‘Muse of Fire’ Documentary Now Available on iTunes

The Shakespeare documentary, Muse of Fire, by Giles Terera and Dan Poole, and featuring an interview with Jeremy Irons, is now available to rent or buy on iTunes.

Click here to go to iTunes

Muse of Fire itunes  muse of fire screencap

Plot Summary

Funny, passionate and exciting: Muse of Fire will change the way you feel about Shakespeare forever. This unique feature documentary follows two actors, Giles Terera and Dan Poole, as they travel the world to find out everything they can about tackling the greatest writer of them all. Together they have directed and produced an inspiring film that aims to demystify and illuminate Shakespeare’s work for everyone: from actors, directors, theatre goers, students, to the man on the street. Their adventures take them to Denmark with Jude Law, Hollywood with Baz Luhrmann, Prison in Berlin, Shakespeare’s house in Stratford Upon Avon and Judi Dench’s back garden. Think Shakespeare is boring? Think again! Featuring: Dame Judi Dench, Ewan McGregor, Sir Ian McKellen, Jude Law, Tom Hiddleston, Sir Derek Jacobi, Julie Taymor, Dominic West, Fiona Shaw, Alan Rickman, Baz Luhrmann, Zoe Wanamaker, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Christopher Eccleston, Simon Russell Beale, Sir Nick Hytner, Peter Hall, Melvyn Bragg, Toby Stephens, Frances Barber, Rory Kinnear, Dominic Dromgoole, Sandy Foster and many more.

Exclusive! – Fan account of Jeremy’s appearance in Rome

Italian fan Ambra Corti has contributed this first-hand account of Jeremy Irons’s appearance at the Viaggio nel Cinema Americano, sponsored by the Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma.

[Translated from Ambra Corti’s original Italian]

The event in Rome was wonderful! I never thought my emotions could be so great and overwhelming. Jeremy Irons is a wonderful actor and a very fine man, calm and charming and is one of the few actors capable of doing major showbiz productions and supporting charities beyond all expectations, a more extraordinary person there never was!

With his English manner, in the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, he was beloved by everyone, including me,with the power of his warm and seductive voice.

During the evening, we were shown some of the scenes from his films such as The Mission, Lolita, The House of the Spirits, Reversal of Fortune, M. Butterfly, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Stealing Beauty, Kingdom of Heaven, Dungeons and Dragons, of course, accompanied with comments.

Of The Mission, speaking of the relationship he had with DeNiro, he said:
“At the time, filming went really slowly and DeNiro asked for a lot of takes. When I arrived on the set I was dissatisfied with the choice, I would not accept having to work with an actor who was not trained as I was. With every passing day our antagonism grew until it burst into a furious argument, but it subsided thanks to our producer. Since then we have become great friends.”

Of Lolita he said: “Many found it crazy that I could be like a villain, but I think there are people in the world capable of committing terrible acts and still be humorous, and if I’m not mistaken, here in Italy you have a Prime Minister …” he said with a grin. He did not say the name, but everyone in the room who knew all related, and all burst out laughing!  He went on to say: “I did not want to do Lolita because I was convinced that this film would cause me many problems with the passage of time. Adrian Lyne asked me to make this film for 2 years in a row, saying that if I had not accepted the part, he would not have made the film. Glenn Close was to convince me that it was a classic story and had all the right elements for a good movie and a good job.”

I remember that the presenters did ask a question about the Labour Party, who Jeremy once supported. Eventually, there were 4 or 5 questions from the audience (including me).

I remember one in particular, even though it was more of a statement than a question.
A lady, who was from Ischia, pointed out some events took place many, many, many years ago.
At the time, Jeremy was 17 years old and the lady was as well. She said that they had a [brief relationship or a date] and he played the guitar and she was fascinated.

Immediately after this lady, I made my application (Jeremy was directed to me when I raised my hand to speak) and I think I started in the worst and most embarrassing of ways. I said: “Carramba, what a surprise!” referring to the situation the first lady spoke of, and I do not think that he took that very well, but that may just be my impression.

