During a recent visit to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford upon Avon to see a performance of Twelfth Night, I arrived with just enough time to purchase a programme and find my seat before lights down.
Aislin McGuckin On Stage
Suffice to say, I could not have been too enthralled because my mind drifted back to Newry Town Hall (yes!, it was Town Hall during my time there). I recalled quite vividly, amateur productions that were as ‘professionally’ performed, in my humble and perhaps biased view as the one I was currently watching!
Was it perhaps, a case of those rose-tinted specs again? I think not. After all, Newry does seem to have an ability to turn out talent of a high calibre.
As my attention and concentration returned to Stratford and the play being performed, I was drawn to the character, the Countess Olivia, who was undoubtedly giving a splendid performance: I was pleasantly surprised to notice that she had an Irish accent, albeit a polished Irish accent, but there was a definite northern twang.
During the interval I had ample time to peruse the programme and to discover that the Countess Olivia was being played by one Aislin McGuckin. She appeared to be an actress with considerable experience in theatre, television and film work. So, who was this paragon and from where did she hail? I was keen to know more!
On my return home it was simple enough, with the aid of my computer, to research Aislin McGuckin. Imagine then my dumbfounded surprise to find that Aislin not only hails from my home town but is also, like me, a past pupil of the Sacred Heart School!
So, ok, I hold up both hands! I plead guilty to possibly being the only person from Newry, indeed maybe the whole of the Irish Isle, who was not aware of yet another star in our galaxy. I am now! And I shall track this particular star’s journey with very special interest.
I do realize of course, that Aislin is only one of many talented people from Newry who have followed their dream and made it to the ‘big time’.
I extend my personal gratitude to one and all. Long may they choose to entertain and amuse those of us with lesser talents.
A graduate from the Rose Bruford Drama College, Aislin received critical acclaim for her role as Dolly in Sebastian Barrie’s ‘Steward of Christiandom’.
She has starred alongside Pierce Brosnan, Stephen Rea and the late Richard Harris. She has appeared in the popular ITV drama, “Heartbeat”, as the new doctor.
P.S. We are delighted after a short absence, to have Carmel grace our humble pages once more!!