Sonya Kelly is a writer and actor who has an accomplished career in theatre, film, television and radio. She has written and performed in David McSavage’s very popular THE SAVAGE EYE sketch show. As a solo artist, Sonya has performed her own work in Ireland, the UK and America. She was shortlisted for The UK Funny Women Awards at the Comedy Store in 2006. Sonya wrote and performed her one woman show THE WHEELCHAIR ON MY FACE nationally and internationally. In 2013 it was listed as Critic’s pick in The New York Times. Sonya was also the Winner of the Scotsman Fringe First Award for this show at the Edinburgh Festival (2012).

Sonya will next appear in HOW TO BE AN ALIEN at The Civic on Friday 6th – Saturday 7th November 2015.

We had a quick chat with her in advance of the show.

Could you tell us a little about your journey into acting, and how it all happened for you?
I studied Drama in Trinity, read books and made friends for four years. When I graduated, I wrote to every theatre company in the country. One of these letters was to the Gate Theatre. They asked me to do a general audition. I was the last person they chose to put on the list. It went very well and they gave me five jobs in a row. I was off.

What do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?
Take anyone’s expectations of you and multiply them by ten. This is what you call your own personal standard.

What’s your favourite part of the process of acting?
Having the craic. Laughing and getting it right. Hearing the material land in the ears of the audience with resonance and empathy.

‘How To keep an Alien’ is based on your own life. Is it harder to write a memoir or fiction?
Hitchcock once said, ‘Drama is real life with all the boring bits cut out.’ When it comes to shaping a dramatic narrative out of real life events, no truer words were said.

If you hadn’t been a writer/actor, what would you have done?
I would have made everyone I know utterly miserable.

What do you hope audiences will take away from watching ‘How to Keep an Alien’?
Laughter, tears, bunnies…all of the feelings. Are bunnies feelings?

What’s next for you?
I have four Word documents open with four different ideas in various states of disarray. I will disappear and try to bring at least one out of the mire.

And finally, what was the last TV show you binge-watched? How many episodes did you see in a sitting?
Transparent on Amazon Prime, the story of a father in his sixties who transitions to a woman. It is the most perfect thing I have ever watched on a screen.

How To Keep An Alien comes to at The Civic on Friday 6th – Saturday 7th November 2015 for 2 nights only. Tickets are €18 & €16 concession and are on sale from our box office – 01 4627477 or online here