Sunday 21 January 2018

Society: Kelly and the Sundance kids, Rosanna's second book and Sean's new season inspiration

Rosanna Davison for Thomas Sabo
Rosanna Davison for Thomas Sabo
Actress Kelly Campbell is getting a positive reaction from Sundance audiences.
Aimee Richardson who plays Gemma in Dinosaurs at the Storyland launch. Photo: Gareth Chaney.
Looming deadline: Rosanna Davidson. Photo: Anthony Woods
Leah Duff pictured at the Thomas Sabo Spring/Summer event at The Marker Hotel. Photo: Anthony Woods.
Niall Tyrrell and Patricia Molloy at the official Launch of Oliver McCabe's The FuelFood Cookbook. Photo: Kieran Harnett.
Brenda Rawn and Oliver McCabe at the official Launch of his publication, The FuelFood Cookbook. Photo: Kieran Harnett.
Angela Lansbury
Actress Kelly Thornton at launch of The Audi Dublin International Film Festival. Photo: Brian McEvoy.
Thalia Heffernan wearing Ekotree and Karen Fitzpatrick at Showcase 2016 in the RDS. Photo: Andres Poveda.
Dress designer Nicki Macfarlane
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Sundance Film Festival audiences don't suffer fools gladly.

Just look at poor aul Daniel Radcliffe; his performance as a flatulent corpse in Swiss Army Man resulted in dozens of walkouts in Park City. Oh dear.

Thankfully, flame haired actress Kelly Campbell has received a more positive reaction from US movie buffs.

Bewley heiress Kelly plays the part of Mrs Croft in Whit Stillman's droll comedy of manners, Love & Friendship, which stars Kate Beckinsale and insouciant actress Chloe Sevigny.

"I play the imprisoned friend of Lady Susan (Beckinsale)," Kelly said.

"It was a real ensemble piece, and a joy to shoot - we filmed around Newbridge House and Henrietta Street."

The flick looks like a dream with Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh's plush costumes adorning the silver screen.

The Austenian movie has already been snapped up by Amazon and Roadside Attractions for around $2m which is a nice start for the Irish contingent at Sundance.

A record seven Irish films are being screened at the festival.

John Carney's Sing Street, which is co-produced by U2, received a standing ovation. "It took the roof off," Kelly said. "The atmosphere was electric that night." Kelly told me all about the highs and lows of the festival over the blower this week. She may be oceans away but she was still keen to promote her upcoming pilot Costigan which is being aired as part of RTÉ's sixth annual Storyland.

The drama also stars Rory Keenan who plays Bilibin in the BBC's bodice ripping drama War and Peace and the delightful Mark Huberman - brother of Amy. Mark is currently working on TV3's Trial of the Century in which he plays barrister George Gavan Duffy.

"I'm defending Padraig Pearse (played by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) in the show," he said. "It's got a great cast so I'm really enjoying it."

The show is being filmed at Green Street Courthouse in Smithfield and will also feature Aoibhinn McGinnity aka Trish from Love/Hate and Red Rock actor Anthony Brophy.

The launch for Storyland took place in the Grand Social with RTE's Head of Drama, Jane Gogan, talking about the success of 1916 drama, Rebellion - despite the ratings slump.

Actors Gus McDonagh, Mary Murray and Aimmee Richardson were also in attendance.

Rosie's busy working on her next bestseller

Looming deadline: Rosanna Davidson. Photo: Anthony Woods

By Kirsty Blake Knox

Having spent hours sunning herself in Mauritius, not to mention posting endless pictures of her abs on Instagram, Rosanna Davison (above) has returned to our grim and grey shores - with a looming deadline.

The former Miss Universe is working away on her second book which follows on from the success of her first - Eat Yourself Beautiful.

"I'm going to be a complete hermit until March," she said, filling me in at the the Thomas Sabo Spring/Summer collection launch in the Marker.

"The new book will focus on what food to eat post and pre workout. Hopefully everyone will still be sticking to their resolutions." Thomas Sabo's illustrator, Conor Merriman, immortalised attendees on scraps of paper as they munched on mini croissants.

Paddy the coal man and the €900 wine

By Bairbre Power

There was a moment of synchronicity when, stepping out of my taxi to have dinner at Angelina's, I stood on a big lump of coal outside Smyth's pub.

The site on which Angelina's is built, Dublin's newest and most expensive apartment address, 55 Percy Place, was formerly a big coal yard backing on to the canal.

Its proprietor, Paddy Dunne, used to come into Smyths pub, just across on Haddington Road to have a pint of an evening, his genial, gentle face still streaked in black coal dust.

Himself and his lads would come into the snug and leave the bar to 'advertising types' and Noel or Dave would pull him a chilled, throat-cleansing pint of porter.

