Jeremy Irons announced as special guest in Mark Kermode birthday concert

Academy Award-winning actor, Jeremy Irons is to appear with Mark Kermode in his 50th birthday celebratory concert alongside the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on 9 July at Symphony Hall Birmingham.

Jeremy Irons bbc hardtalk

One of Britain’s most extraordinary talents, Irons is well-known for his starring roles in films such as Reversal of Fortune, The French Lieutenants Woman, The Mission, Dead Ringers and Damage alongside appearances in Die Hard: with A Vengeance and as the unforgettable voice of Scar in Disney’s classic, The Lion King. He will join Mark, the UK’s best known and most authoritative film critic, as he celebrates his special year on stage as part of a four concert tour this summer*. Audiences will have the chance to get a rare and personal insight into this talented actor’s life and career as he shares tales and anecdotes on stage with Mark whilst hearing some of the music from the films in which he has appeared.

Music from Jeremy’s films will include the theme from Brideshead Revisited, music from French Lieutenant’s Woman and the unforgettably powerful Gabriel’s Oboe from The Mission. These will be joined by the soundtrack from Reversal of Fortune and music from Vangelis that features in Trashed, the documentary about the effects of waste on the environment, produced by and featuring Irons.

They will form part of the concert which will also see Mark’s unique and eclectic film choices discussed and the music performed by the CBSO. From the tender theme of Silent Running, a violent hunt from Planet of the Apes (a film Kermode credits with teaching him everything he knows about politics) and Jonny Greenwood’s hugely influential music from There Will Be Blood to the infernal strains of Peter Maxwell Davies’s hell-raising score from The Devils, the fandango of North By Northwest, the sleazy cityscape of Taxi Driver, Angelo Badalamenti’s dreamy score for David Lynch’s Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me and the joyous overture to the Disney classic, Mary Poppins (one of Kermode’s all-time favourites). And, of course, a Kermode concert would not be complete without The Exorcist, which famously lifted a spine-tingling theme from the opening of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells.

All the music will be conducted by maestro Robert Ziegler, who has a worldwide reputation as a conductor of film music and has worked regularly in the studio with film composers such as Howard Shore (Hugo, The Hobbit) Patrick Doyle (Hamlet, Sense and Sensibility) and Jonny Greenwood (There Will Be Blood, Norwegian Wood).

Stephen Maddock, CBSO chief executive said: “It’s fantastic to be announcing that Jeremy Irons is joining us as part of these special celebratory concerts. He is one of the UK’s foremost screen actors and promises to be a lively and fascinating guest on stage with Mark. Film lovers, music lovers, and film music lovers won’t want to miss this!”

Mark Kermode said: “As every film fan knows, music is the real third dimension of movies, the magical element which draws you into the drama, immerses you in the action and changes the experience from watching a movie to living it.

“These concerts are not an attempt to round up the ‘greatest’ screen music by the most celebrated composers. Rather, they are an enthusiastic romp through some very personal choices, blending the well-known with the more esoteric, the acclaimed with the ‘cult.’ We’ve attempted to have fun with the selections – we’re sure the audience will have fun hearing them.”

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Mark Kermode’s Birthday concerts with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra will take place at Cheltenham Festival (3 July); Barbican, London (6 July) The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (8 July) and Symphony Hall, Birmingham (9 July).

Jeremy Irons’ website is here