Memoirs of West Cork-based actor to be published in October

Sweeney and O’Donovan have acquired the rights to publish A Life in Many Acts, the memoirs of West Cork-based actor Fiona York.

Born in Co. Waterford, Fiona spent most of her early years living with her parents and two brothers in Kenya before studying music and acting in London. Since then she has had a busy and successful career, including a stint as Penelope Wilson-Drake in RTÉ’s Fair City and appearances in a host of films such as Oliver Twist starring Richard Dreyfuss and in David Copperfield. She also worked for the BBC in several costume dramas such as The Silver Spur and Redgauntlet and for ITV’s Emergency Ward 10.

Theatre, however, is her first love, and she received critical acclaim for Rose, a one-woman play by Martin Sherman about the odyssey of a Jewish woman from a tiny Russian village to the Warsaw Ghetto and to a ship called The Exodus and finally to the United States. Fiona toured extensively with the play in Ireland and to Australia, South Africa, France, and Scotland. She has also appeared in several West End productions.

She is as passionate about growing things as she is about the stage, and this has been an important source of income for periods of her life.

“Hands in the earth, head in the air. I think that might describe me,” says Fiona York. “All my life I have mixed gardening and performing, and it is a beautiful mix – I would recommend it to anyone.”

“After the adrenaline rush of being surrounded by talented people, of trying to learn lines, of trying to do something close to what the director is looking for, there is the coming home part, getting my head out of the clouds – fingernails filthy and joints creaking as another row of something is planted. Grounded once again.

“My vegetables take pride of place really. They are my food and sustenance, but followed by the overgrown chaos of my flowers, lupins, hollyhocks, delphiniums – brilliant swathes of colour to cheer every day.”


A Life in Many Acts is scheduled for publication in October 2022.