When I asked the question I was very nervous! I wasn’t standing when I asked the question; I was sitting, because even if I was standing I would have fainted! I do not even know how I had the courage to do it, my heart was bursting, I surprised myself!

The real question that I did was: “You have not yet spoken of The Lion King! I want to know how do you dub a cartoon?”

He explained the various technical things that he had to do before moving on to comment directly on Scar. Of Scar he said: “It’s the ugliest animal! Because, unlike Mufasa (played by James Earl Jones) Scar is dry, skeletal, has a bad mane and tail hair has not, however Mufasa is strong, beautiful, strong with the bushy tail!”

Jeremy did not speak Italian at all and the woman sitting next to him on stage acted as his translator. At the conclusion, I and about twenty people went up to the stage in hopes of an autograph, but he was gone. It was a wonderful and unforgettable evening!

Photos and more from the US/UK Exchange

Photo by Ben Carpenter

Photo by Ben Carpenter

Photo by Ben Carpenter

At the Old Vic New Voices US/UK Exchange launch on 23 February, Jeremy Irons read from TS Eliot’s Four Quartets .

Many thanks to Corinne Furness, who attended the launch, for this account of the event:

“Jeremy Irons was introduced at the event as representing the T S Eliot foundation (who are sponsoring the exchange) who had asked him to read some of Eliot’s work. He was clean shaven and had his trousers tucked into a pair of boots!

Before he did the reading he told a story about going to New York for the first time: He was filming on a boat on the way back from New York but it meant he had a few days in New York. He was walking down Madison Avenue and asked someone where Fifth Avenue was – the man replied ‘what do you think I am – an information bureau?’ which he thought was a brilliant line (Only Jeremy got the punch line of that wrong to start with saying ‘what do you think I am – an employment agency?’ and then joked that he was thinking ahead of himself). He then said he went into a shop and there was a man talking as he bought a cigar and all that Jeremy could think was ‘everyone here talks like they’re in a movie’ and, subsequently, that for a long time whenever he had to do an American accent he thought he sounded like he was in a movie and that there was something disingenuous about it.

He then went on to say that he’d read Eliot’s poetry before with Eliot’s widow Valerie and that he ‘must have done something right’ as they seemed to like it. He then read from the first section of Four Quartets (‘Burnt Norton’, part 3) before saying that he had to leave to go rehearse!”

According to the Old Vic New Voices twitter feed, over 400 people were in attendance at the launch.

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Jeremy Irons part of TS Eliot US/UK Exchange at Old Vic

Jeremy Irons and James Earl Jones have been confirmed as guests for the 2010 TS Eliot US/UK Exchange programme for the Old Vic New Voices.

More details will soon be available at http://www.oldvictheatre.com/ovnv.php

The New Voices Club is a year-round professional development programme for actors, directors, writers and producers, aged 18-25, living in London. We also run a sister programme in New York, the New Voices Network, for 21 to 30 year old practitioners. Members must demonstrate an exceptional talent, a deep commitment to a career in theatre and a passion for peer collaboration.

The Club and Network offer support for members to realise projects that they are passionate about, and host a dynamic series of workshops, talks and networking events.

The annual highlight is our T.S. Eliot US/UK Exchange – an expansion of our old Exchange program, that now offers 50 British and 50 American artists the chance to explore theatrical life on the opposite side of the Atlantic.

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At the Old Vic New Voices US/UK Exchange launch on 23 February, Jeremy Irons read from TS Eliot’s Four Quartets .

Many thanks to Corinne Furness, who attended the launch, for this account of the event:

“Jeremy Irons was introduced at the event as representing the T S Eliot foundation (who are sponsoring the exchange) who had asked him to read some of Eliot’s work. He was clean shaven and had his trousers tucked into a pair of boots!

Before he did the reading he told a story about going to New York for the first time: He was filming on a boat on the way back from New York but it meant he had a few days in New York. He was walking down Madison Avenue and asked someone where Fifth Avenue was – the man replied ‘what do you think I am – an information bureau?’ which he thought was a brilliant line (Only Jeremy got the punch line of that wrong to start with saying ‘what do you think I am – an employment agency?’ and then joked that he was thinking ahead of himself). He then said he went into a shop and there was a man talking as he bought a cigar and all that Jeremy could think was ‘everyone here talks like they’re in a movie’ and, subsequently, that for a long time whenever he had to do an American accent he thought he sounded like he was in a movie and that there was something disingenuous about it.

He then went on to say that he’d read Eliot’s poetry before with Eliot’s widow Valerie and that he ‘must have done something right’ as they seemed to like it. He then read from the first section of Four Quartets (‘Burnt Norton’, part 3) before saying that he had to leave to go rehearse!”

According to the Old Vic New Voices twitter feed, over 400 people were in attendance at the launch.

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Jeremy Irons to be a presenter at Whatsonstage.com Awards

Cat Stars, Sister & Rat Pack Launch WOS Awards
Date: 3 November 2009

Just days after their London opening in the transatlantic transfer of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Broadway stars James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad and Sanaa Lathan will help launch one of the biggest events in the West End: the TENTH ANNUAL Whatsonstage.com Awards, the “theatregoers’ choice”. This year’s glitzy launch party, at which all of the artists and shows in the 2010 awards running will be revealed, is held at Cafe de Paris, at lunchtime on Friday 4 December 2009.

The three Broadway stars, who have a collection of Tony Awards and other US accolades between them, will be our special guest co-presenters, reading the shortlists for the shortlists of nominations across the 20+ awards categories. The 2010 Awards cover the 2009 theatregoing year, running from 1 December 2008 to 30 November 2009. (As Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opens on 1 December 2009, the three actors and their production will be considered as part of the 2011 Awards.)

The Americans will be joined by British stage and screen legend Jeremy Irons, presenting on behalf of this year’s adopted charity, Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass, which gives young people the chance to learn from and be inspired by leading artists (See News, 29 Sep 2009).

There will also be three live musical performances. Patina Miller, who won rave reviews earlier this year for stepping into Whoopi Goldberg’s shoes as Deloris von Cartier in blockbuster screen-to-stage hit Sister Act at the London Palladium, will prove why she’s “Fabulous, Baby” in the show. And the ever-smooth Frank, Sammy and Dean from Christmas with The Rat Pack at the Adelphi Theatre will get guests in the festive mood with some croon-worthy seasonal classics.

Last but not least, in honour of the tenth anniversary of the Awards, the stars of satirical musical comedy hit Jest End, which returns this month for a five-week season at Jermyn Street Theatre, will perform a special celebratory medley.

Top (l-r): Patina Miller in Sister Act; Jeremy Irons; Bottom (l-r): Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’s James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad and Sanaa Lathan with co-star Adrian Lester; Jest End; and Christmas with The Rat Pack.

Charity, voting & sponsors

The nominations phase of the 2010 Whatsonstage.com Awards has now opened – click here to nominate your favourite shows and artists! After the launch party, the race is on to decide the eventual Whatsonstage.com Award winners, with voting on the shortlists opening on Monday 7 December 2009 and continuing until the end of January. Results are announced and awards presented in front of a live audience of theatregoer voters at our Winners’ Concert on Sunday 14 February 2010 at the West End’s Prince of Wales Theatre.

Both Awards events are held in aid of this year’s adopted charity, Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass, which gives young people the chance to learn from and be inspired by leading artists (See News, 29 Sep 2009). Set up by the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 1998, the hugely successful Masterclass programme has now welcomed over 40,000 people aged 17-30. Events are given free of charge and occur at least one Friday a month throughout the year, focusing on all aspects of theatre from acting and directing to writing and producing.

Though Masterclass events are designed for those at the start of their careers, theatregoers and others, of whatever age, are also welcome. The Masterclass Benefactors scheme (priced £55 per annum) has been set up for this purpose. It includes: access to over 12 events a year, an annual friends’ party and special ticket offers for Theatre Royal Haymarket productions. Details can be found at www.masterclass.org.uk.

For more information on the charity and our corporate sponsors in relation to the Awards, please visit our awards microsite later this week. For the first time this year, we’re also making a limited number of sponsorship packages available to individuals. For information on theatregoers’ packages, click here.

 

 

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