Thursday 22 February 2018

Ken Loach and cast dance the night away after launch of 'Jimmy's Hall'

Actress Simone Kirby and actor Barry Ward with director Ken Loach at the Irish premier of Jimmy's Hall at the Lighthouse Cinema.
Actress Simone Kirby and actor Barry Ward with director Ken Loach at the Irish premier of Jimmy's Hall at the Lighthouse Cinema.
Aisling Franciosi and Jean Cantrell at the Irish premiere of ‘Jimmy’s Hall’ at the Lighthouse Cinema. Photo: Patrick O’Leary

Who needs the glitz and glamour of the French Riviera after all?

"Forget Cannes – this is the big one," veteran director Ken Loach boldly stated at the premiere of Jimmy's Hall at the Lighthouse cinema in Dublin this week.

"It's a homecoming," he said, glancing in the direction of lead actors Barry Ward and Simone Kirby. "The kids are very good, even if everything else is bad."

The film is loosely inspired by Leitrim man Jimmy Gralton, who founded a dance hall on a crossroads back in the days of De Valera's Ireland.

"The dances they did, the music they played – it all excited me," Loach said.

Movie buffs and cast members crowded through the doors; President Michael D Higgins couldn't wait to catch the film.

Dancer Edwina Guckian, who competed as the Leitrim Rose in the 2013 Rose of Tralee, choreographed some of the dance routines and told me who had the moves on set.

"I was pleasantly surprised with all the lads – especially Barry – he has rhythm, that's for sure," she laughed.

Up-and-coming ingénue Aisling Franciosi plays the part of Marie in the period piece, and she looked effortlessly chic in a tuxedo jacket and cigarette pants.

"It's my first film so this has been a bit of a sensory overload," she said.

After the final film rolled on the night, the cast and crew headed out of the cinema and across the road – where they (rather fittingly) danced the night away.

– KBK

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