Jeremy Irons at A Taste of West Cork Food Festival

Jeremy Irons was in West Cork on Friday 6 September and Saturday 7 September for the Belling Food Awards, as part of A Taste of West Cork Food Festival, which runs from 6-15 September 2013.

He read Seamus Heaney’s poem “Digging”.

On Friday night, he dined at Sage Restaurant in Midleton.

Photo via @waterman_jon on Twitter

Photo via @waterman_jon on Twitter

Photo via @KevinAherneChef on Twitter

Photo via @KevinAherneChef on Twitter

Jeremy Irons, Helen Collins, John Field and Sinead Cusack at the Belling Forum at the West Cork Hotel on Saturday afternoon. Photo via A Taste of West Cork on Facebook

Jeremy Irons, Helen Collins, John Field and Sinead Cusack at the Belling Forum at the West Cork Hotel on Saturday afternoon. Photo via A Taste of West Cork on Facebook

David Puttnam and Jeremy Irons, at the Bellings Dinner. Photo via A Taste of West Cork on Facebook

David Puttnam and Jeremy Irons, at the Bellings Dinner. Photo via A Taste of West Cork on Facebook

Jeremy Irons and Micheal Burke

Jeremy Irons and Micheal Burke

Information from www.corkchamber.ie

THE BELLING FORUM
SATURDAY 07 SEPTEMBER WEST CORK HOTEL SKIBBEREEN AT 2 P M

West Cork is viewed as an authentic place, very beautiful, largely unspoilt, with a diverse, eclectic and innovative population. These are among the “magic” ingredients that make up the experience that is West Cork.

The region is seen both nationally and internationally as a very desirable place both to live in and to visit where one would expect to experience a genuine way of life, a clean and magnificent environment, the best of food, the best of art and crafts, and a resourceful intelligent and inventive people well accustomed to multitasking.

It is argued that the present and future development of West Cork lies in the business of:
1. Growing and food production (both land and sea)
2. Delivery of education
3. Tourism
4. High Tech

All of those who live in West Cork or visit regularly can readily see the destructive hand of recession and the despair of bank debt and emigration. It is time to fight back!

As part of the Taste of West Cork Festival, the Belling Food Awards Committee will host a Forum in the West Cork Hotel on Saturday 07 September at 2 p m. entitled “Joining Together – how to achieve universal recognition for the West Cork Region”. This initiative will be a ‘think tank’ from which will be compiled a five year action plan (with the emphasis on action!) supported and promoted by A Taste of West Cork, The Belling Awards Committee and its various partners going forward. The Forum will be addressed by 15 representative speakers who will present each of their proposals in a strict time frame of five minutes each.
The Forum will then be open to all attendees for further discussion.

Speakers at the Forum will include:

Professor Peter Jones of UCC, Lord David Puttnam, Mr Eoin McGonigal, Chairman of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Valerie Kingston of Glenilen Farm, Food Writer Joe McNamee of the Irish Examiner, Des O’Dowd of Inchydoney Hotel, Madeline McKeever of Brown Envelope Seeds, Jean Perry of Glebe Gardens, Giana Ferguson of Gubbeen Farm, Avril Allshire of Caherbeg Free-range Pork, Alison Ospina of the Craft Council, Guy Watson of Riverford Farm, a representative of Shellfish de la Mer and a representative of Cork County Council. The Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney is expected along also with some surprise guests. A number of public representatives will be in the audience to include all our local TDs and the MD of Supervalu/Centra Martin Kelleher. It is hoped that there will be a rigorous discussion as to how West Cork will go forward to gain universal recognition. The Conference will be recorded, the ideas collected and a plan put in place to implement the development of this blueprint for West Cork.

http://www.atasteofwestcork.com or email info@atasteofwestcork.com

UPDATED – Jeremy Irons at TS Eliot poetry reading event

heaney-etc-415x275

TS Eliot widow exults in his poetry reading

hart poetry hour 6.30.09 1 hart poetry hour 6.30.09 2 hart poetry hour 6.30.09 3

01.07.09
by Geordie Greg

London Evening Standard

In a rare public appearance, TS Eliot‘s widow Valerie attended a reading of her husband’s poems last night at London University.

