The Crown

The Crown
Alex as the Duke of Windsor

Friday, February 16, 2007

Present Laughter

Alex is to appear at the National Theatre again in October in Noël Coward’s "Present Laughter", playing Garry Essendine. Howard Davies will direct the play on the Lyttelton stage. The announcement was part of the National's presentation of their new season. No further details of dates or other actors were given.

The State Within in the US

"The State Within" will be shown on BBC America starting this weekend, Saturday night at 9 p.m. For more details see:
BBC America

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Jennings and Hytner

From our correspondent in the US the following link to a short interview with Alex and Nick Hytner on their working together:

Hytner on Alex:

The actors I like - and Alex is this actor more than anybody else I work with - have a speed of thought that matches a willingness to dig deep. There are a lot of actors who can access a deep well of feeling, but it is hard to do that and also keep on top of the lightning-quick changes from image to image and idea to idea that the best plays, particularly Shakespeare's, require of an actor.

The fact that we've worked together so often, and that we're very good friends, means there's nothing we wouldn't say to each other. We can get quite grumpy. But some of the most valuable things to have as a director are relationships
that last for the long term: people with whom you grow up and develop your ideas and your approach.

Alex on Hytner:

And he has given me such varied opportunities - although he rarely gives me parts that let me wear jeans on stage.

Our closeness does come into the rehearsal room. But there's also a lot we don't bring in: the gossip, our shared knowledge about each other's families, our views on other people. I used to think he was harder on me in rehearsals than anyone else. If he is tough with me, it's with good reason: I can be a bit lazy.

Full interview:
The Guardian

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Kenneth Tynan

On February 13 Alex will be taking part in a National Theatre Platform dedicated to Kenneth Tynan's theatre writings. The evening will be chaired by Dan Rebellato and introduced by Dominic Shellard, Tynan's biographer. Alex will do the readings. The performance starts at 6 p.m.

For more information see:
National Theatre

Friday, February 09, 2007

Into 2007

After a break down south the Alex Jennings news service is back on the road. The (old) news I've been able to gather so far:

Alex plays the part of Peer Gynt on a recently released recording of the play. The Guardian's Tim Ashley has the following review to offer:
"2007 marks the centenary of Grieg's death, and you'd be hard pressed to find a better tribute than this new recording of his most popular work. Unusually, it presents the incidental music in its entirety within the context of an abridgement of Ibsen's play, and throughout, you're acutely conscious not only of Grieg's astonishing inventiveness, but also of how Ibsen - finicky about the details of the score - understood exactly when to use music to enhance the drama and when to let it fall silent before the often shocking power of speech.

You have to put up with a few idiosyncrasies: the play comes in English, the vocal numbers in Norwegian; the songs are consequently delivered in an over-operatic manner by classically trained singers rather than allotted to actors as Ibsen and Grieg intended. But it's blazingly conducted by Guillaume Tourniaire. The first-rate cast includes Alex Jennings (an endearing, Irish-accented Peer), Haydn Gwynne (the women in his life) and Derek Jacobi (the various manifestations of the forces that mould his destiny). Funny, exhilarating and at times also unbearably sad, it's a remarkable achievement and very highly recommended."
Reference and review at:
The Guardian

Alex also appeared in a radio 3 play called "Two Men from Delft" on Sunday 4 February. The play was written by Stephen Wakelam. Alex played the part of Christiaan Huygens in a play about Antony Van Leeuwenhoek's discovery of bacteria. Stephen Tompkinson played the part of Van Leeuwenhoek. If you've missed it you can listen to the broadcast until 11 February on:
Radio 3

And on 14 and 15 January Alex appeared on "Waking the Dead", the BBC series, in the story called "Deus Ex Machina". He played the part of James Andrews. More information on this episode on the official BBC-website: Episode Guide Waking the Dead