Paul Dodd - actor takes centre stage at Melbourne Fringe festival

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A CLONDALKIN man will be centre stage at a show at this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival, playing the lead male role in a comedy called ‘A Close Call’, after being successfully cast in the role at his first audition since moving to the Australian city last May.

Paul Dodd, who is a Ballyfermot College of Further Education graduate, has also worked behind the scenes on AMC’s popular television series ‘Into the Badlands’ as a camera and video trainee, but his passion lies in acting.

Paul Dodd

Paul Dodd

Paul honed his craft in The Bow Street Academy of Screen Acting in Smithfield and has performed in both serious and comedic productions.

The show is a part-cinema, part-stage performance which takes a comedic look at the responsibilities and, sometimes dire, results of love and sex.

Paul took some time out to speak to his local paper about his career so far, and his decision to move Down Under.

Why did you decide to pursue a career as an actor?

My main passion is acting, and it has been for as long as I can remember, but over the last ten years it has been my main drive and focus in life. I started on the other end of the camera, having spent four years studying television and film, with a Higher National Diploma in Film, at Ballyfermot College.

From there, I grew as an actor, gaining experience in student films to small roles in a number of television series such as ‘The Tudors’, ‘Ripper Street’, ‘Can't Cope, Wont Cope’ and ‘Republic of Telly’.  

How did your career progress from that point?

In 2013, I landed a lead role in the film ‘Bound’, which was a story about a boxer, that was directed by Gerard Walsh. I earned a nomination for Best Actor at the 2014 Underground Film Festival for that role.

I went on to further my training as an actor and graduated from The Bow Street Academy of Screen Acting in 2016 and landed a couple of small gigs, mainly in advertisements and online sketches.

What prompted you to move to Australia?

The move to Australia came about simply due to the fact of the age restriction for the Working Holiday Visa. I turned 30 in August, so it was a matter of now or never.

Things were picking up back in Dublin, but also this opportunity was quickly turning into a ‘what if?’, so myself and my partner Helen decided to get the visas and make the move.

What impact has moving to Australia had on your acting ambitions so far?

Leaving Ireland also meant leaving behind all the contacts I've made in the industry, so it has been a complete hit of the restart button. After a bit of a holiday in Sydney, I got the head down and started looking into making new contacts.

I set up an online profile on an Australian acting site and began applying for jobs, and within a week I had my first audition with a production company called Troubled Dreams.

They were putting together a half-screen, half-stage production for the Melbourne Fringe, which they then cast me in, and I honestly couldn't have asked for anything better.

What’s the show about?

The production is a one-hour show called ‘A Close Call’, with roughly 15 minutes of it on screen, being blasted from a projector, and the rest is broken up with stage performance from myself and another actor, Alexandria Paige.

The story looks at a couple who meet through speed dating and end up forced together after a night of unprotected sex.

'A Close Call’ has been running in Club Voltiare at the Melbourne Fringe Festival since Thursday, September 13, for a five-night run. For further details check out

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