The Crown

The Crown
Alex as the Duke of Windsor

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.