Thursday, April 17, 2014

One More


From Official London Theatre.

Backstage at the Oliviers


The Charlie facebook page has created an album backstage at the Oliviers. Some nice shots in there. All the pictures were taken by Helen Maybanks.


All pictures at Charlie on Facebook.

Charlie Newsletter

The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory newsletter reported back on the Oliviers and on Alex taking over. The newsletter includes a backstage picture of Alex and Douglas Hodge:


The newsletter also contains a link to the ITV Player, where the ceremony can be watched

If you want to receive the newsletter sign up at the Official website.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Willy Wonka at the Olivier Awards

The first picture of Alex in costume just found its way onto Twitter:


Sounds like he opened the Olivier Awards. More later!

And another one:


Original at Twitter.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Words and Music - Below the Surface

Yesterday Alex was one of the readers for BBC Radio 3's Words and Music, Below the Surface. Juliet Stevenson was the other reader. The episode is available on BBC iPlayer until next Sunday.

For more information and a playlist see BBC Radio 3 website.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Look, Stranger

Alex will take part in "Look. Stranger", working again with Utter Jazz and Ruthie Culver in a show all about Britten's music and Auden's poetry. Alex performs Auden's words in between the music, new arrangements of the music performed by Ruthie Culver and Utter Jazz. The performance will take place on 26 April at the Wenlock Poetry Festival.

For more information and tickets check the Festival website.

Friday, March 28, 2014

No Place Like Home

Some time ago Alex appeared with Toby Stephens in the radio drama "No Place Like Home", written by Robert Rigby. I only just found this picture of the two actors on the author's website. So for the fans of both:



From: Robert Rigby.

Monday, February 24, 2014

WhatsOnStage Awards

Especially for all of you who voted. Alex was runner-up in the WOS awards for his solo performance in Hymn, getting 20% of the vote. He was beaten by none other than Dame Edna herself, Barry Humphries got 33.8% of the vote for his farewell performance "Eat Pray Laugh" at the Palladium.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Silk Pictures


There is a set of Silk pictures on The Consulting Detective's Blog, with some nice pictures of Alex in there.


With more pictures of the characters at: Inside Media Track - characters.


And more from the first episode at: Inside Media Track - episode 1.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Silk 3


Silk returns to BBC One on 24 February at 9 pm with Alex playing the part of head of chambers Alan Cowdrey. His family is at the centre of the first episode of the new series with Alex playing a substantial part. For more information see his character page on the BBC website.

Thanks to Uli

Casino Royale

BBC Radio 4 Extra broadcasts a repeat of Alex reading the James Bond story "Casino Royale" from today. Episodes are available on the iPlayer for 7 days after the broadcast. For more information check BBC Radio 4 Extra.

Thanks again to Jen!

Friday, February 07, 2014

Willy Wonka

Alex is set to take over from Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka in the West End musical "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" at Drury Lane from 19 May! Various sources report this, here is one: London Theatre Direct.

The Guardian reports on the new Willy Wonka as well.

So, does this mean it's time for another big meeting of the AJ Girls? Let me know if you're interested!

Friday, January 10, 2014

WhatsOnStage Awards 2014

Alex has been nominated for a WhatsOnStage Award for his Solo Performance in "Hymn." You can vote for him at the WhatsOnStage website.

The awards will be presented on 23 February at a live event at the Prince of Wales Theatre. You can buy tickets at Delfont Mackintosh Theatres.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Castles in the Sky

The BBC have announced a number of new science commissions for BBC Two and Four. "Castles in the Sky" is described as a factual drama. From the website:

Factual drama Castles In The Sky tells the previously untold remarkable story of the fight to invent RADAR by Scotsman Robert Watson Watt and a team of British scientists.

It conveys the genuine human drama behind the invention which saved the nation in the Battle of Britain.

Eddie Izzard plays Watson Watt with Laura Fraser (Breaking Bad) as his wife Margaret. The cast also includes Alex Jennings (The Queen) as Tizard; Tim McInnerny (The Devil’s Whore) playing Churchill, David Hayman (Trial And Retribution) as Lindemann and Julian Rhind-Tutt as Albert Percival Rowe.

Eddie Izzard joined the project because he was so inspired by the character and story: “I feel very privileged to be playing the role of Robert Watson-Watt. Hopefully our production will allow him, along with Arnold 'Skip' Wilkins and their team, to finally take their places in the pantheon of British greats of World War II, as the inventors of RADAR.”


The piece also has the first official picture of Eddie Izzard at BBC Media Centre.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

More Britten

Alex is the special guest on BBC Radio 3's "Essential Classics" tomorrow morning at 10.30. Britten is mentioned as the subject of the item. For more information see BBC Radio 3.

