Wednesday 22 November 2017

The Diary: Jack the lad brings his six pack to Bow Street

Jim Sheridan
Jim Sheridan
Andrew Scott
Zhandra Rhodes and Laura Harvey
Sonya Lennon & Clodagh McKenna pictured at the launch of the Arnotts Spring / Summer 2015 collections.
Niamh Banks

Kirsty Blake Knox and Bairbre Power

You can take the boy out of Belvedere College but you can't take Belvedere College out of the boy.

At least that's the case with Hollywood star Jack Reynor, who shunned the red carpet formalities and arrived at the launch of Bow Street Acting Academy this week clutching a six pack of "Heinos".

Reynor has just wrapped filming another feature film and is now taking some time out to write his own screenplay.

"I've been tossing around different ideas and exploring options," he said before returning to the side of his fiancé, model Madeline Mulqueen.

Bow Street picks up where well-known creative hub The Factory left off - nurturing the next generation of Irish film stars and introducing them to the movers and shakers of the industry.

The school was founded by casting director extraordinaire Maureen Hughes, regarded filmmaker Shimmy Marcus and the charismatic Paul O'Connor.

So it's no great surprise the shindig attracted a stellar guest list.

Jim Sheridan (right) was the man of the moment and discussed the hunky male leads in his film adaptation of Sebastian Barry's 2008 novel, The Secret Scripture.

"We have Eric Bana, Jack Reynor, Theo James and Aidan Turner," he said. "The girls are gathering around the monitor and my ego is being humiliated on a daily basis."

Peter Coonan was still acclimatising to life after Love/ Hate. "It's tough to get used to," he said. "We were such a close-knit family.

"It's a bit frightening but exciting - at least that's what I keep telling myself."

Patrick's Day star Moe Dunford was riding high after returning from Berlinale with the Shooting Star gong in the crook of his arm.

Red Rock's Valerie O'Connor - who plays Detective Grogan - supped a ginger ale while 2FM's Jennifer Maguire checked out the private cinema upstairs.

Barry Keoghan was full of chat about working alongside Rachel Griffiths in upcoming flick Mammel and caught up with Sam Keeley.

In the corridor, I bumped into a rather flushed looking John Carney, who admitted that wearing an Aran polo neck to the event had been a mistake.

Carney is currently in the throws of editing U2's feature film Sing Street, starring Aidan Gillen and Maria Doyle Kennedy.

"I'm getting ready to show it to Harvey Weinstein," he said. The Once director assures me the Hollywood producing powerhouse will pay the school a visit. "I think it's about time we had a groovy film school," he added.

Brian Gleeson was decompressing after the high-octane run of The Walworth Farce.

"I'm still in a state of recovery," he said. RTE's Head of Drama, Jane Gogan, talked about RTE's next big budget drama, Clean Break.

The heist series will star Ian Lloyd Anderson and Gus McDonagh, who played the part of Teflon Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, in Charlie.

Bow Street is housed in the Bar Council of Ireland's former court house, and Shimmy Marcus encouraged us all to run riot through the corridors. "Have fun and go wild," he said. And we did.

- KBK

It was the day that Josie's Out of  Africa Oscar weighed me down

There was lots of Oscar frock talk at the Arnotts SS15 fashion launch in the Henry Street store on Tuesday.

I chatted with chef Clodagh McKenna, who told me how she's off to cook at the Philadelphia Flower Show "and then I'm going to New York to cook on Rachael Ray's TV show".

I was delighted to see Aoibhinn Ni Shúilleabháin, elegant in the navy Orla Kiely taffeta drindle skirt with grosgrain waistband that I selected for her recent Weekend magazine cover shoot.

"I liked it so much, I came in and bought it," beamed Aoibhinn on her first public outing since her break-up with Ryan Tubridy. Dr Ni Shúilleabháin told me how she is just back from Prague where she presented her PhD thesis to a conference.

I caught up with Ingrid Hoey, who will dress Kathryn Thomas, Una Foden and Rachel Stevens for six live shows of The Voice - so that means 18 wow dresses. The gaggle around Lorraine Keane's phone were admiring the gorgeous photos of her daughter with her new Pomeranian puppy called Slipper.

I met top stylist Catherine Condell and we raved about the amazing work of the late Dubliner, Josie MacAvin, who won an Oscar in 1986 for set decoration on Out of Africa, starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. He died, aged 85, in 2005.

"I've watched Out of Africa so many times, I love every last detail of Josie's incredible work," said Catherine, who was at Arnotts to cheer on her pal, Sinead Keenan, who did a wonderful job styling the '70 looks in the show.

When I'm watching the Oscars tomorrow night, I intend to lift a glass to Josie, Ireland's only Oscar AND Emmy winner, and I'll forget all that backache I landed myself with after borrowing her Oscar statuette for a red carpet fashion piece I was doing on TV. My mistake was that I didn't calculate the consequences of carrying an eight-and-a-half pound Oscar on one shoulder on my three-and-a-half mile walk home from the office.

