Aaron Heffernan joins us in our virtual 11 Questions booth today providing some of the most surprising answers we’ve ever encountered. Aaron plays Francis Flute in upcoming A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is also his YV debut.
Describe your character in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in three emojis?
🚹 ⏭ 🚺
What’s it been like working with Joe Hill-Gibbins?
This is my first time working with big JHG and I think I speak for the whole cast when I say it’s been a terrifyingly totalitarian, spirit-shattering experience. The process is solely based around breaking the acting company down psychologically as individuals and peeling back the layers of physical and mental strength that our life experiences have afforded us to date. So by learning and performing words from an old, old story we are expected to really expose the weak and transparent fallibility of the disgusting stain that is the human soul. Which I honesty feel is going quite well?
Which Dream character would you pick as your Valentine ❤ and why?
From all the wonderful characters of the Dream narrative I would have to choose Puck as my Valentine if it came to it. And it’s not just because he’s the only other Irish actor in the cast. Not only would he be good craic but on the night, if the date was going sour and I realised I wasn’t into his buzz he could just whip out his magic little flower and squeeze some of its sweet love juice into my cocktail and I’d be head-over-heels with his witty nymphish quips and rough Northern charm in no time.
What was it that first got you interested in the theatre?
Having been reared by my parents on an eclectic diet of the best music, television and film spanning the last four centuries and amidst the many galaxies of stimulating art forms that cosmically spun trough my mind as a young man, I remember that it was when I was taken to see France’s Footsbarn Theatre Company perform in a tent on a metal frame suspended on Dublin’s River Liffey that initially set my burning hunger for theatre ablaze. I was around 11 or 12 years old and seeing this travelling troupe of virtuosic performers dancing, jamming, acting and puppeteering back & forth and up & down the straw-peppered floors of the big-top circus tent was mind-blowing. Now I co-run a dance-choreographing, music-making, scene-writing and, most of all, puppeteering travelling theatre troupe of my own, expeditions of which include tours in Ireland, Scotland, London, Moscow and New York; and gratitude for which I afford to Footsbarn. It was this consistent artistic excitement that my family and school teachers provided that kept me in the game.
What is your favourite play (seen, read or worked on)?
My favourite play to watch is any one of the many plays I’ve done that have been recorded so I can watch the footage of myself in plays that I’ve been in. As for my favourite play to read, I’d say that would have to be Of Mice & Men by John Steinbeck. It’s a novel, I know, but… I like to read it like a play and imagine the school production I saw in my formative years as a young man looking up to my older, less talented peers. My favourite play to be in is anything Shakespeare or anything with puppets, and my favourite song is Chasin’ Waterfalls by TLC.
(L to R): Joe Hill-Gibbins, Aaron Heffernan & Michaela Barth in rehearsal for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Photo by Keith Pattison.
There’s a common conception that hearing about other people’s dreams are boring. Tell us about your least-boring dream. 😴 zzzz
The most exciting, most recent & least boring dream of mine took place last Wednesday and, as ever, saw me firing arrows made from hard pasta at bottles of sausages while riding bareback atop an androgynous centaur. But when I dismount the beast it turns into a melting oil painting of Theresa May.
If you hadn’t become an actor, what job would you be doing now?
In this bizarre upside-down world of backwards ridiculousness that sees me doing something other than this, if I wasn’t acting myself I would be teaching speech, drama and stagecraft to non-humanoid species. The thrill of seeing wild and dangerous animals like dolphins or spiders performing passages from Richard III or All My Sons can be the only logical next step in western entertainment.
Who is your ultimate hero and why?
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is my ultimate hero as his trajectory is a masterclass in relentless hard work and unflinching genre-spanning brand management. I would love to morph into him for a day/year.
If you could have any one supernatural power which would you choose and why?
The superpower of being able to morph into Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson for a day/year.
What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?
10 minutes before the show I will be most likely looking in the mirror or if there are no mirrors near me then I will be looking in my reflection in the reverse-angle camera of my phone.
Okay, so this is actually only 10 Questions because Aaron’s dinner party guests answer is lost in the ether, but we’re on the hunt for it so watch this space! In the mean time, check out the A Midsummer Night’s Dream rehearsal pictures, and book your tickets now to see Aaron and the rest of the cast in the Main House 16 Feb – 1 Apr.