Billa O’Connell (part 1)
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Billa O’Connell (part 1)


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This recording was made in George’s Quay, not far from where Billa O’Connell worked with Beamishes as a travelling salesman, and prior to that delivering for Thompsons. He recalls his family’s background in market gardening and the early part of his career as an actor, performing in small halls, and his nervousness before each performance. He performed in pantomime for 51 years. In the Father Mathew Hall at the age of 17, he was first asked to play the dame, a part he was to play over and over again. The aspect of repetition in playing in shows night after night never seemed to dull his interest. He married at the age of 25, and he fondly recalls meeting his future wife. This recording provides descriptions of the slang words associated with acting, the characters, and the work involved in producing the pantomimes. He has a lasting memory of rehearsing for ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ in the Opera House on December 12 1955, the day the Opera House burnt down.

Additional information



Audio series:

Cork city, first series


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

67.07 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:


Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe