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All the best: Maire Campbell on her favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

The 39-year-old is the artistic director of Youth Action Northern Ireland and is currently working on a new production of Macbeth. She lives in Belfast with her partner, Katherine.

My best moment

There are a couple. The first one was a few years ago, when I was in a show called Nunsense in Omagh. It was one of those nights where the crowd laughed so hard and the whole thing came together perfectly. My other best moments are when I spend so long working with a cast and I see them on stage with the whole performance coming together.

My best way to relax

I really don’t relax that much. I suppose, if I want to take a moment, I would light a candle in an empty church to get away from it all. Failing that, I like nice food and hanging out with my friends.

My best bit of advice

You don’t have to like every little thing about everybody, but you do have to love them. That’s from my mum and she was just reminding me that love is everything. It takes the pressure off liking all the tiny things about people.

My best job

It has to be the one I do now. I trained at the Gaiety School of Acting and was an actress for a long time before I changed direction and went to work for Coca-Cola as their head of public affairs. Then, two years ago, I took the job with Youth Action as artistic director. I had been directing on and off while I worked for Coca-Cola, but doing it full-time is wonderful. This is such an amazing organisation and does so much for young people that it’s kind of an honour to work here.

My best song

It’s called A Piece of Sky and it’s sung by Barbara Streisand in the film Yentl. It’s about being brave, finding your own goal in life and having the courage to follow your own path.

My best gift

When I was 10, my mum bought me a tape of Judy Garland singing and my love of musical theatre kicked off from there. I just fell in love with her voice. I was also bought the complete box-set of the Golden Girls by a friend last year. I haven’t watched the whole thing yet, but I absolutely adore Bea Arthur and think she’s the best comedian on the planet.

My best achievement

I wrote a film, which will be released in the run-up to Christmas, called The Christmas Star.  It has Bronagh Waugh and Rob James-Collier, who plays Thomas in Downton Abbey, in it.  It’s Cinemagic Ireland’s first-ever Christmas feature film.

My best buy

I’ve bought a ticket to travel to the Holy Land in September. My faith is something that’s important to me.  This is something I’ve always dreamed of doing from a very young age.

My best film

It’s called Stepping Out, with Liza Minnelli, about a group of amateurs who take a dance class. I adore Liza — and  Shelley Winters, who is also in it. I love an underdog story.

My best book

It’s a small book called I Am With You by John Woolley. I’ve had it since 1998 and I read a page each day. It’s always like a brand-new book every time I read it.

  • Macbeth, Youth Action, College Square North, Belfast, April 15-18. For tickets and information, call 028 9024 0551

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