“It was marvellous to hear Tom’s poems and to have them read so well,” she said. It is 86 years since TS Eliot published The Waste Land, revolutionising English poetry and placing him as its greatest 20th century exponent.

The readers were Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, actor Jeremy Irons, The Wire’s star Dominic West and actress Anna Cartaret as part of the TS Eliot International Summer School. It is more than 44 years since Valerie Eliot was widowed and she has been the sole executor of his literary estate ever since, cleverly allowing Andrew Lloyd Webber to use her husband’s feline verse for the musical Cats which effectively bankrolled Faber & Faber as the music became a global hit.

The reading in the Brunei Gallery was organised by Josephine Hart, who has pioneered public poetry readings at the British Library and recorded CDs of verse read by Harold Pinter, Ralph Fiennes, Roger Moore, Edward Fox and many other great British actors, with a CD and book given to every secondary school, introducing pupils to the auditory power of poetry.

Mrs Eliot, 82, married the American-born poet in January 1957; he was 37 years older than her. She was the great love of his life, rejuvenating him after his disastrous first marriage to Vivien who was mentally ill.

Mrs Eliot edited the first volume of her husband’s letters and also the facsimile volume of The Waste Land with the manuscript showing how Ezra Pound cut it brilliantly by a third, ensuring its position as the most important poem in modern history.

She said she was moved and exhilarated by the readings which were fast, lively and produced a standing ovation from the audience.

“History before our eyes, an incredible connection,” said Heaney.

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Jeremy Irons atttends party for Brian Friel in Dublin

Trio of events celebrate gift of Friel’s ‘magnificent plays’

brianfrieljeremyirons

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DEIRDRE FALVEY, Arts Editor

BRIAN FRIEL doesn’t go in much for public speaking. And if he was going to make a speech, this past weekend, one of the focal points of his 80th birthday year, was probably going to be the occasion.

Friel spoke entertainingly and at uncharacteristic length on Saturday night but, more characteristically, placed the emphasis on someone other than himself.

The week just past featured rehearsed readings of three plays he chose from the Abbey’s repertoire, the opening of the three Gate/Friel productions in Dublin, following their Sydney and Edinburgh festival triumphs, and his handprints were taken on Friday to be cast in bronze for display at the Gaiety Theatre Plaza.

The Gate organised a thank you party for about 100 people at the Unicorn restaurant on Saturday and last night there was a glitzy tribute at the Abbey.

There have been quite a few celebrations in this birthday year, Friel acknowledged on Saturday night, so much so that “I now think I’m pushing 83”.

He mentioned the readings during the week, and “the hooley” tomorrow, “and I’m grateful to Fiach for that. Michael Colgan rowed in and did three full productions. Some few people have difficulty with Michael,” he continued, to loud laughter from the assembled. “They all think perhaps that Michael is a bit too much. I don’t think so. And Anne [Friel] doesn’t think so.” And he thanked Colgan for the “friendship and support and fealty” he has given him.

Then he said he wanted to remind people that this Faith Healer was “directed by a man we’ll refer to as the Scottish director,” [Robin Lefevre is credited as director of the play in the Gate programme]. “And when the Scottish director disappeared, Mr Colgan took over and did an excellent job.” So Friel suggested there might be an “uneasy spectacle” when “the best producer in the country might become the best director in the country, and would be damn near unbearable”.

Friel’s actual birthday was in January, and Colgan said “it’s safe to say his birthday is well and truly done and dusted. ‘A finished thing’,” quoting Grace Harvey in Faith Healer . So the party was to say thank you to Brian Friel, for the “many reasons we have to be grateful” to him: “for his relish of language, his loathing of sentimentality, his glorious irreverence, his keen avoidance of the amateur, his unquestioned integrity, his unswerving loyalty to the work, his hungry eye, his steadfast ability to hold a grudge, his generosity even with his cigars (and they’re expensive ones too), his late-night gossip, his perfectly timed acts of kindness, his private standards of excellence and above all, we are grateful for the gift of his magnificent plays and the opulence of his words.”

The party was starry, and among those packed into the restaurant were Ian McKellan, Jeremy Irons, Sinéad Cusack, Seamus Heaney, John McColgan, Moya Doherty, Gay Byrne and Kathleen Watkins, Harry Crosbie, Mike Murphy, Edna O’Brien, Tom Kilroy and Conor McPherson.

The tribute event last night at the Abbey was hosted by Sinéad Cusack and directed by Patrick Mason.

Friel’s association with the Abbey goes back to 1962 when The Enemy Within was produced, the first of eight world premieres of his at the national theatre. The tribute featured excerpts from Dancing at Lughnasa (featuring the original cast of Mundy sisters – Rosaleen Linehan, Anita Reeves, Brid Brennan, Catherine Byrne and Bríd Ní Neachtain), Philadelphia Here I Come , and Translations , with the other casts also including Ciaran Hinds, Eamon Morrissey, Des Cave, Charlie Bonner and Darragh Kelly.

Music ranging from Cole Porter to John Field – performed by John O’Conor, Conor Linehan, Cora Venus Lunny and soprano Celine Byrne – was central to the evening and emblematic of the role of music in his work. And the surprise of the night was special tributes from Seamus Heaney and Tom Kilroy.

This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times
_________________________________________________________________________________________
‘Many more years, Brian’

DEIRDRE FALVEY – Irishtimes.com

The Abbey’s 80th birthday tribute to Brian Friel was a celebration of his work and life that featured words, plays and above all music

HAD THE PHOTOGRAPHER engineered it? There was Brian Friel sitting upstairs at the Abbey chatting with an eccentrically hatted Jeremy Irons (looking very A Month in the Country , or like a Beckett character). All around them milled theatre folk, there for the Abbey’s birthday tribute night for Friel, MC-d by actor (and Irons’s wife) Sinead Cusack. On second thoughts, surely no one could set those two gentlemen up for a scene like that.

Onstage, with backdrop from The Rivals set – an enormous painting of the big house, very suitable for the evening – and a large piano centre stage, there was an elegance and a formality to the beautifully composed and moving evening, drawn together by director Patrick Mason, who also scripted Cusack’s Canticle for Master Friel .

“The tools that are available to the playwright to tell his story are few enough – words, action, silence. In the theatre that has engaged me words are at the very core of it all. But the playwrights’ words aren’t written for solitary engagement – they are written for public utterance. So unlike the words of the novelist or poet, they are scored in altogether different keys, and in altogether different tempi. And it is with this score that the playwright and the actor privately plot to work their public spell.” Cusack thus animatedly quoted the great spell-master himself to start, “to create our own ‘public canticle’, to honour the achievement of this most meticulous and accomplished of playwrights”.

There were words, there were the plays, and above all there was the music.

Playwright Tom Kilroy invoked the name of Chekhov, and spoke about how both playwrights communicated so much through letters. And though he regards letters as being intended for the eyes of those to whom they are addressed – “I take my life in my hands”– he read from a letter from Friel last year following their pilgrimage to Yalta, visiting two Chekhov homes there. Friel wrote afterwards to Kilroy about how “we did lift the veil, there certainly was a presence”, but how “there was another veil behind that and we got no further”. Kilroy said Friel might have been writing about the stage itself, “the secrets and silences, the veils and concealments, a place of mystery, which harbours the inexpressible”. He ended with a gentle “Many more years, Brian”.

Later in the evening, Seamus Heaney read four short poems related to “the work and the worker we celebrate here”, “the mastery and the mystery, the dedication and dochas”. The Stations of the West recalled his first adolescent trip to the Donegal gaeltacht, and his first experience of Friel’s county; a 12th- century poem was attributed to St Colmcille, whose name is lent to the college they both attended.

Sprinkled throughout the evening were, Cusack said, “Brians words read in what Mrs Malaprop might describe as ‘invocations’ of three of his greatest plays”.