Hardy Dubliners, who swim out of Sandycove harbour on a daily basis, probably didn't realise that the statuesque lady with the silver mane of hair had an Oscar at home.

Her rich catalogue of work included Eat the Peach (1986), Far and Away (1992), Michael Collins (1996) and Evelyn (2002).

- BP

This Dame is pretty in pink

Fashion invites were thick on the ground this week and I was more than thrilled to leap out of bed at 7am on Thursday to breakfast at The Morrison with designer, Dame Zandra Rhodes.

The legendary couturier was hailed as the "Princess of Punk" back in the 1970s and was the first designer to put punk on the runway. Her Conceptual Chic collection in 1977 raise eyebrows because of her liberal use of safety pins and fabric tears.

Zandra was over to preview her SS15 collection for Colebrooke by Windsmoor. It features lots of kimonos and kaftans, spiced with vibrant pinks, which has been Zandra's favourite hair colour since she changed from green.

Zandra's extensive list of clients has included Princess Diana, Bianca Jagger, Diana Ross, Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Kennedy, for whom she designed a one-shouldered dress, which the first lady wore in Life magazine.

Last week, Rhodes went to Buckingham Palace where she was made a Dame by the Princess Royal. Zandra famously made the engagement suit that Princess Anne wore for her engagement portrait."Becoming a Dame makes you feel that you belong to your country," said Zandra who, while in Dublin, dined at the Trocadero with Laura Harvey from the Jacques Vert Group.

- BP

Elementary, dear Watson: Moriarty has a new Project to keep him busy

Having watched his on-screen nemesis Sherlock Holmes (aka Benedict Cumberbatch) wander down the aisle, actor Andrew Scott will return to our shores next week.

BAFTA winner Scott - who plays dastardly rogue Moriarty in the BBC hit series - will appear in Simon Stephens' Sea Wall at the Project Arts Centre.

"The show is electrifying," director of the Dublin Theatre Festival, Willie White, said enthusiastically. "You must see it."

White was part of the giddy crowd, who packed into the foyer of the Abbey Theatre this week for the opening of Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream.

Champion boxer, Andy Lee, arrived with his other half, Maud Reardon.

Director Patrick Mason talked about Peter Brook's legendary 1970 staging of the play, while our very own first lady, Sabina Higgins, milled about.

Directed by Gavin Quinn, the drama has been relocated from the leafy woodlands of Athens to the laminated corridors of a nursing home.

Proving, once and for all, that the comedy doesn't have to feature Arthur Rackham-inspired fairies and sprites -thank God.

Game of Thrones star John Kavanagh, Stella McCusker and Barry McGovern all star in the show.

"I think the average age on stage is 68," Minister Heather Humphreys noted. "Which is different." She doesn't miss a trick, does she?

Director of the theatre Fiach Mac Conghail warmly welcomed patrons through the doors.

"We have some of the most established actors appearing in the show," Gavin Quinn said. "I've heard some great war stories in the rehearsal room."

Oh to be a fly on the wall.

- KBK

Excuse me Sir, there's a waiter in my dinner...

Brent Pope will make for one stylish waiter next month when he lines out for a dinner in aid of the Make-A-Wish charity at Ouzos Restaurant in Blackrock on Monday, March 9.

I'd put my money on Brent wearing one of his snazziest striped shirts and trying to dodge getting gravy on his cuffs.

The rugby pundit is one of celebrities offering their services in aid of the foundation.

"The last time we had Brent doing waiter, he was literally eating the chips off the customers' plates - the ladies loved him," laughed Ouzos owner Padraic Hanley, who has just added Marty Whelan to his list of 15 plus celebs serving or cooking on the night.

"We'll have Gerald Kean in the kitchen and he really is a adventurous chef," said Padraic. "Gerald would offer to do brain surgery on you if you'd let him."

Author Cathy Kelly and glamazon Fine Gael TD from up the road, Mary Mitchell O'Connor, will be amongst those working to entertain the 150 diners to raise €25,000 for the worthy cause.

Prices range from €75 for seafood platters and canapés to €150 for a four-course meal, and tickets include a champagne reception. For more info, contact 01-2052012 or email: rachel@makeawish.ie.

Meanwhile, interiors whizz Niamh Banks is making the final preparations to her Seven Wood pop-up lifestyle store, which opens next Monday at the Fumbally Exchange on Dublin's Dame Lane and runs until March 22.

The Sligo-born entrepreneur is also launching the achingly cool website, sevenwood.ie, whose name was inspired by WB Yeats' poetry.

Niamh sells kitchenware, apothecary goods and highly covetable vintage furniture.

- BP

Email: kirstybk@gmail.com and bpower@independent.ie

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