I can just see Paddy now, lifting his cap and throwing his eyes up to heaven on hearing how much the apartments cost at his former coal yard - which dated back to 1895.

Yes, times are good in that leafy corner.

Indeed over dinner, I enjoyed a Bellugo Rose from Chateau La Coste which Paddy McKillen owns. His son, Paddy Jr, he of The Dean hotel success, is behind the apartment development and Angelina's. Business is clearly good. Three bottles of wine at ¤900 a pop were sold in a night over Christmas.

Meanwhile on Tuesday night it seemed like everyone from Dalkey was in Residence to mark the launch of Oliver McCabe's, Fuel Food Cookbook.

I had a quick chat with Brenda Rawn who lives with her hubbie, film maker Neil Jordan and their sons on Sorrento Terrace. She is an old friend of Oliver's as is Olivia Gaynor Long, owner of Residence private club.

"Olivia was my first customer when I took over Select Stores which has been run by my family in Dalkey for almost 60 years. Olivia came in with her husband and their baby son, Oliver, and we've become good friends over the years," said Oliver who looked very sharp in a navy suit.

But sure why wouldn't he, working out with Fabio doing Hit Fit resistance and also regular Zumba dancing.

Graham Neville, Olivia's chef at Residence, made canapés from recipes in Oliver's book. Among his guests were his siblings, cousins from Cavan and Castlebellingham and Viking actors, Gustaf Skarsgard and Alexander Ludwig.

Nelofer Pazira read the book's introduction penned by her husband, Robert Fisk, which gives a great flavour of the seaside enclave.

Case of missing sleuth at film festival launch

Angela Lansbury

By Kirsty Blake Knox

Where's Jessica?' was the million dollar question at the launch of the Audi Dublin International Film Festival this week. Murder She Wrote star Angela Lansbury (above) is the guest of honour at this year's festival - following in the footsteps of Julie Andrews - but alas she wasn't present at the launch.

"She's looking forward to attending," director of the festival Grainne Humphreys said. "She's still going strong at 90 years of age." Angela has had a pretty remarkable career; from Gaslight with Ingrid Bergman, Driving Miss Daisy, and The Manchurian Candidate among others.

Humphreys was joined by actresses Kelly Thornton and Nika McGuigan. "We want it to be an unpretentious and fun festival. This isn't a market like Cannes - it's more fun."

Neil Jordan will also be honoured at the festival with a screening of Michael Collins. "I think everyone in Ireland has either seen that film or worked as an extra on it," Humphreys said.

Sean takes out the scissors for his new muse Ana

By Kirsty Blake Knox

Fashion designer Sean Byrne has a new muse; Scissor Sister's front  woman Ana Matronic.

Sean is designing a frock for the singer, who saw one of his pieces on well-known Dublin drag queen, Veda, and instantly became a fan.

"I'm not sure where she's going to wear it but I love designing pieces for strong women who know what they want," he said.

It's fitting then that Sean is choosing to showcase his latest designs at the first Bar Council Benevolent Fund Fashion Show next Thursday.

The event will be attended by Attorney General Maire Whelan and Chief Justice Susan Denham.

From one fashionable event to another I headed over to Showcase: Ireland's Creative Expo at the RDS this week where I bumped into designer Emma Manley. The bride-to-be certainly doesn't shy away from a sartorial challenge and has decided to design her own wedding dress.

"I think it's probably best. I'd be very pernickety," she said. "I'm a bit of a tom boy." Emma and her other half, Eoin Suilleabhain, will wed in spring 2017.

I also ran into Dee Mangan of Kinsale Leathers whose soft leather bags were selling like hot cakes.

Nicki reveals her royal trauma  on a BT visit

Dress designer Nicki Macfarlane

By Bairbre Power

This week, designer Nicki Macfarlane (above) told me about the most stressful car journey of her life - delivering the bridesmaid dresses to Kate Middleton for the royal wedding in 2011.

Nicki is coming over to Dublin to showcase her latest collection of First Holy Communion dresses at Brown Thomas, Grafton Street next Saturday. Naturally though I was nosey about the wedding story. The dresses worn by Kate's little attendants were handmade by Nicki, her daughter Charlotte and a trusted seamstress and hidden in Nicki's Wiltshire home.

"I've driven to London millions of time but that day, I suddenly thought I better stay in the middle lane and do no more than 50mph. My worry was that it just would be the day that someone bumped into me," said Nicki.

"The stories that have come out since about where people saw them was absolutely hilarious because it wasn't possible," said Nicki. Meanwhile back to the communion dresses.

"Little girls will spot what they want pretty quickly, they need to fall in love with their First Holy Communion dress. It is a special, special day and little people are usually right about what looks good on them," Nicki said.

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