Tuesday 20 February 2018

Society: Benedict and Hinds hit the boards

Ciaran Hinds pictured on the red carpet at the IFTA Awards at the Mansion House in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron
Ciaran Hinds pictured on the red carpet at the IFTA Awards at the Mansion House in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron
Pamela Flood
Michelle Villaruel at The Walk in My Shoes Charity Summer lunch at Marco Piere Whites in Donnybrook,Dublin.
Olivia Treacy at Bloom
Ib Jorgensen - Fashion Designer, Marguerite McCurtain - former model from the heyday of Ib's career, wearing one of his creations
Siobhan Meghan at the opening of the Ib Jorgensen exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History. Pic Paul Sherwood
Former models Mary Quigley and Marguerite McCurtain
Winning Streak presenters Marty Whelan and Sinead Kennedy
Lucy Nagle

Kirsty Blake Knox and Brenda Power

Game of Thrones actor Ciaran Hinds is teaming up with Benedict Cumberbatch - he of Sherlock fame - to star in the Barbican Theatre's highly anticipated staging of Hamlet.

"You may have come across Benedict in your travels," Hinds joked.

"I think we're all hoping to ride his coattails."

Hinds will take on the role of Claudius while Jim Norton - aka Bishop Brennan in Father Ted - will play Polonius.

"I'm very much looking forward to it. I like hearing what the audience think," Hinds said on the red carpet at this year's IFTA ceremony.

Starlets and ingénues posed and pouted for the cameras but all eyes were on director Jim Sheridan who started rapping 50 Cent's 2003 hit single In Da Club outside the Mansion House.

"What can I say?" Sheridan said. "I liked Fiddy's music." In case it slipped your mind, Sheridan directed the rap artist in 2005 biopic Get Rich or Die Tryin'.

"We had a lot of rows on set but no fisticuffs," he said. "He was a lot easier to get on with than Richard Harris - we tore strips out of each other on the set of The Field."

This year's ceremony zipped along - especially when compared to all that brouhaha of 2014.

Cork actress Sarah Greene picked up two gongs and looked a vision in a canary yellow Helen Coady gúna.

Greene will next appear in RTÉ's 1916 drama Rebellion alongside Love/Hate actress Charlie Murphy and Brian Gleeson.

"I play May Lacey from Cork," she said. "It's full of strong female roles."

The petite actress arrived with her family but her other half, Poldark star Aidan Turner, was nowhere to be seen.

"He ran off with a fella after the results of the referendum," she joked.

Amy Huberman arrived in a princess-inspired Alex Perry gown and discussed finishing the second draft of her film script Bolt. "I feel like I just sat the Leaving Cert," she said.

BAFTA-winning actor Stephen Rea had just wrapped filming on the upcoming BBC adaptation of War and Peace.

Rea will play Prince Vassily Kuragin in the period drama alongside Jim Broadbent, Cinderella's Lily James and Gillian Anderson.


Walking in sunshine at Marco's Courtyard

The gorgeous patio at Marco Pierre White's Courtyard restaurant in Donnybrook was bathed in welcome sunshine for the Walk In My Shoes charity lunch.

Pocket-sized PR guru, Toni Wall, fresh from a life-changing week at Kathryn Thomas's bootcamp in west Cork, looked amazing as she efficiently drove the event.

It was a dressy crowd of sophisticated ladies who happily talked shoes, heel height and where they planned to wear them. I spotted Jackie Lavin, Brent Pope, Prof Jim Lucey and Michelle Villaruel. The raffle and auction of shoes generated lots of excitement with lots of love for the Simone Rocha shoes from Havana.

Meanwhile, congrats to Pamela Flood and her husband, Ronan Ryan, who have opened their Counter Culture restaurant upstairs in Powerscourt Townhouse Centre with healthy menu advice from Paul Byrne, the Clarendon Street gym king.


Bubbles and blooms order of the day

'What's Maud Gonne doing with all those runner beans?" I asked designer Lorely Forrester at the opening of Bloom festival this week.

Lorely is the brains behind one of the most whimsical gardens on display; Yeats' Secret Garden in Sligo inspired by his poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree.

"I don't think Maud ever made it down to Sligo but let's use a little creative licence," Lorely said as two actors moseyed about the garden in turn-of-the-century garb.

"I wanted to create this private and beautiful place Yeats dreamt about when stuck in smoggy London."

