Scroll down for photos and the text of what Jeremy read at the event…
Actor Jeremy Irons attended a royal charity gala dinner on Tuesday evening (01Feb11) as part of a campaign to encourage children to take an interest in the arts.
The Oscar winner is a supporter of The Prince’s Trust Foundation for Children and the Arts, which aims to give youths more opportunity to develop life skills by participating in poetry, painting and music. And Irons will be mixing with royalty at a gala dinner at Buckingham Palace to raise awareness of the cause.
Irons tells Britain’s The One Show, “We’re having an evening celebrating a charity of the Prince of Wales, a children and the arts charity which encourages and gives opportunity to children who are – either because of geographical… or because of financial reasons – they don’t have any access during their education to do anything artistic. Whether it be painting or theater or poetry or whatever…I was very lucky, I was at school and we had art classes, we had poetry classes, we had music classes, I learnt to do all those things naturally… What this charity does is to bring together local arts organizations and local schools and allow children to learn to paint, to write poetry, to stand on stage and be in a play… I’ve always argued that arts are terribly important for education and we’re foolish to cut them… you’re training them for life.”
Wizard preview for royal couple
(UKPA) – 2 February 2011
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have been given a preview of new West End musical The Wizard of Oz.
Star of the show Danielle Hope, who landed the role of Dorothy after winning a BBC talent contest last year, sang Somewhere Over The Rainbow for the Prince and the Duchess.
The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical starts preview shows at the London Palladium next week.
Hope, who performed for the royal couple at a gala for The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts on Tuesday night, said: “It was just magical to perform tonight, it was like the preview of the preview.
“I am really excited about the start of the show.”
The gala dinner, which was held at Buckingham Palace, was attended by supporters of the charity which helps disadvantaged children in the UK to gain access to the arts.
Charles and Camilla also heard a reading by comedian Rowan Atkinson.
Atkinson, who recited Roald Dahl’s “witty and wicked” critique of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, said: “Going to the theatre is a communal experience rather than the singular experience you get on a computer. Self serving content is good but you do not get to share the joy that you do in a theatre.”
Other performers at the black-tie event, which was held in the ballroom of the Palace, included tenor Alfie Boe and actor Jeremy Irons who read Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 128” and DH Lawrence’s “Piano”.
After the performance, Charles met the performers including Alex Jennings – famed for his role as the Prince of Wales in the 2006 drama The Queen. The Prince, who is the foundation’s president, told those gathered for the gala that the charity did an excellent job to encourage young people to experience the arts.
Copyright © 2011 The Press Association. All rights reserved.
SONNET 128 – William Shakespeare
How oft, when thou, my music, music play’st,
Upon that blessed wood whose motion sounds
With thy sweet fingers, when thou gently sway’st
The wiry concord that mine ear confounds,
Do I envy those jacks that nimble leap
To kiss the tender inward of thy hand,
Whilst my poor lips, which should that harvest reap,
At the wood’s boldness by thee blushing stand!
To be so tickled, they would change their state
And situation with those dancing chips,
O’er whom thy fingers walk with gentle gait,
Making dead wood more blest than living lips.
Since saucy jacks so happy are in this,
Give them thy fingers, me thy lips to kiss.
By D.H. Lawrence
Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.
In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.
So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.