Thanks to Uli!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Henry Tizard


The IMDb now credits Alex with playing the part of Henry Tizard in "Castles in the Sky". The World War II drama deals with the development of radar, with Eddie Izzard taking the part of Robert Watson Watt.

Wikipedia describes his work in this area as follows:

"In 1933 Tizard was appointed as chairman of the Aeronautical Research Committee and served in this post for most of the Second World War. He supervised and championed the development of RDF (radio-direction finding, later to become more familiarly known as radar) in the run-up to the war.

In 1940, after a top secret landmark conference with Winston Churchill at which his opposition to R.V. Jones' view that the Germans had established a system of radio-beam bombing aids (Battle of the Beams) over the UK had been overruled, Tizard led what became known as the Tizard Mission to the United States, which introduced to the US, amongst others, the newly invented resonant-cavity magnetron and other British radar developments, the Whittle gas turbine, and the British Tube Alloys (nuclear weapons) project."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Debussy

Alex will appear again with Lucy Parham in the "Rêverie" programme as Claude Debussy. The appearance is scheduled for the Chipping Campden Festival on 11 May next year.

For more information and tickets check the festival's website at Campden Music Festival.

Thanks again to Kate!

My Fair Lady


Alex is busy rehearsing "My Fair Lady" at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Videos of rehearsals are available on their YouTube Channel and Instagram.

Some pictures have been posted on their Facebook Page.

The production will open on December 5. For more information and tickets check their website at Théâtre du Châtelet.

Thanks to Kate!


Monday, November 18, 2013

Radio Britten

Alex is one of the readers for a Benjamin Britten edition of "Words and Music" this Saturday 23 November at 15.30 on BBC Radio 3. The other reader is Diana Quick.

For more information see BBC Radio 3.

Thanks again to Jen!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

NT 50 Programmes

The National Theatre is making programmes for their special events available online. You can download the programmes as pdfs.

The NT50 Years on Stage programme you can download here.

The programme for "Habit of Art is here.

Habit of Art - Encore


As part of the NT 50 celebrations NT Live are showing "The Habit of Art" in cinemas in various countries over the next few months. To check for showings where you are see NT Live - Habit of Art.

NT 50

Alex appeared in two segments of the NT 50 Years on Stage celebrations. Two pictures were published related to the "My Fair Lady" segment. Alex sang "The Rain in Spain" with Rosalie Craig and Malcolm Sinclair.


He also reprised his part as George Bush in David Hare's "Stuff Happens", opposite Lloyd Owen as Tony Blair.

For more pictures and information on the show check the NT 50 website or the blog.

The show is available in the UK on iPlayer for a few more days. There will be a few more international cinema broadcast through NT Live.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

NT - 50 Years on Stage


The BBC has provide more information on the special National Theatre Broadcast next Saturday. Alex is mentioned "among the pairings of great actors and great playwrights" with Christopher Eccleston, Ralph Fiennes paired with David Hare and Howard Brenton. I would guess this for Alex means "Stuff Happens". In the list of musical performances it says there will be a scene from "My Fair Lady".

You can see the whole performance on BBC2, Saturday 2 November from 9.00 to 11.15 pm.

For the full line up see: BBC Media Centre.

If you are not in the UK, NT Live will screen the performance in cinemas worldwide. For venues check the NT Live website.

Just a few tickets are still available for the preview on November 1 at the Olivier Theatre. You can book tickets at £500.00 or £300.00 at National Theatre.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Die Schöne Magelone

On 14th November Alex will take part in a performance of Brahms' Die Schöne Magelone at the Temple Church. The music will be performed by Roderick Williams (baritone) and Julius Drake (piano). Alex is the narrator.

For details and tickets check Temple Song website.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Alan Bennett on Alex Jennings

Alan Bennett talks to the Observers about NT50 and Alex gets a mention:

"After the success of The History Boys I found my next play much harder to write. This was The Habit of Art (2009), an account of an imaginary meeting between Benjamin Britten and WH Auden, and it was only when I set it as a rehearsal of a play that it began to work. It takes place in Rehearsal Room 2 in the National, the room reproduced so exactly by Bob Crowley that one had to keep reminding oneself this was not the real thing.

Playing Britten, Alex Jennings was well placed to perfect an imitation of me, which I suspect he had long been doing on the quiet but which he was able to put to legitimate use in Hymn and Cocktail Sticks (2013), two short autobiographical pieces which began life in the Platform slot before transferring to the Duchess."

Read the full interview at: The Observer.

Thanks to Lex!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Castles in the Sky

Alex will play a part in the new BBC production "Castles in the Sky", a World War II story starring Eddie Izzard as "Sir Robert Watson-Watt, the Scottish hero of the Battle of Britain and the “Father of Radar.” Filming on the production has started in Edinburgh.