The flower-filled extravaganza burst to life this week with an abundance of fashion shows, cookery demonstrations and topiary talks taking place.

President Michael D Higgins swung by on Thursday morning and was presented with the second official WB Yeats rose - the first went to Charles and Camilla.

"It was a gift to baby Charlotte," Lorely explained. "Hopefully it will do very well in their garden in Norfolk." Fingers crossed.

The scarlet bloom was bred by Dickson's Rose Nursery in County Down - the oldest rose breeding company in the world - and Higgins looked "delira and excira" to be gifted it.

Props must also given to Joan Mallon. Her GOAL garden, 'What you call a Slum, I Call Home!' was inspired by the slums of Nairobi and filled with corrugated shacks, chickens and banana plants.

Bubbles and blooms seemed to be the order of the day this week as Swarovski's Winter Gardens launch took place in the Merrion Hotel.

Guests were encouraged to partake in the lost art of flower arranging - and you thought they were all embellished iPhone covers and footballer weddings.

Under the watchful eye of Appassionata Flower florists, beauty and fashion aficionado's were taught how to tangle hydrangeas, delphiniums and pale pink roses into perfect bundles and bouquets.

With the heady perfume of peonies enveloping the room, Swarovski spokesperson Julie Condren showed us an array of shiny and sparkling bangles and bracelets.

After one too many glasses of prosecco, everyone headed out into the summer showers using their bouquets as makeshift brollies. Handy!


Huge turnout for  couturier Ib Jorgensen

The fashion cognoscenti were out in force for the Ib Jorgensen fashion retrospective which opened with a packed launch party at the National Museum, Collins Barracks on Wednesday night.

Ib, the much-respected couturier, dressed all of Ireland's most stylish women for decades and he was in sparkling form, recounting some great stories to his captive audience.

There was the one about the wife of the Argentinian ambassador who arrived at one of his shows only to be told by the receptionist that she should go home and change because there were six of that style of dress already inside. And I salute the late Annie, Countess of Ross who, conflicted about the cost of buying both the coat and dress, declared that it would mean no new curtains for the library at Birr Castle. Ib won and the olive green organza coat and cocktail dress from 1967 are part of the exhibition.

I spotted Ib's daughters Lara and Isolin, his sister Hanne Collins, his ex-wife Patricia, and PR Mary Crotty who wore Ib on her wedding day.


Boy racers and tattooed ladies

Republic of Telly host, Kevin McGahern, is to front an RTÉ documentary all about boy racers and modified car enthusiasts.

"I grew up in Cavan where the only thing to do is own a car," he said. "So it's a subject that's close to my heart. We'll be looking at everything from bonnet scoops to tying a tyre to the back of your car and using it as a makeshift seat."

McGahern is not the only RTÉ presenter in the throws of filming; Winning Streak host Sinéad Kennedy is exploring Ireland's tattoo scene.

"It's all about Ireland's tattoo culture," she said. "Before I started making the show I had two tattoos, now I have four. It's seriously addictive."

Sinéad told us all about getting inked up at the annual Lotto Lunch (always a boisterous affair) held in Sophie's at the Dean Hotel.

Her Winning Streak co-host, Marty Whelan, was in flying form having just returned from Vienna.

"The Eurovision is done and dusted for another year," he said. "It always takes a while to adjust to normality afterwards." Gay Byrne, Nuala Carey and Sybil Mulcahy also attended the summer lunch.

"It's always a fantastic afternoon," old uncle Gaybo said.


The chat was babies, cashmere and jewellery

New mum, cashmere knitwear designer Lucy Nagle, was the picture of blooming motherhood when we had peppermint tea together on Wednesday. Baby Scott was born a month ago and after launching her new AW collection, and sorting deliveries into early drops into BTs this weekend, Lucy will turn her attention to the Christening party which will take place "later in the summer."

Complimenting her on the name, Lucy said it was one which both herself and her husband, Jamie Rowan, loved "and it can't be shortened to anything which is good," said Lucy who married Jamie two years ago at her family's Barronstown stud farm in Co Wicklow.

Lucy was joined on the day by Tara O'Connor who is home from London for the week with her two young sons. Tara's invitation to the Stella & Dot AW15 preview was the hottest ticket in town that day, as the online jewellery range, driven by Dubliner Kathleen Mitchell, storms the fashion scene and is the firm favourite of savvy style queens.


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