Jeremy Irons in The Dream

An outstanding BBC production called “The Dream” (1990) was adapted by Murray Watts from “The Dream of a Ridiculous Man”. “The Dream” is a monologue of an utopian vision of heaven of earth. Director: Norman Stone – Staring: Jeremy Irons. (In 5 parts Total time 40 minutes)

Jeremy in Simon Annand’s book ‘The Half’

For 25 years, Simon Annand has been touring Britain’s leading theatres, taking photographs of actors during “the half”: the sacrosanct half-hour just before a performance when the actor is in the dressing room, preparing to go on stage. As Kevin Spacey explains, “It can be 30 minutes of quiet contemplation or utter fear, depending on how the performance has been going.” Now, Annand has collected these images into a book that reveals players from Vanessa Redgrave to Daniel Radcliffe in their most private and sometimes vulnerable moments, before they put on their public faces and go out to confront the audience.

Whatever theatre actors do during the day, each evening they go on stage to give a performance as “somebody else”.

The dressing room is a physical space that allows for concentration and privacy so the psychological negotiation between the actor and this fictional character can take place.

When ‘The Half’ is called over the loudspeaker backstage, it is the start of a 35 minute countdown to facing the audience and there is no escape.

It is rare to see actors at this point in their work.

Over 25 years SIMON ANNAND has been given unprecedented access to photograph this in-between world that the audience never sees.

Jeremy presents UK Teaching Award

Jeremy participates in UK Teaching Awards presentation

Fund-raisers saddle up for hoe-down

A FUND-RAISING hoe-down has raised £2,100 towards extending a nursery.

Dressed in their best stetsons and cowboy boots, parents and friends of Rainbow Corner Day Nursery packed into Jeremy Irons’ and Sinead Cusack’s barn in Watlington, which the couple had donated for the evening.

The acting pair even joined the party for some line-dancing as the evening went on.

Guests enjoyed a pig roast, salads and home-made chocolate brownies — all washed down with Tequila shots.

A nursery spokesman said: “We want to thank Jeremy and Sinead for the kind loan of their barn.

“We also want to say a big thank you to all the parents who supported us and to the committee and staff who made the whole event possible.”

Jeremy turned down role in ‘Unforgiven’

‘I Turned Down Role in an Oscar-Winning Movie in Favour of Richard Harris.. He Was Much Better Than I Would Have Been’
Sunday, October 19, 2008 5:52 PM
(Source: Sunday Mirror; London)trackingBy IAN MARKHAM-SMITH

OSCAR-WINNING star Jeremy Irons has revealed he gave up the chance of a gritty role in the hit cowboy film, Unforgiven, so that late Irish acting legend Richard Harris could take the part.

Irons had long wanted to get a role in a Western flick so he was delighted when Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood, who directed the movie and also starred in it, offered him the role of gunslinger English Bob.

But Irons, who is now 60, read the script and believed he was too young for the role at the time the 1992 film was being made.

Instead Irons, who has now landed his first cowboy role in new Western adventure Appaloosa, thought the more mature, Limerick-born Harris, who died in 2002 at the age of 72, was ideally suited for the brutal role.

Irons has no regrets about being left out of Unforgiven which went on to win four Oscars including Best Picture and was nominated for five more.

But he said he is thrilled to finally be in a Western, playing an antagonistic American cattle baron opposite Viggo Mortensen, Renee Zellweger and Ed Harris, who also directed Appaloosa, which opened in the United States last Friday.

Irons said: “I’ve always ridden horses and like most people, I was sort of brought up on Westerns.

“They don’t make many now and although Clint Eastwood had asked me to do Unforgiven I said ‘No’.”

Irons, who was 44 at the time, revealed: “I’d read the script, and I thought, ‘I think I’m too young for this.

You should ask Richard Harris’, which Clint did.

“Of course, Richard made a great success of it and I think was a lot better than I would have been.

“When Ed asked me to do Appaloosa, I’d just finished doing a play in London, and was feeling like doing a movie.

“I could see that he had this dream to make this picture and Viggo was on board, and Renee was on board. And I thought, ‘Oh, we’ll have fun’.”

Since finishing Appaloosa, Irons has been appearing on the London stage, but he said: “Really, the stage-work is because I haven’t found the compelling work in film.

“I think it’s something to do with getting older.

You know, there are a lot of us chasing the roles.

“If you think of people like Bill Hurt, Kevin Kline, Dustin Hoffman, they don’t work that often, because there aren’t that many roles around, which they really, really want.

“You know, in your 30s and your 40s, that’s when the roles come.”

Irons also believes the fact that living in Ireland and England means that he is not immediately thought of for roles: “I’m not part of the film community. I think that is a slight disadvantage, because out of sight, out of mind, a little bit.”

The actor has revealed he now owns several homes in Ireland – as well as a couple in Britain – and his empire is expanding.

