Lorcan Cranitch: ‘The Queen asked me a question. I did a complete eejit on myself but I made her laugh’
Lorcan Cranitch (63) is an actor known for his great versatility. From Dublin, he trained at RADA, London and went on to have an amazing career on stage and screen. He has appeared in Cracker and Bloodlands and returned to the Abbey Theater for Ibsen’s Ghosts. He lives in Dublin and has a son, Robel (13 years old).
I’m a big Batman fan. One day, my friend and I borrowed our father’s loose shirts. We jumped off the roof of the garage with the belief that we could indeed fly. We almost committed suicide. I grew up on the Southern Circle. We live quite close to the canal and I have a dream to build a small boat and go into the sunset, doing the Huckleberry Finn all the way down the canal to Dolphin’s Barn.
Choose tthree words to describe yourself.
Affectionate, stubborn and generous.
The best advice you’ve been given?
For work, I’d say, learn your lines and don’t bump into furniture. And your business is unfair. Only one person will play Hamlet. If 15 increases for it, 14 doesn’t get it. It’s not anyone’s fault. It is just that.
The best advice you give?
The program does not have to continue. It was not a life-and-death situation. People fall into such a state about this profession. Life will go on even if the play doesn’t take place. And enjoy your life as much as you can.
Why are you an actor?
It’s the funnest thing to be able to deliver great language. There’s nothing more rewarding than delivering lines from Shakespeare, Chekhov, Friel or Tom Murphy. Giving emotion to those beautiful words is the most rewarding thing in the world.
You have come to Terenure University, which many people associate with teachers abusing students. But can you tell us about the theatrical traditions there?
No one denies any abuse happened there, but before that there was a lot of great things going on at Terenure College. And it’s important to say that. I had a great time there and I really love this school. There’s a tradition of drama there that goes back to the days of Donald McCann, Bosco Hogan and Philip O’Sullivan. There is the Brennans family – Stephen and his brother Paul. And the Grennells – Nick and Michael. I have participated in many plays.
How would you describe your role in Ibsen’s the spectre?
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I play the role of the maid’s father. The play is about the dangers of extremism and narrow-mindedness. It resonates with our place in this country in relation to mother and baby homes.
Why do you like acting on stage?
That’s the most exciting thing when you feel your audience turn to you with approval. I don’t mean clapping. I just mean they are listening to you. You can’t get that anywhere else.
Best memories of starring in BBC’s cozy crime series Death in Heaven?
I am a victim of murder. In the first shot, I was the corpse at the water’s edge. A gentle wave swept over me and we had to do it again. The director came to apologize for not cutting earlier, but I said, ‘don’t worry, man’. The water is 32 degrees.
Celebrating meeting Queen Elizabeth II?
When I was at RADA in 1981, she was its patron saint. And to celebrate RADA’s 75th anniversary, there will be a royal visit… All actors are given instructions on how to behave. You are asked to say ‘Mam’ – as in ham – not ‘Mawm’. And if she walks into a classroom, we’ll all just go on like nothing happened – that’s weird.
The door opened and the Queen entered, followed by John Gielgud and a photographer. We ignore them completely. Strange. Then the teacher asked me to read a poem. Finally, the Queen asked me a question. I was tongue-tied and forgot everything I had to say. I made a complete joke about myself but I made her laugh.
Landmark Productions and Abbey Theater present Henrik Ibsen’s ‘Ghosts’, a new version of Mark O’Rowe, in theaters April 19 (preview April 15) until May 13. abbeytheatre.ie
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/theatre-arts/lorcan-cranitch-the-queen-asked-me-a-question-i-made-a-total-eejit-of-myself-but-i-made-her-laugh-42391285.html Lorcan Cranitch: ‘The Queen asked me a question. I did a complete eejit on myself but I made her laugh’