Looking Deadly is a comedy-drama that offers insight into the world of the Funeral Director and some of the best known traditions associated with Ireland. Created by and starring Keith Singleton and Niamh McGrath it runs at the Civic 4 – Sept. We had a chat with Keith in advance of the show and this will be his first time to perform at the Civic (even though he lives less than a kilometre away!!!)
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and where you grew up?
I grew up in Belgard in Tallaght during a time when The Square hadn’t been built and Rovers were playing in Milltown. I remember having an excellent childhood running wild and free and playing football morning, noon and night on the front green. I was no Robbie Keane but thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and was often in charge of knocking in to get everyone out to play. I better stop typing here, I’m starting to relive my childhood!
What sparked your interest in theatre?
I did a couple of shows with the Stillorgan Player’s when I was sixteen because I fancied a few girls from Stillorgan and wanted a reason to be around them. The girls never took much notice of me (way out of my league), which was a shame I suppose, but I really enjoyed the shows……. When I left secondary school I hadn’t a clue what to be doing with myself. The Guidance Counsellor at my secondary school asked me what did I think I was good at, I said “Making people laugh”, she said “Just make sure they are laughing with you and not at you”. In truth I didn’t really understand the difference. As long as they were laughing I was happy out. One of my very best friends Rosco filled out an application form for me to go to Performing Arts College. Which is sound, because I went along, loved it and have been acting ever since.
Tell us about some career highlights?
My third acting job was as a Merman. Big time bucket list! I toured the World with an Aqua-theatre version of ‘The Little Mermaid’. The set was built in a pool and all of the cast wore tails and mono-fins. This sounds like I’m talking about a dream I had but it actually happened. I was so lucky to be a part of that tour. I got to be part of a travelling circus called The Smile Project a few years back and went to Nepal for a month touring our show down valleys and up mountains. That was an amazing experience. We could start doing our show in front of a crowd of fifty and by the end of the show there could be five hundred people watching.
Have you ever done any other jobs?
I’ve had so many non-acting jobs but didn’t stay in any of them for very long. I have been a Travel Agent, a Janitor, a Waiter, a puller of pints and a painter of skips. I used to work in Argos and Pizza Hut in The Square. I even got a summer job at a carnival in New Jersey when I was twenty one. I worked on ‘The Supercade Derby’. Roll the balls, get the scores and so on and so forth. I had to speak in an American accent because no one could understand my Irish accent. Most people I met thought Ireland was in London. Sigh. I’m delighted I got to try so many things. Jobs were plentiful back in those days.
What can Tallaght audiences expect from Looking Deadly?
They can expect a good laugh and they might get a little teary. They’ll got to see two Actors working very hard and at break neck speed. Also, Niamh McGrath is an Actress that all Theatre fans should get the chance to see in action. By going to ‘Looking Deadly’ you’l have done just that.
What’s next for You?
I’m lucky that I have a few jobs lined up after our tour of ‘Looking Deadly’ because that’s not always the case. I’ll be doing a half-mask show with Big Telly Theatre Company in Belfast called ‘Freak Show’. I’ll be Panto’ing in Armagh this December. Playing the Genie. And I’ll be doing a dance show with an an amazing Choreographer called Eileen McClory. This is really exciting because I don’t get to do many dance shows. Because I can’t dance! Good luck Eileen!
Tell us a random fact about yourself?
I get “Fellaini” shouted at me a lot. Particularly if I’m in a bar. I’m a United fan though so no problemo.
TUES 4 – SAT 8 Sept