For more general information on the film check The Scotsman.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

A Trap for Cinderella


Kate has provided some screencaps for "A Trap for Cinderella", the film released in July 2013 with Alex appearing as Chance. More images in the archives.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

NT Platform

Alex's platform, where he talks about his history with the National, together with Nancy Carroll can now be seen in full on YouTube. Alex talks about productions he was in, productions he has seen or wished he had seen, and about his heroes.

Watch at: NT 50.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

National Histories: 10 questions for leading artists

Alex will take part in the first of the National Theatre's "National Histories" sessions, celebrating 50 years of the NT. He will share the stage in the shed with Nancy Carroll. For more information and tickets see National Histories website. You can find a full list of platforms here.

Thanks to Kate and Uli.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Shoreham WordFest - Auden and Britten

Alex will appear on Sunday 29th September at the Shoreham Wordfest. He will take part in "Look, Stranger", a celebration of the work of Benjamin Britten and W.H. Auden. Music will be performed by Ruthie Culver and the Utter:Jazz quartet with Alex taking care of the readings.

For more information and tickets check the festival website.

Thanks again to Kate!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

50 Years on Stage

Alex will take part in the NT birthday celebration performance on 2 November. He will most likely perform in segments from "Stuff Happens" and "My Fair Lady". Tickets in the Circle for the Friday preview are available at £500 from the NT website .

The performance will be broadcast to cinemas worldwide as part of NT Live, you can check the NT Live website for details. It will also be broadcast on BBC2, details will follow.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Boys From Brazil

Another chance to hear Alex reading Ira Levin's novel on BBC Radio 4 Extra. In 6 parts, the series starts this Friday 13 September at 06.30. For times check the BBC Radio 4 Extra website.

Thanks to Jen!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

The Dark Pastoral

Alex will work once again with pianist Lucy Parham on a music programme. He will appear in "The Dark Pastoral" reading poetry of the First World War. The performance will take place at Kings Place in London on Sunday morning 16 February 2014.

For more information and to book tickets check Lucy Parham's website.

NT at 50

Alex will take part in the celebrations for the fiftieth anniversary of the National Theatre in October. He will be taking part in the National Histories, though no date for his appearance has been set yet. He is also mentioned as one of the contributors to a two-part Arena special on the history on the National to be broadcast on BBC2 in October.

For more information and updates check the National Theatre Website.

Thanks to Kate!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Internee

Alex plays the part of Malcolm Muggeridge in the BBC Radio 4 recording of "How to Be an Internee With No Previous Experience". The play, by Colin Shindler, will be repeated this Wednesday at 11.15 on Radio 4 Extra. Tim McInnerny plays Wodehouse, Anton Lesser is Major EJP Cussen.

The story: In 1944, PG Wodehouse, the creator of Jeeves and Wooster, was questioned by MI5 after broadcasting to America from a German internment camp. One of the interrogators was an up and coming journalist called Malcolm Muggeridge. The other was Major EJP Cussen, who later became a high court judge. The stakes were high: one of Britain's best loved authors was facing the possibility of the death penalty.

For more broadcast times and to listen to the play check: BBC Radio 4 Extra.

Thanks again to Penny!

Friday, August 02, 2013

Electric Ink

Radio 4 Extra starts a repeat of the newspaper comedy "Electric Ink", starring Alex and Robert Lindsay, next Friday at 9.30.

For details check: BBC Radio 4 Extra.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Habit of Art Encore

As part of the Encore screenings NT Live will show "Habit of Art" again on 7 November. So far only a few cinemas have been announced but they promise to announce more venues shortly.

For more information and for cinemas taking part check NT Live.

Thanks to Kate!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Silk 3

Filming on the new series of "Silk" has started and Alex is back! Frances Barber posted a picture taken during filming on her Twitter:


Original on: Twitter.

Thanks to Kate!

Monday, July 01, 2013

Trap for Cinderella


Iain Softley's new thriller "Trap for Cinderella" has premiered at the Brussels International Film Festival. It will be shown in cinemas in Ireland and the UK from 12 July. No release dates are given as yet for other countries.

Alex plays Chance in the film. Some other familiar faces are Aneurin Barnard (We'll Take Manhattan), Tuppence Middleton (The Lady Vanishes), and Frances de la Tour (Habit of Art).

For a review of the Brussels premiere: Casarotto March.

There also is an official Facebook Page. Here you can find pictures, the trailer, and a spotify playlist to the soundtrack. The trailer is now also available through the films IMDbpage'.

