Thursday 12 December 2019

The Edge: Sir Bob, Crosbie, Gambon and Colgan all at play

Bob Geldof
Bob Geldof
Lisa Dwan is on stage on Broadway, and will jet off to Florence to work with the BBC when her Broadway run finishes next month. Photo: Tony Gavin.
Moya Brennan
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

With apologies to F Scott Fitzgerald - the rich are not that different from us. I say this because after his super-yacht Phaedo3 finished second in The Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race last Monday morning, American multi-millionaire Lloyd Thornburg celebrated with his crew that evening at 1909 Restaurant and Wine bar in Dalkey.

They then headed into town and enjoyed the hip hostelries on Dawson Street - 37 chief among them - before taxi-ing back to Eddie Irvine's Dalkey mansion, which Lloyd had rented at considerable expense for the week. It was here that I asked moneybags Lloyd how much money he had in the bank.


What's enough?

"Enough," he laughed, "to do anything I want to do." This, for lucky Lloyd, appears to be more on the ocean than on dry land. The 36-year old's passion for adventure and the sea was first aroused when he read Moby Dick as a young teenager in the $58,000 a year private Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, Massachusetts.

You can imagine young Lloyd being particularly mesmerized when Ishmael said: 'The great flood-gates of the wonder-world swung open, and ... there floated into my inmost soul, endless processions of the whale. . .'

In terms of a woman floating his way, Lloyd, who is single, says, "I've been lucky to date a lot of really nice people, but with the sailing it takes a bit of a back seat, because I am sailing so much."

So, you have a girl in every port?

"No. I guess that is every sailor's dream, isn't it?"

Is he looking for an Irish wife?

"Yeah! Why not?" he laughed.

I say to him that if he met a woman, regardless of nationality, he wouldn't be able to continue to sail the seven seas unless he married a glorified mermaid. "I think some people find sailing to be really threatening, because you are always going to be leaving. I think you have to find someone who loves it. I think if I had a family I would have to limit the number of events that I did."

Or limit the number of children you have. "Or get them on the team!" Lloyd laughed.

Still in Dalkey, there were lots of lols at the On The Grapevine wine bar last Sunday night. The place was full of Sirs suddenly, or at least those honoured by Her Maj. No sooner had David McWilliams schlepped in with Bob Geldof, following his interview of same at David's literary fest, than in schlepped Harry Crosbie followed by Michael Gambon, followed by his interviewer from the previous night, Gate grand fromage Michael Colgan. There were Sirs, but very few airs or graces.

Fionnuala and hubby will spend next September in France

One of the country’s foremost violinists — and Twink’s personal fav, but we won’t go there — Fionnuala Sherry was in Innisbofin  last week with her husband Bernard Doyle for a few days.

They will be spending the entirety of September in France. It’s well for some. “So bring on the Irish sun and strawberries,” Princess Fionnuala told me.

(Hopefully, by later this evening, the French will look upon the Irish as the nation who knocked them out of Euro 2016 on June 26 in Lyon.) She will also be playing a gig for the King and Queen of Norway in Norway.

Further afield, Daniella Moyles has just returned from travelling around Bali. The model was DJ-ing at the hooley to mark Expedia’s 20 years of travel last Tuesday night in the Farrier & Draper bar at The Powerscourt Townhouse. Guests enjoyed holiday-themed cocktails, had fun with beach balls and left with a suitcase for their holidays.

Once they weren’t planning on going to the UK for some hols, as it could be quite a different place after voting to leave the European Union.

Unless the thought  of buffoonish blond bombshell Boris Johnson putting on a comedy performance with

naughty Nigel Farage for the tourists in Covent Garden is your idea of a holiday.

Although Sterling will probably be on a par with the Greek drachma, so maybe it is possibly the best time to join Boris and Nigel in England.

But back to the Expedia bash on Tuesday night . . .

Game of Thrones’ star Liam Cunningham was also present, as was stylist Holly White — who is planning her nuptials to fiance Andrew — model Gail Kaneswaran, Roxluna Jewellery’s Emily MacKeogh and RTE’s Suzy Griffin, among other grandees you will never have heard of if you lived a thousand lifetimes in Dublin 4.

 Only saying.

The Irish take Manhattan - again

Lisa Dwan is on stage on Broadway, and will jet off to Florence to work with the BBC when her Broadway run finishes next month. Photo: Tony Gavin.

