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Relatively Speaking: Mother and son, Priscilla and Conleth

By Karen Ireland

Lurgan-born actor Conleth Kane, who now lives in London, is currently appearing at the Grand Opera House, Belfast, in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. His mum, Priscilla Kane, now retired, says she is his biggest fan.

Name: Conleth Kane

Age: 31

Occupation: Singer and actor

Relationship to Priscilla Kane: Son

Being in panto allows me to combine my three favourite things - acting, Christmas and spending time with my family.

There are 12 shows a week in panto which can be gruelling but great fun. Honestly, I love going to work every day.

I moved to London from Lurgan 13 years to go to drama school and I never came back. Fortunately, I have always had work.

My television work has included shows such as Casualty and I have appeared on the West End stage and travelling West End productions.

There has also been a good response to my Christmas song River, which is on iTunes - it's getting a lot of airtime on Cool FM and Downtown.

I always wanted to produce a song and it felt like the right time to do it. River was recorded with Van Morrison's band and I am very proud of it.

Right now I am happily single and enjoying being at home with my family for Christmas.

My mum is my best friend - she is always in the front row of every show or gig I have ever done. Growing up, she was the one who encouraged me to act and took me to rehearsals every week.

She told me I could be whatever I wanted and encouraged me to follow my dreams.

I told my mum that I was gay when I was 16. I knew she would love and support me, no matter what, and she always has.

We talk every day on the phone. I will be out at a nightclub in Soho, London, and mum will ring me from Lurgan to make sure I am okay. She can't go to sleep if she doesn't hear from me.

My mum is generous and would give you her last penny.

She always told me the most important thing is that I am happy. The older I get, the closer we become. It's my turn to look after her now, just like she has always done for me.

Name: Priscilla Kane

Age: 62

Occupation: Retired

Relationship to Conleth Kane: Mother

I retired a couple of weeks ago from my job in Tesco. I loved my job and working with the customers, but I am looking forward to enjoying my retirement, too.

For me now life is all about my family. I have been married to my husband, Gerard, for 44 years and we have four children - Edel (43), currently living here, Michael (39), who lives in San Francisco, Conleth (31), and Dearbhla (28), who lives in Australia.

Edel plans to move to Australia soon and that will be all of the children living outside Northern Ireland. I am proud of all the children and glad they have spread their wings and moved away. There are more opportunities for them where they are living.

Conleth has always been well-mannered and well-behaved. It's great to see him being such a successful actor and I love going to see all the shows he is in. I could burst with pride. It came as a surprise when Conleth told me he was gay when he was just 16. But, like I told him, it didn't change anything - I still loved him just as much and was very proud of him for being so brave.

I told him he was my son and I would always stand by him. I'll always be there for him 100% - no matter what. He knows that.

I must admit hearing Conleth's record on the radio does makes me feel very emotional. He is very talented and I think there is a big future ahead for him.

At a successful stage...

  • Conleth moved to London in 2003 to study for three years at the prestigious Conservatoire of Musical Theatre 'ArtsEd'. Upon graduating, Conleth went straight into Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit touring musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, followed by an international tour of Walt Disney's Beauty and the Beast
  • He landed his first West End job in the controversial musical comedy Naked Boys Singing!, and also appeared in musicals here including The Wizard of Oz and Molly Wobbly, both at the Lyric Theatre
  • The star is no stranger to the TV screen as he landed role in Casualty in 2009.
  • Conleth is appearing in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Grand Opera House, Belfast, playing the role of Skipper alongside May McFettridge and X Factor star Chico until January 10. For information and details on tickets, visit

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