Burberry

Alex' appearance as Alan Bennett has had a rather unexpected fashion result. The role has inspired Burberry to create a "Writers and Painters" collection. Jess Cartner-Morley writes in the Guardian: " The role of Alan Bennett as played by Alex Jennings in the National Theatre's production of Hymn led Bailey to rediscover the joys of brightly coloured ties contrasted with knitwear." Another inspiration to designer Christopher Bailey was the painter David Hockney.

The full story as well as a video of the colourful collection on the catwalk is at: The Guardian.

Thank you to Kate!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Who

I missed this one earlier, but the Sun published a piece in March on the next Doctor. Alex is one of the names mentioned, and he is in very good and interesting company. Very nice picture in there: The Sun.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Inheritance Tracks Podcast



The podcast of "Inheritance Tracks is now available at BBC Podcasts and Downloads.

Alex listens to and talks about the piece of music he inherited from his parents, Morecambe and Wise's "Bring Me Sunshine". The track reminds him of his parents, of growing up, and of his desire to be a showman. He also talks about Prince's "It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night", the track he wants to pass on. Again, happy memories, dancing, and a little embarrasment added.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Inheritance Tracks

This Saturday Alex will present his inheritance tracks on the BBC Radio 4 programme 'Saturday Live'. The programme is broadcast from 9 to 10.30 a.m. Inheritance Tracks is a separate segment with a guest talking about a piece of music that influenced them and a piece they would like to pass on. After the broadcast Inheritance Tracks is available as a podcast on BBC Podcasts and Downloads. The programme remains available indefinitely.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Paris My Fair Lady

Tickets are now on sale for the Paris holiday season production of "My Fair Lady". There are shows in December, with Alex appearing as Henry Higgins. More information and tickets at the Châtelet website.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

AJ Holidays

The Sunday Times article of Alex talking about his holidays is only available if you are a subscriber. You can read the first couple of paragraphs and see the picture here, even if you're not a subscriber: Sunday Times.

Alex also talks about low budget holidays in Greece, family holidays on the Norfolk Broads when he was a child, and more recent stays in north Norfolk. Venice is his favourite place. He also loved Japan: "you’ve got all the shops. I’m so shallow. I really like shopping on holiday, and in Japan I had to buy two new suitcases because I did so much. I collect vintage kimonos, and I bought five. I wear them as dressing gowns."

Many thanks to Uli!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Holidays

Alex talks about his holidays (sounds like a school essay somehow...) in this week's Sunday Times. He talks about shopping abroad, a taste for vintage kimonos, Egypt and Greece, and about not getting into fancy dress. More after the weekend.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A King's Speech

In 2009 Alex recorded "A King's Speech" for BBC Radio 4. The original production, basis for the film made later, can be listened to again this week on BBC Radio 4 Extra on Tuesday at 11.15.

For more information check the BBC Website.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Claudia Winkleman Interview

Alex talks about Untold Stories to Claudia Winkleman in her programme on BBC Radio 2.

Check the Radio 2 Website for details.

After the broadcast the show can be downloaded as a podcast from the Podcasts page of the BBC website. The show will be available for download for 30 days after the broadcast.

Thanks again to Uli!

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Untold Stories Opening Night Pictures



The Tatler has posted a series of pictures of the opening night party of "Untold Stories". The pictures can be seen at the Tatler website.

"Untold Stories" reviews



Whatsonstage gives four stars and has this to say about Alex performance:

"Jennings affectionately inhabits his subject without ever slipping into Spitting Image territory. Bennett's soft Yorkshire lilt is so often imitated that it can difficult to listen past the voice to hear the words, but Jennings makes it easy. He skilfully plays with the quartet like a fifth instrument, at times involving the musicians directly to demonstrate his stuttering early attempts as a would-be violinist."

Full review at: Whatsonstage.



Fiona Mountford writes in the London Evening Standard:

"It's all there: the tweed jacket, the red tie, the pullover, the mop of blond hair and, above all, that gloriously Eeyore-ish delivery, if Eeyore spoke with the flat northern vowels of a Leeds upbringing. It’s almost as if the splendid Alex Jennings is more Alan Bennett than Bennett himself, playing the writer in this double bill of autobiographical “recollections” that transfers to the West End after a sell-out run at the National Theatre."

She also gives the show four stars.

Full review at: London Evening Standard.


Sarah Hemming of the Financial Times also gives four stars and writes: "In essence, this delicate double bill of short plays (which shares material with his book Untold Stories ) by Alan Bennett is a trip down memory lane. But few writers undertake such journeys as well as Bennett. Played superbly by Alex Jennings, who achieves an uncanny vocal and visual likeness to Bennett, the bespectacled author wanders the stage, summoning recollections of his childhood."

