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Tara Lynne O'Neill on her favourite things

Amazing play: actress Tara Lynne O’Neill is excited at appearing in Lally The Scut
Amazing play: actress Tara Lynne O’Neill is excited at appearing in Lally The Scut

By Kerry McKittrick

The 39-year-old is an actress and lives in Belfast. She will be appearing in the ensemble play Lally The Scut at The Mac Theatre this month.

My best moment

I suppose it’s doing this show. I’ve never been in a play with a cast as huge as this and they’re some of the best actors in Northern Ireland. I’ve worked with most of the people here individually but it’s fantastic having everyone in the same room and this is an amazing play. It’s not that often that an amazing play is handed to you and you get to be part of it. With the recent arts cuts it might be the last time we get to see that many actors on stage together.

My best way to relax

I love to garden. I love this time of year when it starts to come into the summer and I can start to get outside again.

My best bit of advice

When you’re in a hole, stop digging. My dad told me that years ago and it’s the best advice ever — I’m a talker and it was my dad’s way of telling me to stop talking.

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My best job

I’ve done lots of jobs, from bar work to walking around dressed as a giant chicken. I’ve always enjoyed working with kids, too, so any kind of community project I’ve been involved with I’ve really enjoyed.

I failed GCSE chemistry when I was 16 and realised my dream of becoming a dentist went down the drain. Then I took part in a summer youth theatre project doing West Side Story alongside professional actors and for the first time met people acting for a living in Northern Ireland. I didn’t think you could do that before — I thought you had to live in America.

My best song

It would be Eddi Reader singing Moon River. I’ve seen her live a few times and she does an impression of her mother singing that song. The lead-up to it is very funny and then the song itself is very poignant. Either that or Hole In The Ground by Bernard Cribbins, as it makes me laugh.

My best gift

My sister gave me the biggest book, which was an encyclopedia of gardening. It’s brilliant, and it has the added bonus of being a great doorstop. I think it was a Christmas present.

My best achievement

It will hopefully be this show. Just to be sharing the stage with these people and be part of the best of the best feels wonderful.

My best buy

I bought a ticket to Zimbabwe about 13 years ago. My nephew was out there working so I went to visit him for three weeks. It’s the most beautiful place with wonderful people and a wonderful arts scene. My niece came with me, so it was a bit of a family holiday. It’s the kind of place I wouldn’t have gone to without someone being there to visit.

My best film

It’s an old 1951 film called Ace In The Hole, with Kirk Douglas. He was so handsome back then and it’s a really entertaining film about a newspaper reporter desperate for an exclusive story. My favourite movie changes on a weekly basis but sometimes the old ones are the best

My best book

I’d choose detective novels by Jo Nesbo, called the Harry Hole series. I’m a bit of a reader so I love those.

  • Lally The Scut runs at The Mac Theatre, Belfast, from April 14 until May 2. For details, visit

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