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Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville to star in W/E transfer of Long Day's Journey Into Night

Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING its sold out run as part of Bristol Old Vic’s 250th Anniversary season, Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville will reprise their roles as James and Mary Tyrone in Richard Eyre’s acclaimed production of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night.

Considered one of the most powerful American plays of the 20th century, the production will play a strictly limited 10 week West End season at Wyndham’s Theatre from January 27 to April 7, 2018.

The Tyrones’ summer home, August 1912. Haunted by the past but unable to face the truth of the present, the Tyrones and their two sons test the bonds of a family caught in the cycle of love and resentment. As day turns to night and the family indulge in their vices, the truth unravels leaving behind a quartet of ruined lives.

Jeremy Irons said: “Over forty years ago I saw Laurence Olivier play James Tyrone. I never dreamed I would one day be given the opportunity to play him myself. I am so glad I have the chance to work again with Richard Eyre and Lesley Manville on this, one of America’s greatest plays.”

Lesley Manville said: “Shortly after Richard Eyre and I worked together on Ghosts he asked me if I’d be interested in doing Long Day’s Journey Into Night with him at Bristol. Ghosts is a big, emotional and epic play but not even that prepared me for the challenge of O’Neill’s masterpiece which is, by far, the hardest play I have ever done. But at the same time thrilling. I cannot wait to play those scenes again to a wider audience. O’Neill is a genius and Richard Eyre’s production gives nothing but credit to this classic American family saga.”

Richard Eyre said: “I’m excited that I’m having the opportunity to revive a production that I loved. We had a wonderful time doing this play in Bristol and it’s marvellous to be able to share the production with audiences in the West End.”

A Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduate, Jeremy Irons began his professional career on the Bristol Old Vic stage in 1969. After years of success in the West End, Irons made his Broadway debut in 1984 opposite Glenn Close in The Real Thing, which won him a TONY Award. An internationally renowned actor, he is well known not only for films such as The French Lieutenant’s Woman, The Mission, Reversal of Fortune, Being Julia and Lolita, but also for the variety of his work – everything from The Lion King to The Borgias.

Irons is one of only a handful of actors to have won an Oscar, a Tony and an Emmy for his work.

An award-winning actress, Lesley Manville is a frequent collaborator with director Mike Leigh, winning the London Film Critics’ Circle Award for British Actress of the Year for her work in both his 2002 film All or Nothing and his 2010 film Another Year, for which she also won the National Board of Review Award for Best Actress.

Manville’s extensive stage career includes roles in Top Girls (Royal Court), Les Liaisons Dangereuses (RSC), His Dark Materials and Pillars of the Community (National Theatre) and Six Degrees of Separation (Old Vic). In 2012, she was nominated for an Olivier Award for her role in Leigh’s play Grief (National Theatre), before going on to win the 2014 Olivier Award for Best Actress for her role in the revival of Ghosts (Almeida) directed by Richard Eyre.

Multi award-winning Richard Eyre was director of the National Theatre between 1987 and 1997. His most noted theatre productions include Hamlet (twice), with Jonathan Pryce at the Royal Court in 1980 and Daniel Day-Lewis in 1989; Richard III with Ian McKellen; King Lear with Ian Holm; Henrik Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman with Paul Scofield, Vanessa Redgrave and Eileen Atkins; and numerous new plays by David Hare, Tom Stoppard, Trevor Griffiths, Howard Brenton, Alan Bennett, Christopher Hampton and Nicholas Wright. He also directed the musical Mary Poppins in London and on Broadway.

Presented by Bristol Old Vic and Fiery Angel, Long Day’s Journey Into Night is designed by Rob Howell, with lighting design by Peter Mumford and sound design by John Leonard.

Tickets: From £12.50.

Times: Tuesday to Sunday evening performances at 7.30pm; Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. There will be no matinee performance on Saturday, January 27.

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, starring Audra McDonald, continues at Wyndham’s Theatre until September 9, 2017.