Aaron Monaghan

Aaron Monaghan
Aaron Monaghan

Aaron is a brilliant young Irish actor best known for his stage work with Druid Theatre of Galway.   He was born in Cavan in 1980.   He has featured in films in “Ella Enchanted” and “Deep Breaths”.   He was born in Canan in 1980.

Article from “Galway Independent” in November 2013:

Fans of Galway’s inimitable Druid Theatre will be well acquainted with Cavan actor Aaron Monaghan, who has become a fixture in the company’s work over the past ten years. Having been centrally involved in both the DruidSynge and DruidMurphy collaborations, Aaron is once again treading the boards under the direction of Garry Hynes in Druid’s upcoming production of ‘The Colleen Bawn’, which opens at the Black Box Theatre on Thursday 5 December.

The play is now in its fourth week of rehearsals and despite being smothered with a winter flu, Monaghan’s enthusiasm for the challenge of the project is clear, as he reports that it is “all singing, all dancing, all laughing at the moment”.

The Boucicault work pushes music to the centre of the action, with live musicians performing at each show on the play’s nationwide tour. Describing the development process as “tough”, Cavan actor Monaghan predicts that the finished production will have “a lot of music in it, a great love story and a lot of comedy as well”.

“The live aspect is great because I think Boucicault wrote so much music into it, both as musical numbers and stage direction, that it highlights certain emotions that the characters are going through and underscores that. When you are playing that live, it is great to have musicians watching that drama unfold and supporting it. It feels like it is happening in the moment and brings a fresh aspect to it,” he says.

Monaghan plays Danny Mann, a character he describes as a “complicated” one, who brings together a blend of darkness and “huge innocence”.

“He is a servant of one of the heroes of the play and he is absolutely in love with him, he can do no wrong. He doesn’t like to see his master caught in any bad situations and hates to see him in this situation of being married beneath him and married to a woman that he can’t quite bring into the world,” he explains.

“He’s quite a loyal character but, in a way, there is a darkness to him as well. He almost oversteps the mark out of love for his master and brings about the ruin. He sets up a lot of plot and put a lot of things into work that carry the story of the play.”

‘The Colleen Bawn’ will be staged at the Black Box next month and Monaghan says he is looking forward to the experience, feeling that the widescreen aspect of the theatre will lend itself to the “cinematic scope” of the play.

“It is one of those plays that is so epic. Boucicault was writing for big auditoriums and asks the actors and production to live up to that level of performance. It will be interesting with the Black Box as it will allow us to play with that size so we are really looking forward to getting in there and seeing if we can live up to that.”

Monaghan was last month unveiled as one of the actors in Druid’s new permanent ‘Druid Ensemble’ who will be associated with the company and productions for the next three years. Others include Marie Mullen, Marty Rea, Rory Nolan, Maelíosa Stafford and Garrett Lombard and Monaghan describes the achievement as an “absolute honour” that will allow he and his fellow actors a more creative and collaborative role in the direction of upcoming Druid projects.

He adds that the ensemble model also allows for the development of a “shorthand” between the actors and director Garry Hynes, a benefit that is already reaping dividends for the company.

“There’s always been an unofficial relationship anyway but I think it changes things in the room. People are pitching in constantly now in a way that you wouldn’t in an ordinary rehearsal room because you’d feel ‘it’s not my right to say this’ or you might feel a bit wary. It’s led to a much more productive environment, it’s great. Everybody is helping everybody out and there’s no hierarchy. It’s great.”

Having filmed two movies earlier this year, Monaghan admits that he also hopes to develop his television and film career in the years to come but adds that theatre will remain his “first love”.

“The TV/film thing is something that I would like to get a bit more experience with and get better at because they are such different mediums and such different ways of working,” he said.

“I went off to do a show in London during the summer and the thing about that was I was completely terrified on the first day of rehearsal because I didn’t know anybody in the room. It was like being back in college and that was really wonderful; it was the challenge that I was looking for. That said, it was lovely to know that I was coming back home to Druid and very familiar waters with what feels like a family now.”

The above article can also be accessed online here.

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