Jeremy in Drama Queens

Jeremy Irons is joining Kevin Spacey and other actors in Drama Queens at the Old Vic for a special gala event.

12 October 7.30pm
Running Time 45 mins

The Old Vic is to collaborate with leading international artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset to stage a new production of their acclaimed work, Drama Queens (text by Tim Etchells) for a special Gala event on Sunday 12th October, 2008.

Drama Queens features six famous sculptures as its protagonists. Trapped on a theatre stage are icons inspired by 20th century art history: Walking Man by Alberto Giacometti (1947), Brillo Box by Andy Warhol (1964), Elegy III by Barbara Hepworth (1966), Four Cubes by Sol Lewitt (1971), Untitled (Granite) by Ulrich Rückriem (1984), and Rabbit by Jeff Koons (1986).

As ‘personalities’ the sculptures assume characteristics from the cultural zeitgeist in which they were produced. Remotely controlled, the sculptures ‘perform’ to a seated audience, thereby reversing the typical roles of how an audience engages with art in galleries, as well as traditional concepts of theatre. A specially cast group of actors, including Old Vic Artistic Director Kevin Spacey, will voice the sculptures, which will be performed live for the first time.

All proceeds from this event will go to The Old Vic Theatre Trust Creative Development Programme, including a special new initiative to bring visual artists and theatre practioners together.

VIP Gala Tickets
For more information please call +44 (0) 20 7902 7590


The Berlin-based art collaborative Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset debuted their 30-minute-long play Drama Queens at Sculpture Project Munster 07, drawing much comment for its basic conceit: replacing the actors with seven modern sculptures — Alberto Giacometti’s Walking Man, Andy Warhol’s Brillo Box, Jeff KoonsRabbit and works by Jean Arp, Barbara Hepworth, Sol LeWitt and Ulrich Rückriem. Now, the artists are staging the playlet, which features a text by Tim Etchells, as a benefit for the Old Vic theater in London on Oct. 12, 2008.

The duo has snagged some impressive talents to play the parts, including Jeremy Irons as the Giacometti, Kevin Spacey as the Koons and Joseph Fiennes as the LeWitt. VIP gala tickets, which include a print by Elmgreen & Dragset plus more, are £250; for additional info, contact the Old Vic or Victoria Miro, where the pair’s exhibition “Too Late” is on view, Oct. 14-Nov. 15, 2008.

Jeremy attends a Tribute to Ian Fleming

Jeremy Irons at Tribute to Ian Fleming


Sunday 5 October 2008

Bonds past and present attend Ian Fleming tribute

James Bonds past and present paid tribute to creator Ian Fleming at London’s Palladium theatre last night. Current incumbent Daniel Craig (with his arm in a sling) and 007 veteran Sir Roger Moore, both of whom are interviewed in November’s GQ, took part in The Story Of James Bond: A Tribute To Ian Fleming, a star-studded event hosted by Stephen Fry and former Bond girl Joanna Lumley. Other Bond girls including Rosamund Pike and Quantum Of Solace’s Gemma Arterton also put in a welcome appearance, while Jeremy Irons and onetime Bond villain Toby Stephens read extracts from Fleming’s memoirs and novels respectively. Fellow literary types Sebastian Faulks, who wrote new Bond book Devil May Care, and Charlie Higson, author of the young Bond novels, also attended. Guests were kept well lubricated with Bond’s champagne of choice, Dom Pérignon.



A first-hand account of the event from


My partner and I had the very great pleasure of attending the ‘The Story of
James Bond – A Tribute to Ian Fleming’ concert last night at the London
Palladium, a charity gig for the British Heart Foundation and it was an
absolute tour de force. One night only, full of Bond alumni from both
literary and cinematic productions and certainly worth every penny of the
admission price – I’d seen the show mentioned here a while ago but only made
an effort to buy a pair of tickets last week, hoping to get a couple of the
cheap seats, sadly when I rang they’d all gone and they only had expensive
single seats left, but whilst I was debating what to do a pair of (quite
expensive) returns came in slap bang in the middle of the front stalls and
so I thought ‘sod it, you only live… er… once!’ and snapped them up!

