Irons Returns to Stage for One-Night Soldier’s TaleDate: 15 October 2004
British screen star Jeremy Irons (pictured) will make a rare stage appearance next month, appearing – for one night only – in a new one-off production of Stravinsky’s 1918 music theatre piece, The Soldiers Tale (L’Histoire du Soldat), at the West End’s Old Vic Theatre. The London premiere of this new translation by Jeremy Sams, presented by The Motion Group, takes place on Sunday, 21 November 2004, at 7.30pm.
Irons will play the Narrator opposite young Eddie Redmayne in the title role. Redmayne is currently appearing in Hecuba at the Donmar Warehouse, before which he was seen in The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, which transferred to the West End after its run earlier this year at the Almeida. The actors will be accompanied by soloists of the Philharmonia, conducted by Robin O'Neill.
Though he appeared regularly on stage earlier in his career – not least opposite Glenn Close in a Broadway production of The Real Thing, for which he won the 1984 Best Actor Tony – Irons is now best known internationally for his screen appearances. Those include Brideshead Revisited, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Dead Ringers, Reversal of Fortune, Damage, Die Hard III, Stealing Beauty, The Man in the Iron Mask and Longitude.
The Soldier’s Tale, directed by Andrew Steggall, is the Faustian story of a soldier who sells his soul to the devil in return for infinite wealth. Stravinsky worked with the writer, Ramuz, on this innovative work of music theatre in 1918 while living in Switzerland, surrounded by war-torn Europe.
The Motion Group intend to take this production to Baghdad in 2005, using a new Arabic/English translation, before bringing it back to London. As a companion piece, the company are creating a new work, The Civilian’s Tale.
- by Terri Paddock