In Philadelphia, Here I Come! an inscrutable Eamon Morrisey (reading from his own original copy of the play; the other actors on the night had uniform red-bound extracts) as SB O’Donnell to Darragh Kelly’s Gar Private, along with Rosaleen Linehan as Madge, Charlie Bonner as Gar Public and Des Cave as Canon Mick O’Byrne. There was great humour as well as pathos in the readings from it, and from Translations , which had Ciaran Hinds as Hugh to Nick Dunning’s Captain Lancey, Darragh Kelly’s Owen and Rory Nolan’s Lieutenant Yolland, also with Brid Brennan and Des Cave.

Later, the final “invocation” of the evening was Dancing at Lughnasa , a play which might be seen as his most musical (New York producers apparently suggested it might be more effectively retitled Dancin! said Cusack.)

As she called out the cast list, and particularly the Mundy sisters – Rosaleen Linehan, Anita Reeves, Brid Brennan, Catherine Byrne, Bríd Ní Neachtain, together again all these years later – there were audible intakes of breath, and whispered comments of pleasure and anticipation from the audience.

Above all it was an evening of songs and music, from the plays and as a background influence on them. Conor Linehan (piano) and Cora Venus Lunny (violin) played a selection of Jerome Kern and Cole Porter melodies from the 1930s, which animate that golden Ballybeg summer of 1936, introduce the fantastic Francis Hardy, and accompany Terry Martin and his friends on their island pilgrimage in Wonderful Tennessee : from Dancing in the Dark to Just the Way You Look Tonight, to a gorgeous Anything Goes , full of panache and fun. Later Linehan was back on the keys, accompanying soprano Celine Byrne with evocative songs from the plays, ending with a spine-tingling Oft in the Stilly Night .

And later still, there was a special appearance by pianist John O’Conor, who movingly played three nocturnes – though the third, Le Midi , O’Conor pointed out, was not strictly speaking a nocturne at all – by John Field, the Irish pianist and composer who invented the nocturne and is beloved of Friel.

The evening ended for the audience with a cake and a standing ovation for a visibly thrilled Friel, sitting beside his wife, Anne, and Abbey director Fiach MacConghail; and for the key members of the party the evening went on much later still.

This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times
_________________________________________________________________________________________

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Jeremy reads the poetry of TS Eliot at London University event

heaney-etc-415x275

TS Eliot widow exults in his poetry reading

Vodpod videos no longer available.

hart poetry hour 6.30.09 1 hart poetry hour 6.30.09 2 hart poetry hour 6.30.09 3

01.07.09
by Geordie Greg

London Evening Standard

In a rare public appearance, TS Eliot‘s widow Valerie attended a reading of her husband’s poems last night at London University.

“It was marvellous to hear Tom’s poems and to have them read so well,” she said. It is 86 years since TS Eliot published The Waste Land, revolutionising English poetry and placing him as its greatest 20th century exponent.

The readers were Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, actor Jeremy Irons, The Wire’s star Dominic West and actress Anna Cartaret as part of the TS Eliot International Summer School. It is more than 44 years since Valerie Eliot was widowed and she has been the sole executor of his literary estate ever since, cleverly allowing Andrew Lloyd Webber to use her husband’s feline verse for the musical Cats which effectively bankrolled Faber & Faber as the music became a global hit.

The reading in the Brunei Gallery was organised by Josephine Hart, who has pioneered public poetry readings at the British Library and recorded CDs of verse read by Harold Pinter, Ralph Fiennes, Roger Moore, Edward Fox and many other great British actors, with a CD and book given to every secondary school, introducing pupils to the auditory power of poetry.

Mrs Eliot, 82, married the American-born poet in January 1957; he was 37 years older than her. She was the great love of his life, rejuvenating him after his disastrous first marriage to Vivien who was mentally ill.

Mrs Eliot edited the first volume of her husband’s letters and also the facsimile volume of The Waste Land with the manuscript showing how Ezra Pound cut it brilliantly by a third, ensuring its position as the most important poem in modern history.

She said she was moved and exhilarated by the readings which were fast, lively and produced a standing ovation from the audience.

“History before our eyes, an incredible connection,” said Heaney.

Share