GomBean is a comedy set in a sleepy town in Sligo. Delivering a lock-down dose of caffeine fueled fun GomBean opens a lid on Grace O’ Malley’s new coffee van venture……..  We spoke to writer and performer Niamh McGrath.

Can you tell us a bit about you? Where did you grow up?
I’m from Enniscrone in Co. Sligo. A stunning sea side town. I was very lucky to grow up with so much nature and freedom. Was always off on adventures. I got into acting in national school, playing the wicked witch in The Wizard of Oz. My heart was set on the scare crow because I thought he was so funny, but shouting at everyone as the witch was so much fun. It’s the only villain I’ve ever played.  Once I stepped on stage, that was it. Love at first glare!

Tell us about your background in the arts?
I studied drama in Galway. I was with Galway Youth Theatre for 2 years and from there I was cast in a National Youth Theatre show in The Peacock, and from there I got a small part on the Abbey stage. I always loved physical theatre and clown, and so I proceeded to take many courses with fantastic professionals over the years, including training in Clown Through Mask in Toronto with the brilliant Sue Morrison. I’ve had the pleasure of working along side many amazing people over the years; touring around the country and overseas, including a run in The West End with Alone it Stands. I love my job for so many reasons. And getting to perform my own one woman show and take it around the country is the absolute icing on the cake.

Have you been involved in any productions in The Civic before or what do you know about us?
The first time I performed in The Civic was in Alone it Stands over 20 years ago.  I was an original cast member so we always enjoyed bringing the show to The Civic. It was always packed and the atmosphere was just fantastic. The welcome we received was just brilliant. The next time I returned to the Civic, I was in  The BFG directed by Veronica Coburn. Again, we had such a wonderful time there. It was a magical show.
Back in 2017 myself and Keith Singleton (A Belgard native) brought a show we co-wrote to The Civic ‘A Show in a Bag’ called Looking Deadly. We booked out the studio, so we were delighted with ourselves.

What can Tallaght audiences expect from your show?
The Tallaght audience can expect a lot of fun. The show is full of laughs, full of heart and full of characters.

Tell us a random fact about yourself?
Many times I tried to run away to the circus as a kid, and even as a young teenager. I’ve always been fascinated by clowns and circus, and in a way, now I have my very own circus. I’ve a van called Nirvanah, which is touring up and down the parishes with me. The set neatly packed in the back. Each venue is like my own personal circus tent and I get to perform, play and clown in front of audiences around the country which is my absolute dream job.

What’s next for you?
I’m touring GomBean until Mid May with other dates later in August and then it’s back to writing again. I’ve a show that I’m writing for The Ballina Arts Centre called Them Were Giants. So hopefully that’ll be ready for stage in autumn.

GomBean 9 -11 Feb
8:15 pm
Studio Theatre