Lisa Dwan is on stage on Broadway, and will jet off to Florence to work with the BBC when her Broadway run finishes next month

The Irish have taken over New York. Again. Gabriel Byrne, who has had more triumphs on Broadway, and indeed America, than any Irish actor you can mention, is starring opposite Jessica Lange in Long Day’s Journey Into Night at the American Airlines Theatre on West 42nd Street Broadway (‘Jessica Lange and Gabriel Byrne take Long Day’s Journey out for its harrowing ride,’ noted The Washington Post approvingly.) It wraps tonight.

Meanwhile, over on West 22nd Street at the Irish Repertory Theatre, Conor McPherson’s Shining City, starring Matthew Broderick, is bedazzling Broadway too.

 And it is less because of Broderick than it is of our own Lisa Dwan, who powerfully plays Broderick’s estranged girlfriend. (And I haven’t even mentioned that my old pal Joe Dowling is shortly to go into rehearsals with a Brian Friel play called Afterplay in the other new space at the Rep.)

“Conor McPherson is one of Ireland’s great understated theatrical poets,” Lisa told me (I get around). “He leaves space for the emotional lava of what is not said to emerge in every character. It’s a privilege for me to get a chance to embody his work.”

The acclaimed actress from Coosan, Athlone,  — who, she told me, is “currently living between London and New York with occasional trips to Los Angeles for work” — added she is performing Shining City at night and rehearsing and developing a new one woman Beckett play during the day called No’s Knife that opens in September at the Old Vic Theatre in London.

In the meantime, the day after Shining City wraps on July 3, Lisa is jetting to Florence “to do a documentary for the BBC on Dante.”

“And apart from some meetings,” Lisa continued, “I hope to get home to Ireland to spend some quality time with Mam and Dad.”

That’s all well and good, Lisa, but what about your love life? The Irish nation needs to be told. “The nation does not need to be told!” the gorgeous Beckett thesp hooted.

As a diarist, I can’t go on. . . I’ll go on.

Mary to launch her book in New York

Some girls have all the luck. Dr Mary Aiken was at her husband Peter’s sold-out Rod Stewart concert yesterday in Kilkenny. Mary, pictured,  was presumably unwinding to Rod before a busy summer (Peter has the Castlepalooza festival at Charleville Castle next weekend with Villagers etc, so he is busy too). 

Mary’s book The Cyber Effect: A Pioneering Cyberpyschologist Explains How Human Behaviour Changes Online is being launched in New York on August 23, with a subsequent media event to unveil it in Washington too. Mary and Peter will be making their Atlantic crossing by plane and not sailing for these literary events State-side. I only hope that when Mary is in New York she doesn’t bump into a certain Donald Trump. Or at least I hope if they do meet that Trump hasn’t read Mary’s brilliant profile of him, ‘Welcome To The Troll Election’,  on magazine: our Mary referred to how he seems “to relish being nasty - even sadistic, at times.” The first cut is the deepest, Donald.

Moya Brennan lauds her late father Leo with emotional elegy

Moya Brennan

I’m with Brecht on this: “Do not fear death so much but rather the inadequate life.” Musician and legend Leo Brennan had nothing to fear when he left this world for the great session in the sky last week. He had lived an extraordinary life of 90 years when he died last Tuesday at his home in Gweedore, Co Donegal. He was the big daddy of a family whose musical genius  included Enya and Clannad.

Moya Brennan, of the latter giants of Irish music, told me of her late papa - it was more an emotional elegy than a string of sentences . . .

“Everything he was ever involved in was sharing his love of music and song. From 12 years old he was involved in his family’s Slieve Foy Dance Band and his passion inspired our family. I’d really like people to realise what an amazing man he was. He showed patience, tolerance and love: he never just said it, he lived it,” Moya said of Leo, who is survived by his beloved Maire ‘Baba’ Brennan and by his children -  Moya, Ciaran, Pol, Deirdre, Leon, Enya, Olive, Bartley and Bridin.

“And when it was not hip to put your kids on the stage,” Moya added,  “he was thrilled to see us sharing his love of music;  and going on to greater things. Coming from the north west of Donegal he breathed sunshine into this area when he started Leo’s Tavern. When you think of this pub, which is now known around the world, you think of an Irish institution.”

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