INTERVIEW WITH SALLY O’LEARY/ADELE IS YOUNGER THAN US

tweety stuff @ronanfromcork

first published in @The Evening Echo 2017-02-09

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For actor and writer Sally O’Leary growing up in Fermoy wasn’t so much soundtracked by pop music as laughter, “for as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to work in comedy. I would watch hours and hours of comedy ranging like ‘The Office’, ‘Gavin And Stacey’, ’Saturday Night Live’ and ‘30 Rock’. My iPod was full of comedy podcasts and stand up rather than songs!”
Sally’s ambition was clear from an early age, “I’d always wanted to go to a drama school in London. A lot of the actors I admired trained there and I wanted to follow in their footsteps. I auditioned for LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) where I found myself surrounded by likeminded individuals, it was clearly the right place for me.”

While the training at LAMDA gives a wide array of skills, Sally found herself gravitating to creating her own work, “after graduating, as a young Irish actress in London the roles offered were slim. I was often being typecast and was not allowed the opportunity to be silly and play a range of characters. I really wanted to have a stab at writing the type of show I’d want to watch, and also be in it too!”

Once again Sally’s comedy heroes inspired her to be creative, “I’d read the biographies of my favourite actors and writers such as Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling and Ricky Gervais, before going on to have amazing careers they all started by creating their own work – and writing the parts they wanted to perform.”

She devised a whole show with her classmate Rhiannon Neads, “we realised we had so much in common, we both hadn’t discovered haircuts to suit our face shape; we both regularly found ourselves being cast as men; and we were both in love with guys that didn’t love us back! ‘Adele Is Younger Than Us’ came from a place of being in your late 20s and having a little ‘oh crap’ moment. You see so many younger successful celebrities and think, what have I been doing with my life?”

Rather than wallowing in that and complaining, they decided to make ‘stand up musical’ on those themes, “we wanted to write a funny response to that feeling, and in doing so realising that we are all in the same boat, everyone is just figuring things out. The show takes you on a journey of Rhiannon and me trying to write the perfect love song like Adele does, but  what are you suppose to draw on for that smash hit when you are in your late 20s with little to no relationship experience!”

Sally and Rhiannon consider Adele as the hero in the show,  so opposed to parodying here they are celebrating her, “I think the great thing about Adele is that she always comes across very down to earth and relatable. That’s why we love to compare her journey to that of ours in the show. She has had her heart broken, drank too much, and probably sent embarrassing text messages just as much as the next person. She was just able to turn her mishaps in romance into multi million dollar selling records. She’s got 10 Grammys, 8 Brits and an Academy Award, whereas the two of us have managed two years of unemployment and four failed driving tests!”

‘Adele Is Younger Than Us’ has received great feedback and several 5 star reviews, but there is one specific person’s feedback Sally has yet to get, “we’ve had so many audience members try and tweet and contact Adele to get her along, it would be so surreal!”

The touring of the show has got Sally into a few funny scrapes, “a lot of people think it is actually Adele on the poster and not me, it’s definitely just good lighting mixed with a great hair and make-up artist! There was even a moment during the Edinburgh festival when we performing it there last year, while eating in a Japanese restaurant, the waiters saw my flyers on the table and thought I actually was Adele. I had to sign an autograph as her and everything and run out of there before they realised!”

The duo, who perform as Stiff and Kitsch, are working on two other projects, “we are currently recording the songs and intend to release them later this year. We are also in the process of developing a new show ‘By All Account Two Normal Girls’, which is a real life quote from a real life reviewer who came to see this show!”

‘Adele Is Younger Than Us’ runs at the Cork Arts Theatre on Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 February at 8pm. Tickets available at €12.50/€11 and can be booked by calling the box office on 021 450 5624 or online at www.corkartstheatre.com.

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