Full article at: Financial Times



Dominic Cavendish in the Telegraph gives five stars.

"Playing the author with sublime assurance once more is Alex Jennings. At first, in Hymn, you marvel merely at the impersonation. With fogeyish attire, blond hair and scholarly specs – a cross between schoolboy and schoolmaster – the actor almost looks the spitting image of his subject. You admire the Leeds accent and the mimicked mannerisms – the stooped gait, the gauche, hands-in-pockets delivery – but through a strange alchemy, this ceases to be an affectionate tribute act and it’s as if you’re in the presence of the man himself."

Full review at: Telegraph.



Kate Bassett of the Independent gives four stars and writes: "Nonetheless, he is a much-loved figure, and Jennings's impersonation is a delight – almost unnervingly spot-on. Bespectacled, with short back and sides, he captures Bennett's lilting and slightly bunged-up intonation without caricaturing. He leans forward fractionally at the ankles, flaps a hand inside his tweedy jacket pocket, or sinks into an armchair with his fingers interlaced over his chest."

Full review at: The Independent.



Peter Brown at LondonTheatre.co.uk gives five stars and says: "Mr Jennings brilliantly captures Mr Bennett's vocal characteristics, getting a laugh even with the first phrase he delivers. But he also bears a striking resemblance in terms of his physical appearance – the blond hair, glasses, the sports jacket with the inevitable jumper snuggling underneath, the tie, the slacks and tan brogues. It is the never-changing, sensible wardrobe of a neat librarian rather than a world-renowned author and playwright."

Full review at: LondonTheatre.


Wednesday, April 03, 2013

RIchard Griffiths



After the press night of "Untold Stories" at the Duchess Theatre last night Alex remembered Richard Griffiths during the curtain call.

Louise Jury in the London Evening Standard writes:

"Alex Jennings was near to tears at his West End first-night curtain call as he paid tribute to History Boys star Richard Griffiths who died after heart surgery.

At the Duchess Theatre, Jennings, appearing as playwright Alan Bennett in Untold Stories, announced that West End lights were dimmed earlier in the late actor’s honour, and added: “Richard Griffiths is irreplaceable.”

Griffiths, 65, who died last week, starred with Jennings in the premiere of Bennett’s The Habit of Art, about WH Auden and Benjamin Britten.Jennings hailed him as a “peerless” performer of Bennett’s work — “from the man in A Private Function feeding ginger biscuits to that pig, to The Habit of Art at the National and heavenly Hector in The History Boys”."

Full story at: London Evening Standard.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WOS Outing Twitter and Podcast

Whatsonstage.com organised a special Q&A session after the performance of "Untold Stories" at the Duchess Theatre last night. There is a report in the shape of Tweets on their website. Alex answered questions asked by the audience, Jeff Rawle, who plays Bennetts father was also there.

Read the tweets at WOSOuting Tweets.

Update: you can now listen to the Q&A using the same link!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Nastier




Alex talks to the Evening Standard about "Untold Stories": “He hates being thought of as being cosy. He was telling me in rehearsals that I needed to be nastier. But of course he is actually adorable,” Jennings said.

Read the full story in the London Evening Standard.

Being Alan Bennett

The Official London Theatre has an interview with Alex on the upcoming transfer of "Untold Stories" to the Duchess Theatre. Alex talks about the production, about Alan Bennett and about working at the National Theatre.

Read the interview at Official London Theatre.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Alan Bennett

This Wednesday at 20.15 on BBC Radio 4 Alan Bennett talks to Mark Lawson about his recent work for the National Theatre. After the broadcast the programme can be downloaded as a podcast.

BBC Radio 4

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Professor Appears



There is a description of the professor, played by Alex, in "The Lady Vanishes" on the BBC Website. The film will be shown tonight at 20.30 on BBC One. Other parts are played by Selina Cadell, Tom Hughes, Tuppence Middleton, Keeley Hawes, Gemma Jones, Stephanie Cole and Julian Rhind-Tutt.

BBC Website

Friday, March 15, 2013

Britten at the Wigmore Hall

Alex is the reader at a recital of music and readings by Benjamin Britten and WH Auden at the Wigmore Hall in London on 23 March at 2.00 p.m. The concert will be about one hour and 50 minutes and features tenor Andrew Kennedy and Iain Burnside on piano.

The concert is part of the the Britten Birthday Centenary series.

For more information and tickets check the Wigmore Hall website.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Silk III

Alex will be appearing in the new series of "Silk". Filming will take place this summer.

Return to the Other Lady

Alex will go back to the role of Henry Higgins in "My Fair Lady" at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris at the end of the year. The production will probably run from the end of November through to January.

