Speakers’ Corner: Gerry Walsh
April 27, 2019
Buoys Kitchen Floor Staff Needed
April 24, 2019


Ever since storytelling existed, that crazy little thing called infidelity has inspired some of most beloved kicks of culture.

From Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina to Brief Encounter and The Seven Year Itch, being tempted by the fruit of another has been the engine for many a great drama.

It’s the motor writer Gary Duggan employs for his acclaimed new play, Spotless, following two strangersteen Jenny and fortysomething Genevieve – as they find everyday worries such as Leaving Cert exams and downsizing to a grim block of flats suddenly irrelevant when they discover that they’ve been dating the same man.

It’s a juicy premise, and one that its two actors, Emma Willis (Young Offenders, Darkness On The Edge Of Town) and Ciara O’Callaghan (Fair City, Bridget & Eamon), revel in, aided and abetted by director Aoife Spillane-Hicks and producer Aonghus Óg McAnally.

Coming to The Whale on Friday, April 19th, we managed to catch young Willis as Spotless begins its nationwide debut tour, to talk career, cads and coming of age…

With Darkness On The Edge Of Town and Overshadowed already on your CV, Spotless would suggest Emma Willis has a taste for the noir side of life…? Or is it just following the best work?
It’s just about following your gut, what parts you read and enjoy, what parts you feel you can play well! I never really have a plan for parts I go for it just about going after parts I like!

Having an award-winning writer, a Connecticut child prodigy as your director, the bould Ciara as your co-star, and the mildly legendary Aonghus Óg McAnally as producer, there’s lots of reasons to sign up to Spotless. What sealed the deal for you?
The script! It’s a great script. Gary wrote an amazing play with two amazing female parts. I couldn’t say no.

Did you go Full Method when it came to figuring out Jenny, and her Leaving Cert anxiety and dreams of escape? Or were those feelings already there…?
Well, it wasn’t too long ago since my own leaving cert, so, I remember it well enough!

For those, like me, who haven’t seen the play, were there reference points for you? Famous works, or authors, that share the same colours and flavours?
Gary Duggan’s work is very unique. It’s a very distinct style, not like anything else!

Ciara ran deep in audience’s minds as Yvonne Doyle in Fair City – always a thrill, and a fear, for an actor. So far, so eclectic when it comes to your choices – avoiding any chance of typecasting, or just always hungry for something new…?
I never have a plan. I just follow my instinct, and my gut.

Released in 2014, Darkness proved to be a festival favourite, and Netflix were quick to grab it. The great leap forward for you? Or did that come with The Young Offenders?
Darkness was a great film. I did it when I was only 17, and the whole thing was a great experience for me!

Given that Spotless is fresh out of the oven – how excited and delighted are you, now that it’s finally out in the wild? Or is being anxious every single night part of the job…?
It’s great to get it in front of an audience after having it in the rehearsals room for so long!

Finally, anything exciting coming up for Emma Willis? Have you got plans for world domination, or are you happy being close to home?
Well, Spotless continues to go on tour – to Smock Alley, Galway, Sligo and Cork – until May 9th. So, that’s what’s next for me!

You can find out more about Spotless on Rise Productions’ website here, and go grab yourself a ticket for Friday’s performance here.

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