your background and where you grew up?
I grew up in Ballinteer, not far from the Civic. I’m the youngest of three.

How and when did you get into acting?
I started drama classes in the Irish Children’s Theatre Group in Churchtown when I was 8, and I fell in love. I had been doing all sorts of after school activities up till then, but they all quickly fell away. I started telling everyone that I was going to be an actor when I grew up.

What has been your career highlight to date?
It’s so hard to choose! But I think writing, performing and now touring Charlie’s a Clepto is up there. I’m extremely proud of the show and so delighted to get to bring it to so many new venues and audiences on this national tour.

What inspires you?
People who work hard. This is a mad industry to make a career in and the people I admire and look up to in it are the ones who work really, really hard and make long lasting careers for themselves.

Can you tell us a bit about the back story behind Charlie’s a Clepto?
The inspiration for Charlie came to me when I was sitting in the social welfare office waiting to see if they’d give me the dole. Her voice was so clear in my head, and I started writing. I performed a 20 minute version in the Collaborations Festival in Smock Alley Theatre, and later applied for a bursary to develop it in axis Ballymun. They liked it so much they decided to produce it, and we’ve been collaborating together since.

What can our audiences expect?
An extremely fast paced, hilarious, exciting and heartbreaking story about a girl everyone will recognise.

What’s next for you?
I’m back in the Abbey Theatre this summer with the remount of The Unmanageable Sisters, and my second play Minefield will be happening later this year.


Charlie’s A Clepto
11 – 15 March