Steve Wright in the Afternoon



Alex talked about "Untold Stories" transferring to the Duchess on 22 March and about the upcoming broadcast of "The Lady Vanishes" on Steve Wright in the Afternoon, BBC Radio 2 this afternoon.

The podcast of the interview can be downloaded from the BBC website at BBC Podcasts. The podcast will be available until 21 March.

You can also listen online at: BBC Music Showcase.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

The Lady Appears

The BBC has confirmed "The Lady Vanishes" will be shown on BBC One, on 17 March at 8.30 to 10.00 pm.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Lady Vanishes

This film which was originally announced for Christmas will now be shown in the week starting 16 March. Alex plays the professor.


See the BBC website for more information.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Untold Stories on BBC Breakfast

Alex will appear on BBC Breakfast tomorrow between 8.30 & 9am to talk about Untold Stories!

Thanks to Penny!

Monday, February 04, 2013

Hidden

Alex and Maxine Peake are the readers for this Sunday's "Words and Music". They will read poems and prose by Lewis Carroll, Edward Thomas and John Clare about secrets, lost things and encrypted meaning. There's music by Elgar, Berg, Bach and Janacek. The programme will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3, next Sunday at 18.30 For more information check BBC Radio 3.

Thanks to Uli!

Benjamin Britten


Alex reads "Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century" on BBC Radio 4 this week. It is the book of the week. Broadcasts are at 9.45 and 0.30 on weekdays. The book was written by Paul Kildea. The website has a short interview with Alex talking about his love for Britten's music, his visit to the composer's home and on playing him at the National Theatre in "The Habit Of Art". For more information and the interview see: BBC Radio 4.

Thanks again to Uli!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Ian Fleming's "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" will be broadcast again tomorrow, Sunday 27 January on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 9am and 4.30pm.

From the BBC Website:

"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is no ordinary car. When the Pott family save Chitty from the terrible fate of the scrapyard, Chitty repays Caractacus, Jeremy and Jemima with an exciting adventure. Jump aboard for a magical story starring Imogen Stubbs. Alex Jennings and David Fleeshman."

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"Untold Stories" Transfer to the West End

The Official London Theatre reports that the NT Bennett double bill of "Hymn" and "Cocktail Sticks" will transfer to the Duchess Theatre under the title "Untold Stories". The first performance is on 22 March with a press night on 2 April and the show will run for twelve weeks. More information at Official London Theatre.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Evening Standard Review


Henry Hitchings of the Evening Standard gives the Bennett double bill four stars. Another good review for Alex:

"The material will be known to Bennett fans. It’s the presentation that feels fresh, and it is a tribute to the skill of Alex Jennings, who appears as the author in both pieces, that one often forgets it isn’t Bennett himself dispensing ironies from the stage.

Jennings has caught the particularity of Bennett’s delivery: the flatness and Eeyorish detachment, with its little flashes of wit. He even manages to look like him, evoking his misleadingly avuncular bearing and wry watchfulness."

Full review at the Evening Standard.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fayre of St James


On 29 November Alex attended the inaugural charity concert of the Fayre of St James, doing some of the readings at this carol concert. Penelope Wilton was the other reader, while James Morrison provided the music. Proceeds of the concert went to War Child.

Pictures of the events are up on the website of the Quintessentially Foundation.

More pictures are up on the Tatler website.

Guardian Bennett Review


The Guardian's Michael Billington is another critic to praise the Bennett pieces and Alex's performances. Four stars again.

"Alex Jennings plays Bennett to perfection: with his blond fringe and flat vowels, he not only looks and sounds like the original, but also, in the way he surveys the on-stage quartet with an appreciative envy, conveys the solitude of the compulsive non-joiner."

Full review at The Guardian.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bennett Reviews


Charles Spencer of the Telegraph gives the productions five stars. He praises Alex' performance:
"Jennings superbly captures Bennett’s mixed emotions, in which there lurks the guilt any writer feels about turning those he loves into subject matter."

Full review at The Telegraph.


Paul Taylor of the Independent gives the production four stars, with the part of Bennett being "uncannily well- played by Alex Jennings".

Full review at
The Independent.



Alexandra Coghlan at the Artsdesk.com also praises both the production and Alex' performance:
"Alex Jennings is uncanny as Bennett (it helps that he’s a dead ringer for him), complete with sloping shoulders, apologetic stance and of course the laconic burr of his Leeds accent."

Full review at The Arts Desk.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Cocktail Sticks Production Pictures


The National Theatre have now published the production pictures for Cocktail Sticks at National Theatre website,



Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death

Made for BBC Radio 4 Extra, the first of James Runcie's The Granchester Mystery series featuring Sidney Chambers, a vicar with a neat side line in detection.

Working alongside his friend, Inspector Keating, Chambers finds people will tell him things they might not tell anyone else. While investigating the apparent suicide of a Cambridge solicitor, he discovers that being a detective, like that a clergyman, means you are never off duty.

Alex reads this week on BBC Radio 4 Extra, starting Monday at 06.30. For more information check BBC Radio 4 Extra.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Cocktail Sticks Rehearsal Pictures

The National Theatre put up rehearsal pictures for "Cocktail Sticks".

The picture shows Alex as Alan Bennett with Jeff Rawle and Gabrielle Lloyd as Bennetts parents.

More pictures at the NT website.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Hymn Production Gallery


The NT have published some pictures of Alex as Alan Bennett in Hymn. They are on the NT website.

The Alan Bennetts

The Telegraph has an interview with Alan Bennett at the National, which refers to the two productions Alex is working on. A nice picture of the two Alan Bennetts:


From the interview:

"Five minutes later, another Alan Bennett walks in. He is taller, blonder, more youthful. “Oh good, they’ve made you a bit more rumpled,” says the first Alan Bennett to his sort-of twin. “You looked very good coming through the door.”

The second Alan Bennett is the actor Alex Jennings, who is playing the playwright in two short memoirs staged at the National Theatre to complement his new play People. In one, Hymn, Bennett’s reminiscences are set to music for string quartet by his long-time collaborator George Fenton. In the other, Cocktail Sticks, Bennett looks back on his “ordinary” childhood, and the way it has affected his writing.

When Hymn was premiered at the Harrogate Festival in 2001, Bennett took to the stage himself. Watching an actor play him is odd. “I think 'do I talk like that?’” he says. “But I don’t think of Alex as me, I think of him as Alex, though that doesn’t imply shortcomings in his performance. I don’t think you can think of yourself as somebody else.”

Because Jennings is giving a performance rather than an impersonation, his demeanour and delivery are indeed not exactly like Bennett’s. The voice has the familiar Yorkshire cadence, but it is more forceful than the author’s, which in conversation at least rises and falls as thoughts form themselves; he has a habit of letting some sentences fade away into a little “mmm”."

The full interview is at The Telegraph.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Napoleon Rising

Alex plays the part of Talleyrand in Anthony Burgess' drama charting Napoleon Bonaparte's meteoric rise in the early years of the French revolution. The part of Napoleon will be played by Toby Jones, Jenny Jules is Josephine.

The play will be broadcast on Sunday 2 Dec 2012 at 20:30 on BBC Radio 3 and is part of the Radio 3 Napoleon season.

For more information check the BBC Website.

Thanks again, Jen!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Boys From Brazil

BBC Radio 4 Extra will broadcast "The Boys From Brazil" again this week. For details check: BBC Radio 4 Extra.

Thanks to Jen!

Monday, October 29, 2012

London Evening Standard Drama Awards 2012

The longlist for the London Evening Standard Drama Awards has been published. Alex is one of the nominees for best actor for his part in Collaborators. Simon Russell Beale is nominated for the same play.

The shortlist will be announced on November 12 and the winners revealed at a ceremony presented by James Corden at the Savoy Hotel on November 25, when the recipients of five special awards will also be revealed.

For a full list of nominations see: London Evening Standard.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bajazet Reading

Alex will take part in a reading of Racine's Bajazet at the Donmar Warehouse on 31 October at 2.30 pm. Other readers are Hayley Atwell, James McAvoy and Ruth Negga.

Tickets can be booked at Donmar website.

Thanks Uli!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Strange Meeting

Scheduled to mark Armistice Day, BBC Radio 4 Extra will broadcast Peters Wolf's Play "Strange Meeting" on Thursday 8 November at 11.15 a.m.

The play is inspired by Wilfred Owen’s First World War poem and dramatises events leading up to Owen’s death on the eve of the Armistice. Alex is the Captain and Paul Rhys is Wilfred Owen.

What Love Sounds Like

What Love Sounds Like centres around the meeting of a blind man, Dom, and a deaf woman, Thea, in a faith-healer's waiting room. Dom has only recently gone blind and is at odds with the world and himself. Thea, using her computer voice generator, plies him with questions - particularly about an old, painful relationship which Dom is initially reluctant to talk about. As the play progresses we realise that all is not quite as it seems, and that this meeting may have profound consequences for them both. Alex Jennings and Juliet Stevenson star in a new play by award-winning playwright Peter Souter.

The production can be heard on BBC Radio 4 this Wednesday 24 October at 14.15.

Taken from the BBC Website.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Reading Gaol

From BBC Radio 4's Twitter feed: "Alex Jennings reads Oscar Wilde's The Ballad of Reading Gaol 4.30pm today, on Poetry Please."

