Playwright Johnny O'Callaghan discusses Who's Your Daddy?
- Allan Radcliffe
- 28 July 2012
This article is from 2012.
The play is based on O'Callaghan's own experiences as a single man adopting a Ugandan child
Was it difficult to make a piece of theatre out of your own life?
There was almost a need to write the story. I had to get it out of me. It was funny discovering the adoption took nine months – how I felt pregnant, craving processed meat even though I was a vegetarian. I think the most challenging part of it was to tell the story as it happened, not to censor it – show all my flaws.
You play all the characters in this story. Which of these were the most challenging to create
My Irish family was the most fun. My mother’s first word were, ‘Who do you think you are, Angelina Fucking Jolie?’ when I told her I had met my Ugandan son. I find the audience love the family the most, probably because they express what the audience may be feeling when they hear my story. I think the biggest challenge was probably playing myself – and revealing the truth of where I was at the time – when I went on this odyssey.
Have you been surprised by reactions to the piece?
The biggest surprise is the most conservative and religious the person the bigger the impact the show seems to have on them. They really cared about me and understood what I was doing. I must tap into something that I was not conscious of while writing it. Or maybe because it is about family, love and following your heart.
You’ve adapted the piece for film. Who would be your ideal choice to play you?
Ideally I would like to play myself. A lot of big Hollywood Producers wanted the rights to the movie on the condition I would not play it. I think it will be more interesting to see the actor who lived the story play the part. So look out for Who’s Your Daddy? at the movies really soon starring Johnny O’Callaghan. Fingers crossed.
Who’s Your Daddy?, Assembly Hall, 623 3030, 4–26 Aug (not 13), 10.30pm, £11–£12. Previews 2 & 3 Aug, £8.