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Stars gather at the Gate for acting forum

THE faces of wizards, corrupt guards and members of age-old Italian dynasties will gather at the Gate Theatre this weekend.

The inaugural World Actors' Forum will take place inside the hallowed Dublin theatre.

Artistic Director Michael Colgan has managed to pull in some pretty impressive names including Jeremy Irons, Harry Potter star Michael Gambon, The Guard's Brendan Gleeson, Game Of Thrones actor Charles Dance and Chariots Of Fire star Nigel Havers.

"It's about time there was an actors' forum," he told the Herald. "There are conferences for every profession in the world – even proctologists have conferences so I thought it was time to set up a World Actors' Forum."

The two-day event, entitled Giving A Voice To The Actor Without A Script, will give aspiring actors the chance to chat to distinguished thespians about their craft and roles.

Mr Colgan said the event is "a unique celebration of the actor by the actor to acknowledge their role on stage, on screen and in the community".

"Actors are not properly valued in our society," he explained. "They are what make theatre and films great – this will give actors the chance to have a voice. It's like Speaker's Corner but for actors.

"People in the film and theatre industry will interview them. So Joseph O'Connor will chat to Jeremy Irons.

"I'll talk to Michael Gambon, John Boorman will be speaking with Penelope Wilton and Moya Doherty will hold a conversation with Sinead Cusack. And Jim Sheridan and Kristen Sheridan will also be there."

Tickets are €50 but professional actors can avail of concession tickets priced at €25.

"The average Irish actor would be lucky to make €11,000 per annum so we need to help and support them."