We arrived at the Palladium by taxi and were mildly surprised to find
outselves being escorted out of it by policemen as the entire street was
full of press, paparazzi and onlookers, so we felt prettty special before it
had even started – then we made our way into the theatre for the show, and
here’s a brief run-down of what happened…

The curtain raised to feature an orchestra on stage playing a medley of the
Bond themes before Lucy Fleming came onstage to introduce the hosts, Stephen
Fry and Joanna Lumley. The format of the show was eclectic and interesting,
Fry and Lumley sitting just in front of the orchestra narrating the history
of Fleming’s life whilst Jeremy Irons (to the left) played the part of
Fleming himself, reading letters and quotations
and Toby Stephens (to the
right) reading extracts from the Bond books themselves. Overhead a large
screen showed clips from films, stills and other images.

Interspersed between these readings were Bond themes sung by Beverley
Knight, Tony Hadley, Mica Paris, Lemar and even Lee Mead amongst others –
all of which were very nicely done, and the West End cast of Chitty Chitty
Bang Bang sang a couple of numbers from that show too. There were video
messages from Duran Duran and Paul McCartney and the orchestra played some
more themes and
incidental music from the movies and there was even a performance of Noel
Coward’s ‘Don’t Let’s Be Beastly to the Germans’!.

There were more readings from (amongst others) Samantha Bond, Christopher
Casenove, Joely Richardson, Harriet Walter, Gemma Arterton and Rosamund
Pike. Sebastian Faulkes read from Diamonds are Forever too, but sadly
Christopher Lee and David Gilmour weren’t in attendance (although they were
listed in the programme), their parts being performed by other members of
the cast.

Of course there had to be Bond girls too and onstage we saw Shirley Eaton,
Caroline Munnro, Maryan D’Abo, Zena Marshall, Eunice Grayson, Madeleine
Smith and Tanya Mallet and there was a HUGE round of applause as Roger Moore
came onstage – and more after a Sir Sean look-alike tried to muscle in and
was bundled offstage by a Royal Marine Commando who abseiled down from the
roof! Sir Rog made a very nice sppech about Cubby Broccoli and then
introduced Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, who we were surprised to
find were sitting just a couple of seats behind us!

Charlie Higson gave an amusing talk on the history of Bond media pre-Connery
(Holness and Nelson) and all of this was topped by a sneak preview scene
from QoS before Daniel Craig (arm still in a black sling) appeared onstage
and the place just erupted – he read the eulogy from Fleming’s funeral and
then everyone trooped back onstage to take a huge standing ovation – it was
a fabulous night (although my partner’s night had already been made when I
pointed out we were also sitting just two seats away from Daniel Craig for
most of the show and he’d given her a very appreciative glance)! I have no
idea whose tickets I’d picked up, but as I mentioned we were right in the
middle of the celebs – Charlie Higson was in front of us (and was very
pleasant and courteous), Caroline Munro and many of the other Bond girls to
our right and Simon Williams almost on top of us for most of the evening. It
was a great and at times very moving tribute to Ian Fleming and everyone
performed brilliantly – and I’ve been told that the show was being recorded
for later broadcast by BBC Radio 2, so hopefully (if that’s true) you’ll be
able to hear some of it yourselves.

Top fun!


Tim Pollard


Jeremy Irons speaks plainly, if elegantly

Jeremy Irons speaks plainly, if elegantly

Talking As a kid, living on the Isle of Wight off the southern coast of England, Jeremy Irons played cowboys and Indians and watched “The Cisco Kid” on television. I’m hearing this as I sit with my recorder in a suite at Toronto’s Royal York hotel, across from the 60-year-old Oscar-winner, and the information does not jibe with the man before me: a professorial-looking fellow curled up in a chair shoved next to an open window, so that the tiny skinny little brown cigarettes he smokes can waft directly back into the room.
Irons wears big owlish specs and a courtly air, and when he thinks about a question before answering, he’ll let a full 12 seconds pass before unrolling his answer.

Irons was in Toronto last month promoting “Appaloosa.” The movie is director, co-writer and co-star Ed Harris’ adaptation of a novel set in the lawless late 19th Century New Mexico territory town of the title. Irons plays a juicy supporting role, Randall Bragg, a rancher whose reign of violence meets a couple of formidable adversaries new to the region: Harris’ marshal, and the marshal’s sidekick, played by Viggo Mortensen.