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Casino Royale

BBC Radio 4 Extra again broadcasts Alex reading the James Bond story "Casino Royale". There will be ten episodes starting this Monday. For times check BBC Radio 4 Extra.

Thanks to Jen!

New Tricks


I've added pictures and details of last Monday's episode of "New Tricks" to the AJ Archives.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Collaborators

More information on this Sunday's BBC Radio 3's broadcast of Collaborators is now available at Drama on 3. The play will be broadcast at 8.30 pm.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

New Tricks

Alex will appear in the next episode of "New Tricks" tomorrow night, 25 September at 9 p.m. on BBC One.

More information on the BBC Website.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Collaborators on radio

BBC Radio 3 will be broadcasting a series of three plays in September which portray the ruthlessness and dilemmas of absolute rule. The first to be broadcast on 16 September is Marlowe's Tamburlaine. The series continues in subsequent weeks with Friedrich Schiller’s Mary Stuart and Collaborators, the recent National Theatre success with Simon Russell Beale as Stalin and Alex Jennings as Bulgakov. The first play will be broadcast at 20.30. No date or time has been given yet for the Mary Stuart or Collaborators broadcast.

For more information see the radio 3 website.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Cry Babies

Kim Newman's "Cry Babies" will be broadcast again on BBC Radio 4 Extra, Wednesday 5 September at 11.15.


Details at BBC Radio 4 Extra

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back at the National

Alex will be joining the National Theatre again towards the end of the year. The company has two short pieces planned to accompany the new Alan Bennett play "People', both performed by Alex as Alan Bennett.

Performed alongside People at the Lyttelton will be Hymn (a 30-minute piece beginning November 22) and Cocktail Sticks a 60-minute piece beginning December 5), two recollections by Bennett. The pieces will be directed by Nicholas Hytner.

For more infomation: Theatermania and The National Theatre.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Lady Vanishes

Alex will play the professor in a new BBC One adaptation of The Lady Vanishes. Other parts will be played by Keeley Hawes, Tuppence Middleton, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Gemma Jones and Tom Hughes. The film will be shown on BBC One at Christmas. Filming starts in August in Budapest.


The production was announced by the BBC earlier this week. More information at BBC Press Centre.




Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The Truth

Alex reads this week's Book at Bedtime, "The Truth" by Michael Palin, for BBC Radio 4 daily at 22.45. There are 10 episodes, and they can be heard on the BBC iPlayer for a week after initial broadcast.

More at:
BBC Radio 4

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Damn His Blood

Alex reads Peter Moore's true tale of brutal murder in a remote English village on Midsummer's Day, 1806 as BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week this week. A shocking case of greed and revenge that gripped the nation.

The reading starts tomorrow, 25 June at 9.45 and there will be 5 programmes.

BBC Radio 4 Website

Thanks again to Jen!

Singles and Doublets

Alex plays Simier in the radio drama "Singles and Doublets" on BBC Radio 3 tonight at 20.30. Celia Imrie plays Queen Elizabeth I. This radio play about "Elizabethan Real Tennis culminates in an epic match, poetry and death by strawberries and cream."

The tennis scenes were recorded at the Millennium Real Tennis Court, Middlesex University

The play was written by Martyn Wade.

BBC Radio 3 website

Thanks to Jen!

Friday, June 22, 2012

More Rêverie

The Rêverie with Lucy Parham will be repeated at London Guildhall on 25 October this year. For a full list of Parham's appearances and other shows, check her website: Lucy Parham Website. No more details are available at the moment.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rêverie: The life and loves of Claude Debussy


Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Claude Debussy, one of the most prolific and innovative composers of the early 20th century, Rêverie is the fourth biographical programme of composers’ words and music to be compiled and scripted by concert pianist Lucy Parham. 

The narrative of Rêverie, which takes the form of a personal journal, follows him from his initial success with the Prix de Rome in 1885 to his untimely death in 1918. It is punctuated with solo piano works ranging from the ever-popular lyricism of Clair de Lune, Reverie, 1st Arabesque, and The Girl with the Flaxen Hair to such virtuosic showpieces as Jardins sous la pluie, the Etudes and L’isle joyeuse.

                         

Critically acclaimed pianist Lucy Parham will be joined by Olivier Award winning actor Alex Jennings in this advance perfomance of Rêverie, before its Wigmore Hall debut.

This performance will take place on Wednesday 11th of July at 8 pm in The Wesley Chapel in Harrogate. 
 
For more information, please click here.

Tickets cost £18 and can be booked using this link.  BOOK HERE

Many thanks to Vicky for alerting us to this.