Insider Tips

Once in Dublin

By Visit Dublin

11th November 2015

Three stars of Once, the Musical share the reasons the city means so much to them...

Dubliner Phelim Drew plays Billy in the show, which he says is “rooted in the city”. He recalls a childhood spent exploring his hometown with his dad; the late, legendary folk musician Ronnie Drew. Phelim’s favourite haunt is gorgeous hidden gem Marsh’s Library, an atmospheric space nestled away in the heart of the city. “My memory is of the smell of old books and wood”, he says. “It’s three hundred years old, and it hasn’t changed very much”. It’s just one of many highlights in a city famed for its cultural offering
But there’s an incredible buzz to the city too, as lead actor Sam Cieri (who plays Guy) found out when he first arrived! The New Yorker was charmed by his first cycle along the Grand Canal; “so old and full of character”. Heading down across the Samuel Beckett bridge, he was struck by the gorgeous views – both of Dublin Bay to the east, and the buzzing cosmopolitan city full of bars, restaurants and cafés, to the west.
However, it’s also easy to “get out of the city and connect with the natural world”, as Megan Riordan (who plays Girl) discovered. She recalls a magical trip with the rest of the cast on the DART (train) to Howth, a charming seaside town on Dublin’s coast. A walk up Howth Head offers stunning panoramic views of the crashing sea and Dublin Mountains, and Megan says she felt “an incredible connection to other people”. Howth is just one of the many villages dotted along the coast, where you can blow away the cobwebs with an exhilarating hike, take a dip in the sea, and of course, sample the delicious fresh seafood the region is famed for.

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