“I think Ed wanted an actor who gave the feeling that he’d come from somewhere else—the foreigner, the stranger, the man not from there,” Irons says of his involvement in the project. “Which I don’t think I really gave it, because I don’t think that was terribly useful direction.”

So, he says, “I tried to play him as a good guy. Which we all think we are.” He smiles. He knows Bragg isn’t anyone’s notion of a good guy. He kills three innocent citizens point-blank in the opening scene. Anyway, he says, “it’s nice to have a chance to play that sort of character.”

The making of “Appaloosa” took place near Las Vegas, N.M. Irons acknowledged that working with a director who was also a co-star had its challenges. “Every actor sees the story from his point of view, and however clever the director is at separating himself from his role as actor ... it’s difficult.” He adds that “even Viggo would probably admit that one felt slightly hidebound by the fact that the director was also an actor.”

That said, Irons adds, Harris acquitted himself well. Quickly Irons mentions that the one time he directed himself (in a 1997 television project, “Mirad,” co-starring his wife, Sinead Cusack), his performance was “crap.”

It’s refreshing to hear someone talk about his work this way, as if the nearest studio handler were a million miles away. Irons is a gracious man, quick with the niceties (“May I offer you some fruit?”), gossipy about one of his cherished loves, the theater (“Weren’t the Tonys bad this year?”).

He returns to Broadway for the first time in decades, in next spring’s production of a new play co-starring Steppenwolf Theatre Company associate Joan Allen. It’s called “Impressionism,” written by Michael Jacobs and directed by Jack O’Brien, and it deals with a photojournalist’s relationship with a New York gallery owner.

He has high hopes, though you never know, he says: Take “Reversal of Fortune.” Irons won an Oscar for his ripe, witty portrayal of suspected killer and aristocratic rotter Claus von Bulow. “I never thought that film would work,” he says. “It was difficult to get a feeling of whether or not we were hitting the mark. I remember saying to Glenn [Close] when we were shooting: ‘It’s only because we’re in this, and because we’re hot at the moment, that this won’t end up on television.’ Didn’t seem to be working at all. But Barbet [Schroeder, the director] did a fantastic cut eventually.”

What he’d really like, Irons says, is “Sean Connery’s last 20 years. He played some interesting roles and had a bit of fun in his 60s and 70s. One of my problems is I find the [filmmaking] process incredibly boring. And unless I’m having a lot of fun, I tend to close off a bit. But then the cameras turn.

“I’ve begun relaxing up on my work more. It took me a long time to learn that you can struggle to make something perfect, and be a pain in the ass, and [often] the work’s not very good. Or you can just have a good time, enjoy working with everybody, throw ideas about, and the picture has a sort of life to it.”

Jeremy on Ireland’s TG4 this Fall

Jeremy will appear on the TG4 programme “Faoi lán Cheoil “

Eight celebrities embark on a journey to learn a musical instrument over a period of 6 months under expert tuition of a renowned musician and each programme charts their trials and triumphs.  If necessary the tutors travel with their charges, including to a New Mexico film set, a Manhattan theatre and an English Premier Leagues soccer training ground to ensure they don’t forget to practice and improve ! The celebrity students also must prepare for a public performance which is particularly special to them. The line-up of aspiring fleadh winners is:

Sunderland and Republic of Ireland international soccer player Andy Reid – Banjo,

Award-winning Belfast playwright Marie Jones – Accordion,

RTÉ Radio Presenter (and Fáilte Towers winner) John Creedon – Flute,

Oscar winning film actor (and West Cork resident) Jeremy Irons – Fiddle,

Stage, film tv actor (Ros na Rún) Macdara Ó Fátharta – tin whistle,

IFTA nominated actor/comedian Paddy Courtney – Bodhrán,

Film, Stage and TV actor and director Adrian Dunbar – Traditional Singing,

Riverdance Dancer Dearbhla Lennon – Concertina.

(10.30pm Wednesday from 29th October)

see Jeremy in a TV commercial for the programme here: