Jeremy Irons to Star in ‘Long Day’s Journey into Night’ in 2016

Richard Eyre will direct Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville in Long Day’s Journey into Night, as part of the Bristol Old Vic’s 250th Anniversary Season.   from


© Alastair Muir



Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville will star in a new production of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night as part of the Bristol Old Vic’s 250th anniversary season next year.

Richard Eyre will direct the production, which marks a further collaboration between the director and Manville, following their work together on the Olivier-winning Ghosts. Irons returns to the stage for the first time since starring as Harold Macmillan in the National Theatre’s production of Never So Good in 2008. [Actually, Jeremy was in The Gods Weep in 2010.]

Long Day’s Journey into Night, widely considered one of the greatest tragedies of the modern age, takes place over a single day and follows ageing actor James Tyrone and his wife Mary and their family as they struggle through financial hardship and drug addiction.

Eyre said: “The first play I ever saw – at the age of 15 – was at Bristol Old Vic. To be back here over 50 years later to direct… Long Day’s Journey into Night – one of the greatest (and saddest) plays ever written – is a real privilege.”

The 1956 play will be one of four new productions that will each celebrate one century in the theatre’s lifespan.

Jeremy Irons at ‘Mr. Foote’s Other Leg’ After-party

Jeremy Irons was at the after-party, following the Press Night performance of “Mr. Foote’s Other Leg”, at the Hampstead Theatre in London.  The play is based on the book by Ian Kelly and is directed by Richard Eyre.  The play stars Simon Russell Beale, Micah Balfour, Sophie Bleasdale, Joshua Elliott, Jenny Galloway, Ian Kelly, Dervla Kirwan, Forbes Masson, Joseph Millson and Colin Stinton.  The entire run of the play is SOLD OUT.

Photos by Dan Wooler/REX Shutterstock

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In Georgian London no one is more famous than Samuel Foote. Satirist, impressionist and dangerous comedian, he has become a celebrity in a city and at a moment in time when the concept of selling personality was born. He even has the ear of the king.

Adored by many, despised by some, Foote finds himself at the sharp end of attacks from the press…and a surgeon’s knife. And in an age obsessed with fame, his colleagues from the worlds of science and the stage – from Benjamin Franklin to David Garrick – begin to wonder: does fame make you mad?

Ian Kelly’s riotously funny new play, based on his award-winning biography of Foote, explores our obsession with celebrities, and their rise and fall, through the true story of the Oscar Wilde of the 18th century. Kelly’s other biographies include Antonin Careme, Beau Brummell, Giacomo Casanova (Sunday Times Biography of the Year 2008), and Dame Vivienne Westwood.

Richard Eyre returns to Hampstead following the sell out hit The Last Of The Duchess. His recent theatre credits include Ghosts (Alemida/West End), Pajama Game (Chichester/West End) and Guys and Dolls (National Theatre).

BAFTA and Olivier award-winner Simon Russell Beale makes his Hampstead debut. His recent theatre credits include King Lear (National Theatre), Privates on Parade (West End) and the forthcoming Temple (Donmar).

Running time is approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes including an interval.

Jeremy Irons Contributes to ‘Poems That Make Grown Men Cry’

Jeremy Irons has chosen a poem to be included in the new book Poems That Make Grown Men Cry, by Anthony Holden and Ben Holden.  The book, produced in partnership with Amnesty International, will be published in April 2014.

poems that make grown men cry

The book is available to pre-order from

In this fascinating anthology, one hundred men—distinguished in literature and film, science and architecture, theater and human rights—confess to being moved to tears by poems that continue to haunt them. Representing twenty nationalities and ranging in age from their early 20s to their late 80s, the majority are public figures not prone to crying. Here they admit to breaking down when ambushed by great art, often in words as powerful as the poems themselves.

On 29 April 2014, at 6:00pm at the Lyttleton Theatre, selections from the book will be read.  More information and a link to purchase tickets can be found HERE.

Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

Grown men aren’t supposed to cry. Anthony and Ben Holden, and Kate Allen (Director, Amnesty International UK), introduce readings from poems that haunt a host of eminent men; they explain why, in words as moving as the poems themselves.

With Melvyn Bragg, Ian McEwan, Mike Leigh, Simon McBurney, Ben Okri and Simon Russell Beale; directed by Richard Eyre.

This Platform is followed by a booksigning.
When you buy your copy from the NT Bookshop, every purchase benefits the NT’s work.

Jeremy Irons – Times Talks Madrid

Jeremy Irons was interviewed on Friday 21 September 2012, by New York Times London-based reporter Matt Wolf. The interview lasted one hour and covered Jeremy’s most recent films The Words and Trashed, as well as The Borgias. The final 15 minutes of the hour was devoted to audience questions.

The interview was live streamed on (though with several technical glitches that shut off the feed). The interview can be see On Demand on

Gallery of 50 photos at Media Punch

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Henry IV, Part 2 – Video, Screencaps & Reviews

The Hollow Crown: Henry IV: Part 2, BBC Two, review – from The Telegraph

The Hollow Crown: Henry IV Part 2, BBC Two
Irons’s ailing king steals Shakespearean diptych
– from The Arts Desk

The Hollow Crown: Henry IV Part 2 continued the series in brilliant fashion – from

Review: The Hollow Crown – Henry IV Part 2 – from The Yorker

The Hollow Crown, Henry IV Part Two. B.B.C. Television Review – from LS Media – The Independent Liverpool Student Newspaper

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Henry IV, Part 1 – Video

Follow the links below to watch The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 1

Part 1 –

Part 2 –

Part 3 –

Part 4 –

Part 5 –

Part 6 –

Part 7 –

Part 8 –

Part 9 –


Shakespeare Uncovered Episode 5 – Jeremy Irons on the Henrys


From the BBC TV Blog – Henry IV & Henry V: Q&A with the Costume Designer

The Hollow Crown – As good as TV Shakespeare can get?

From the

The Hollow Crown: as good as TV Shakespeare can get?

The BBC’s new Shakespeare films, starting this weekend with Richard II, show that the Bard can play as well on TV as in the theatre

During TV conferences and festivals, at least one delegate always argues that Shakespeare, if he were around today, would be writing EastEnders or Holby City. This claim is based on the fact that theatre, at the time Shakespeare’s plays were written, was a mass audience form rather than the relatively elitist entertainment it has become; and also, more subtly, on the contention that the playwright’s fondness for parallel plots and cross-cutting to some extent anticipates screen narrative.

And yet, despite these affinities, Will has always tested the will of TV producers. The BBC TV Shakespeare – a late 1970s attempt to film all 37 plays as an educational tool – became a headline calamity, helping to establish Clive James’s reputation as a critic through his pitiless Observer reviews of shaking scenery and stagey acting. The original production of Much Ado About Nothing (starring Penelope Keith and Michael York) was never transmitted because, according to the minutes of BBC management meetings I have seen, it was considered such a failure.

The original producer, the late Cedric Messina, left the project and Jonathan Miller came in as an emergency replacement. Miller steadied the shipwreck – with productions including John Cleese as a brilliant Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew – and it’s good to have a permanent record of, for example, Derek Jacobi’s Hamlet. But, in general, the experience cemented the view that Shakespeare is a weapon to be deployed on television only when particular performances called to be immortalised – Laurence Olivier’s King Lear and Ian McKellen’s and Judi Dench’s Macbeths on ITV, Patrick Stewart’s Macbeth by the BBC – or when there is a special occasion, such as BBC licence fee renegotiation or, this summer, as part of the Cultural Olympiad alongside the London Games.

Bringing together four of the Shakesperean English history plays under a group of high-class stage directors, The Hollow Crown begins this weekend on BBC2 and marks a significant advance in the medium’s fight with this writer.

The troubled BBC Complete Shakespeare taught several lessons – that not all of the works merit the attention of the audience; that studio recordings create an uneasy limbo between theatre and TV; that the pace and fluidity of made-for-TV dramas can make stage plays seem slow and staid; and that it is vital to have an overall producer who understands both Shakespeare and film.

The Hollow Crown brings a full set of ticks to this checklist. Present from the start, rather than parachuted in as Jonathan Miller was, Sam Mendes has executive produced the series, while also presiding over another English cultural icon: the new James Bond movies.

And this BBC TV Shakespeare is sensibly restricted to a discrete and particular 9% or so of the collected works. The linked sequence of Richard II (directed by Rupert Goold), Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 (filmed by Sir Richard Eyre) and Henry V (under Thea Sharrock’s direction) tell a sequential story, with recurring characters and so have a structural similarity with the four-part family drama, a staple of TV fiction. In this sense, The Hollow Crown can be seen as a relative of The Tudors, though with significantly better dialogue.

Mendes and his directors have also assimilated the wisdom of TV property shows: what matters in filming Shakspeare is location, location, location. Instead of a studio mediaeval England formed from hardboard, we get actual castles, taverns and forests.

The two productions that I have so far seen – Richard II and the first part of Henry IV – also convincingly show that, rather than being a triumph over limitations, filmed Shakespeare has some advantages over theatrical versions. In the often-bewildering opening scene of Richard II, which begins with a list of characters and their achievements, Goold’s camera can simply close in on the noble being mentioned, easily establishing characters in a way that, in the theatre, would require much fumbling with a programme in the dark.

And, in Henry IV, Eyre employs every trick of cinematic fluidity to match the quick flow of modern screen drama: cross-cutting and dissolving between the three main locations (the court, the rebels, Falstaff’s dens) and turning soliloquies into their natural screen equivalent of voice-overs.

Another benefit of television is the available cast: because it isn’t asking for a three-month run or global tour to make the budget back, The Hollow Crown simultaneously retains a group of actors that even the most famous theatres could only accumulate over several seasons. Theatre-goers have long anticipated Simon Russell Beale’s eventual Falstaff but he gives it here first: cloud-bearded and earthy, a portrait of ambition and intelligence chiselled away by appetite. And, if SRB does play Falstaff in the theatre, it is highly unlikely, for budgetary and logistical reasons, to be in a company that also includes Julie Walters, Lindsay Duncan, David Suchet and David Morrissey.

There remains a basic flaw in the theory that because Shakepeare was a populist writer in his time, he should naturally suit TV now: the mainstream television audience, often made suspicious of classic theatre by education and school theatre outings, would take much persuasion to tune in to these dramas. But, despite that caveat, The Hollow Crown feels as good as TV Shakespeare is going to get.


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