So much so that he bashfully admits he has to take on some roles simply for the cash.

He added: “I have two homes in England. And five in Ireland. So it is sort of crazy.”

Irons, who is married to second wife Irish actress Sinead Cusack explains: “We have a place in Dublin, because my wife has a Dublin son, and a grandson, she likes to get over and see, and she wants to have a home there.

“I have the castle down in West Cork, which I did up over six years, which I adore. I also have a little cottage where we used to toil before.

“I love property. I love doing up property. And that’s tended to be where I put my money.”

Irons confessed that he does not sell properties: “I find these wonderful places and can’t bear to get rid of them.”

He says he has his acting career to thank for his love of property: “The great thing about filming is that you have these gaps.

“You go off and you work for four months, and then you can afford to do nothing the next four months.”

He also admitted that he took his starring role in the 2000 adventure fantasy Dungeons And Dragons because it represented yet another brick in his Irish castle.

Irons said: “I need to earn my wages. What I hadn’t realised was that the director of that picture was very inexperienced, and therefore it wasn’t going to really work.

“But I’m afraid I had my palm crossed with silver. And so there’s an element of pragmatism.”

(c) 2008 Sunday Mirror; London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.

Jeremy attends premiere of “Hunger”

London. October 17, 2008. Actor Jeremy Irons walks the red carpet for the film premiere of ‘Hunger’ by director Steve McQueen at the Leicester Square Odeon in London. It was part of the 52nd BFI London Film Festival which runs until October 30th.

Stars of stage sculpt artistic drama

Stars of stage sculpt artistic drama

Louise Jury, Chief Arts Correspondent
13.10.08
Drama Queens

STARS of the visual arts and theatre have united for the British premiere of a short play at the Old Vic in which sculptures were brought to life.

A cast featuring Kevin Spacey, Joseph Fiennes and Jeremy Irons gave voice to half a dozen modern sculptures including works by Sol Lewitt, Jeff Koons and Giacometti which were remote-controlled on stage.

The performance, devised by artists Elmgreen and Dragset, heralds a run of shows opening alongside the Frieze Art Fair. Elmgreen and Dragset have a show at the Victoria Miro Gallery.

from http://www.thisislondon.co.uk

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13/10/2008

Sol Lewitt and Barbara Hepworth flirt at the Old Vic

Bravo to the Old Vic for presenting one of the most weird and wonderful British premieres I’ve seen in quite some time.

Drama Queens, the brainchild of German artists Elmgreen and Dragset, presented five remote-controlled sculptures on stage with the actors providing a live voiceover from the sidelines.

Joseph Fiennes played an abstract, angular sculpture by Sol Lewitt flirting monstrously with a Barbara Hepworth sculpture played by Lesley Manville.

Spacey himself gave voice to an infuriatingly chatty silver rabbit based on the famous work by the American Jeff Koons. Jeremy Irons played Giacometti’s tall thin walking man while Alex Jennings voiced a solid granite oh-so-Germanic untitled block inspired by the German artist Ulrick Ruckriem.

The unique performance at the Old Vic served as a prelude to what will be one of the biggest weeks in the visual arts calendar with a massive run of exhibitions opening in London alongside the Frieze Art Fair. Elmgreen and Dragset have their own show at the Victoria Miro Gallery which has been turned into a dark gay club….

The evening was also a major fund-raiser for the Old Vic. The theatre hopes to use the proceeds to initiate a new wave of collaborations between the worlds of art and theatre modelled on those already seen in dance and visual arts with the likes of Juliette Binoche and Akram Khan working together at the National Theatre. It’s an idea with mileage.

As Kevin Spacey, the theatre’s artistic director, told me: “It’s a unique opportunity to merge these two areas of cultural life that rarely come together and, by coming together, show how much we have in common.”

The evening certainly won major art world support with the likes of Sir Nicholas Serota and Serpentine head Julia Peyton-Jones, artists including Tracey Emin, Isaac Julien and Peter Doig, the designer Ron Arad, and a multitude of top collectors including Anita Zabludowicz and the American Doug Cramer, producer of TV hits such as The Love Boat.

Fiennes said he took part because he was a big supporter of the Old Vic and: “I read the piece and it made me laugh.”

Irons added: “Arts and theatre are two rather separate worlds at the moment and they shouldn’t be.”

An auction at the VIP party at the Victoria Miro Gallery afterwards raised thousands more pounds for the Old Vic. The eventual total will include £25,000 for an Elmgree and Dragset sculptor and another £10,000 bid by the artist Chantal Joffe for a suite of drawings by Tracey Emin recording the madcap evening.

Congratulations to the lot of them.

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Here’s a video of a previous production of ‘Drama Queens’ to give you an idea what the show is like:

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Jeremy, Kevin Spacey and others were also seen at the Victoria Miro Gallery for the VIP afterparty and auction.  Photos can be viewed here:  WENN Photo Library
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