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Friday People: Rosemary Jenkinson

We ask personalities about the special relationship in their lives

The 47-year-old is a playwright and poet from Belfast. Her new play, Basra Boy, opens next week in the Baby Grand studio at the Grand Opera House, Belfast


I met Nigel Baxter when we were both working as civil servants in the disability access office in the CastleCourt centre in Belfast. Nigel always jokes that the our friendship has lasted longer than the jobs did. Although we used to go out we've still managed to be great friends. He's very funny and caring and he loves to party even more than me.

I have three French friends, all girls, that I met about 10 years ago when I shared a house with one of them. They're Solenn, Soizic and Julie.

Finally, there are another couple of guys, John Boy and Jonathan who I met randomly in pubs over the years. I've had a long social career and I've met a lot of people in pubs.


My dad was a master mariner which sent him all over the world and has given him an alternative outlook on life. Mum was an art teacher who spent most of her time at Grosvenor Grammar School, in Belfast.

After dad retired from the high seas he was offered a job as harbour master in Berwick-upon-Tweed so my parents relocated there about 25 years ago and they're still there.

We're very close, though, and speak on the phone every night.

I have an older brother, David, who lives in South Africa now – he's a geologist so he moved down there for a job in a platinum mine. He is now married to a girl called Merle and they have a daughter, Faith, who is eight. He comes home every three or four years – Christmas was the last time and it was great to have a big family reunion.

As mum was an art teacher I've always been encouraged to be creative and I've always written. Mum and dad are really supportive of what I do – as long as I have money coming in!


I also met Gemma McGimpsey when I was a civil servant and we have stayed in touch over the years. Gemma has travelled a lot and she has a totally non-judgemental outlook on life. I always go to her with all my secrets and fears. We used to go out drinking a lot but she now has a son, Noah, so we don't do it as often as we used to.


There have been so many over the years so I'm going to choose the most recent ones. The first is Hanna Statte, who is the literary manager of Tinderbox Theatre Company and helps me to develop plays. The next person is Paula McFettridge of Kabosh Theatre Company, who's always been supportive. Finally, Belfast playwright Owen McCafferty has been a major help in developing this play. He's given me some fantastic tips in hammering out the script and was great to work with. My writing can have quite a hard edge but he's really helped me find the humanity in my characters.

My secret crush is ... Brendan Fraser

He was in The Mummy and he was so macho and just gorgeous. He was the one who killed all the mummies instead of being a mummy's boy. I also loved him in Bedazzled – he played this really geeky guy who can't get a girl. You know in real life he's fighting women off, though.


I would like to ask the writer Brendan Behan so I could have a bit of craic with him. Next, I would ask the French writer Colette, as I've always been a fan of hers and would love to pick her brains. For even more entertainment I would like the character Borat (left), played by Sacha Baron Cohen, to join us too. Finally, to take care of the food I would ask Raymond Blanc – I can't cook!

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