On Saturday February 8th & 9th February 2020, The Irish Cultural Centre Hammersmith London presents a celebration of the life and works Of Ireland’s late great Theatre & Film Actor and Comedian, Niall Tóibín.
Niall Tóibín Ireland’s great actor and comedian passed away in November 2019. During his long career, spanning over six decades Tóibín appeared in more than 30 feature films. Among them, Ryan’s Daughter, Murphy’s Stroke, The Ballroom of Romance, Eat the Peach, Far and Away (in which he played opposite Tom Cruise), Veronica Guerin, Caught in a Free State, The Clinic and Bob Quinn’s’ ‘Poitin’. As a stage actor the range of his work was vast and included unforgettable performances in Irish theatres as well as some of the most important theatres in London and New York. From Beckett, Shakespeare, Eugene O’Neill to embodying Brendan Behan in multiple productions at The Abbey and on Broadway. Niall Tóibín was capable of great intensity and complexity as an actor, but he was also hugely entertaining. His wicked glint of devilment, his gift for character observation and his ear for accents have seen his many ‘one- man shows’ garner praise by audiences all over the world. He did a great line in priests, from the formidable parish priest Fr Frank MacAnally in Ballykissangel, to the psychopathic Fr Geraldo in ‘Rat’ and the gentle cleric in ‘Brideshead Revisited’. He was hugely loved and respected by all who worked with him. Upon hearing about Niall’s death, the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins said “His contribution to Irish theatre was a unique one, in both the Irish Language and English. The depth of interpretation that he brought to a wide variety of characters showed a very deep intellectual understanding and, above all, sensitivity to the nuance of Irish life. To the latter he brought a distinctive voice which made him a much-loved interpreter of Irish life and its challenges’.
In order to honour and pay tribute to Niall Tóibín, The Irish Cultural Centre London presents this unique season of films which brings to the screen some of Niall’s most magical and most powerful performances. As part of the season the ICC will present the UK Premiere of the documentary ‘Niall Tóibín – Everyman’. There will be a Q&A with the director of the film Brian Reddin. We will also have rare screenings of ‘Eat the Peach’, ’Murphy’s Stroke’ ‘A Pint with Brendan Behan’ and Bob Quinn’s ‘Poitín’. There will also be a special gathering of some of Niall’s friends, colleagues and members of his family, who will share remembrances and anecdotes about his extraordinary career.
See the full programme below:
Saturday February 8th
‘Murphy’s Stroke’ (Feature Film / Drama) Directed by Frank Cvitanovich
To launch this special tribute weekend The Irish Cultural Centre presents a Free Screening of this acclaimed, entertaining and much-loved feature film starring Niall Tóibín. A businessman concocts a horse racing scam that involves passing off an inexperienced horse as a race winner to rig the betting odds. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Niall Tóibín and Tony Doyle.
Poitín (A Film/ Drama, in the Irish Language.)
Directed by Bob Quinn. Written by Colm Bairéad. To pay tribute to Tóibín’s love for the Irish language, the ICC presents this special film which was in fact the very first feature film ever made in The Irish Language
Produced by Cinegael.
A sometimes hilarious, but fundamentally grim story about two poteen agents, Labhrás (Donal McCann) and Sleamhnan (Niall Tóibín), who steal their confiscated goods back from the Gardaí and cheat their elderly poteen-maker, Micíl (Cyril Cusack) out of his share of the money. Poitín made history in Connemara as the first feature film ever to be made in the Irish Language. Set against a desolate background Quinn’s raw and grim depiction of Irish rural life and living generated outrage when it was first screened in 1979. Images of stupidity and cruelty dominate this defiantly unsentimental film that, even today, retains its power to act as a riposte to idealisations of Ireland.
Tickets £8.00 (65 mins) Ireland 1979:
UK Premiere: Niall Tóibín – EVERYMAN – (Documentary)
Directed by Brain Reddin. Dearg Films (2019)
Ireland’s great actor and comedian Niall Tóibín passed away on 13th November 2019, just eight days shy of his 90th birthday. This documentary celebrates his long life and career which spanned seven decades, entertaining us with characters and stories.
In this intimate and often hilarious documentary, Niall’s daughters begin the task of documenting and archiving the huge collection of movie and theatrical memorabilia which Niall had collected over his long career. As they look back over these memories, the documentary celebrates Niall’s life and career, through a series of talking heads from fans and colleagues. What emerges is a poignant and funny story of a man who has managed to excel in every field of Irish entertainment . The film gives an insight into what made him so popular and a look at the lasting legacy he left behind. The film includes interviews with Pierce Brosnan, Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Rea and Jim Sheridan.
This Screening will be followed by a Q&A with the Film Director Brian Reddin
Tickets £8.00 (60 mins) Ireland 2019.
Sunday February 9th
‘A Jar with Brendan Behan’ – Directed by Bergette Pierre – Produced by Godfrey Graham
‘A Jar with Brendan Behan’ is a one man show from 1970 starring Niall Tóibín as Brendan Behan. Tóibín was known for his portrayal of Behan, starring in ‘Borstal Boy’ many times in The Abbey Theatre and on Broadway for which he won a Tony Award for his portrayal. This is a rare chance to see this wonderful one man show from 1970 where Niall Tóibín plays Brendan Behan, as only he can.
Tickets £8.00 Length 1 hr
A Gathering of Some Friends and Colleagues of Niall Tóibin – ‘Remembering Tóibín The Man’
We are gathering friends and colleagues and some members of Niall’s family, among them his daughter Sighle. This event is currently in planning –If anyone has a memory or story to share about Niall, please do get in touch and we will see if it can be included;
Contact Rosalind Scanlon – Programmer@Irishculturalcentre.co.uk – Free Event.
‘Eat the Peach’ Directed by Peter Ormrod. (Samson Films) Feature film / Drama
In 1984, inspired by Elvis Presley’s motorcycle antics in the film Roustabout and a visit to Dublin’s Funderland, two unemployed Irish brothers-in-law built a 40-foot cylindrical Wall of Death in their backyard. RTÉ News reporter Peter Ormrod covered their story and was so enthralled that he decided to make a feature film about it. ‘Eat the Peach’ is a wryly comic tale of eccentricity and determination set in an Ireland of high unemployment and emigration. It is populated by entirely likeable and textured characters: the dreamers, Vinny (Stephen Brennan) and Arthur (Eamon Morrissey); longsuffering wife, Nora (Catherine Byrne); and the fake-American, Boots (Niall Tóibín).
‘Eat the Peach’ was voted as ‘one of the top 50 Irish films you must see’. The Irish Independent.
Starts 7.30pm Tickets £8.00 (93 MINS,) IRELAND, 1986,
This Special Tribute to Niall Tóibín has been curated by Sé Merry Doyle (Loopline Films) and Rosalind Scanlon – (For Irish Cultural Centre.)
Irish Cultural Centre Hammersmith Blacks Road W6 9DT
Book Tickets; www.Irishculturalcentre.co.uk 020 85638232