Offaly actor to star in new play in Longford
Local actor Aisling Kearns plays the lead role in the world premiere of ‘The Spin’, a gripping new play in Backstage Theatre, Longford this weekend.
Aisling takes the role of Joanna Jennings, a 27-year-old coping after a recent breakup.
The new play is a meditation on the trauma of grief, its multi-generational repercussions and the depths of love.
Speaking to the Offaly Independent ahead of the world premiere of ‘The Spin’, Aisling said: “The play was written by Eimear Reilly from Longford. It's great working with another midlander. My character Joanna has a breakup and ends up living with her brother. Joanna ends up realising she is very unhappy in her job which leads her to examine her difficult family history.”
“I'm buzzing to get back to Longford. We developed the play there for a week last year.”
According to Aisling, her grá is more towards theatre at the moment. “I get to really dive into a script and character and understand their emotions. It's where my heart lies at the moment.”
Aisling graduated from the Gaiety School of Acting in 2019 and was immediately cast in the leading role of Emma in the remount of Landmark Theatre’s award-winning adaptation of Louise O’Neill’s ‘Asking For It’ at the Gaiety Theatre where it played to sold out audiences across the run.
The Killurin native said: “It was scary at first debuting in the Everyman in Cork and in the Gaiety Theatre. My first professional job was in front of a big crowd. It was an excellent play with a really important message and it was great to play the lead role.”
Well-known for her comedy sketches on social media also, Aisling said she started creating sketches during the pandemic because there was no work in her field. “It was something to pass the time and keep my brain working. I have a natural interest in comedy.” She has managed to rack up an impressive 213,000 followers on Tik-Tok and has received over four million likes on her sketches on the video sharing platform.
She currently plays the role of Maria Purcell on poplar soap Fair City. “I did an audition tape and heard back that I got it the same day. The experience I get on it is great. They're like a family and very welcoming to new actors.”
Aisling added that she bonded well with fellow actor Dave Duffy who has played the role of Leo Dowling since 1996. “I had a great experience filming and I look forward to more filming.”
The young actor also previously appeared on stage in the role of Mairéad in Andrew Flynn’s production ‘The Lieutenant of Inishmore’ at the Gaiety Theatre which she said was a very enjoyable part to play. “I would like to maybe do some more comedy and get more involved in writing.”
Interested in performing from a tender age, Aisling commented: “I've always been in stage school. I started in Tullamore Stage School with Regina McCarthy where my love for it (performing) grew. I was very lucky to know what I wanted to do. There was no other option for me. I plagued my family with performances.
One of the highlights of Aisling's career to date she said was getting signed to Lisa Richards agency. “Getting signed with them was a huge deal after I finished college. That opened up lots of doors for me.”
The former Sacred Heart student appeared in ‘Circle of Friends’ in the Gaiety Theatre in the role of Eve Malone who was one of her favourite characters to play to date. Aisling said she was such a fun character to play as she was raised by nuns and unintentionally funny.
Aisling added: “I have to be careful to distance myself from characters so I don't hold on to their feelings. You have to leave it on the floor and she's (the character) left in the room.”
She will soon appear in the feature film ‘Barber’ opposite Aiden Gillen as the daughter of a private investigator. “It's a huge moment for me to play Aiden Gillen's daughter. The film looks into his professional work and family life.”
According to Aisling, she was terrified going into work the first day given how prolific Aiden's career has been to date but is excited for the film to be released.
Aisling credits her confidence to her parents for the support they gave her in a difficult industry. “They never doubted me from day one.” They also supported Aisling's long road to a career in performing arts by undertaking six years of studies with a BA in Voice and Dance from the University of Limerick and two years spent in the Actor Training Programme at the Gaiety School of Acting.
‘The Spin’ will be staged at Backstage Theatre, Longford on Thursday, September 15 and Friday, September 16 at 8pm. ‘The Spin’ will also take place at the Dublin Fringe Festival. Tickets cost €15/€12 and can be booked by calling 043 33 47888 or on backstage.ie.