Friday, 01 July 2016

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Dillie Keane

…is an actress, singer and comedian. Olivier Award-nominated, she is perhaps best known as being one third of the comedy cabaret act Fascinating Aïda, but has also enjoyed a successful solo career with her one-woman shows.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m just about to set off for New York and I’m taking my solo show there, which is very exciting.

When are you at your happiest?
When all my gizmos work and don’t let me down.

What is your greatest fear?
A long and painful death.

What is your earliest memory?
Being pushed back down in my pram by an au pair. I was trying to sit up and she kept pushing me back to lie down and I wanted to sit up.

What do you most dislike about yourself?
My ability to say yes to too many things.

Who has been your greatest influence?
Tom Lehrer, probably.

What is your most treasured possession?
A statue from my grandfather’s house. It’s exceptionally beautiful. It’s a statue of a woman caught in the act of trying to keep her clothes on. It’s called Sorpresa and it’s so pretty.

What trait do you most deplore in others?
I’m a fairly tolerant person really because I have so many useless traits myself.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
The fact that my legs aren’t like they used to be. I had wonderful legs and now I have ballooning knees.

What is your favourite book?
I don’t have one, but if I have to name something it would be Independent People by Halldór Laxness.

What is your favourite film?
It’s A Wonderful Life.

first-imp-590-2Independent People is among Dillie’s faves, along with It’s A Wonderful Life, Rossini and spaghetti alle vongole

What is your favourite record or piece of music?

The Archduke Trio by Beethoven, with Sviatoslav Richter on piano.

What is your favourite meal?
Spaghetti alle vongole.

Who would you most like to come to dinner?
Fats Waller and Rossini. They’re an easy choice.

What is the nastiest thing anyone has ever said to you?
Clare Higgins, the actress, when she was very young and drunk, said to me ‘you’re so ugly’. I boxed her ears.

Do you believe in aliens?
Aliens? No. Life elsewhere, though, I do.

What is your secret vice?
Lolling about, I think.

Do you write thank-you notes?
Yes.

Which phrase do you most overuse?
‘Better than a slap across the belly with a wet fish.’

What single thing would most improve the quality of your life?
A full-time assistant.

Tell us one thing people might not know about you.
I don’t have my full complement of teeth. I had two molars removed when I was young to make room for my teeth because my jaw was two small.

What would you like your epitaph to read?
‘Well nothing can go wrong any more.’ 

Dillie Keane will be performing at Henley Festival on Saturday 9 July: 01491-843404, www.henley-festival.co.uk


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