Jeremy Irons to Open Red Funnel Isle of Wight Digital Literary Festival

Posted 29/09/2020

Press Release 29th September 2020

 The Red Funnel Isle of Wight Digital Literary Festival is delighted to announce that the Cowes born, multi-award-winning actor Jeremy Irons will be opening the digital festival on Friday 9th October at 19:00. Irons will read Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem The Hunting of the Snark (An Agony in Eight Fits).

Irons has a rich and much-lauded career in theatre, film and television. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1990 for his performance as Claus von Bulow in Reversal of Fortune.  He was awarded Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe and Emmy for his role in the television miniseries Elizabeth I (2005) alongside Helen Mirren. He went on to play Pope Alexander in the Showtime historical series The Borgias (2011), and portrayed Henry IV in the BBC Two series The Hollow Crown opposite Tom Hiddleston. Irons may be best known for his role as Charles Ryder in the cult TV series Brideshead Revisited (1981). Most recently he starred alongside Regina King in the HBO series WATCHMEN, the revamp led by Damon Lindelof.

Irons’s reading brings Carroll’s enigmatic nonsense poem to life. The Hunting of the Snark describes the voyage of a bizarre crew of nine tradesmen and a beaver on their quest for the elusive and mysterious Snark, who lives in the sea and might be a dangerous, deadly Boojum. The poem is a backward one with Carroll writing the last line of the poem first. Written in 1874 while caring for his sick cousin and godson the finished poem wasn’t published until 1876.

The Hunting of the Snark has been chosen for its island connection:  the book is dedicated to Gertrude Chataway and opens with a poem that uses her name as a double acrostic. Carroll met the nine-year-old Gertrude on the beach in Sandown in 1875.

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“We can think of no better person to open our digital literary festival than the much respected actor Jeremy Irons,” said Maggie Ankers chair of the Red Funnel Isle of Wight Literary Festival. “Jeremy’s connection to the island and those of Carroll’s poem are a great start to a literary weekend that offers something for everyone.”

About the Isle of Wight Literary Festival

The Isle of Wight Literary Festival, an established event on the UK Arts calendar, is now in its ninth year. The festival provides a far reaching eclectic programme designed to attract a wide audience and increase the cultural richness of the Isle of Wight.  The festival is normally hosted at Northwood House, Cowes over 4 days with more than 60 writers and presenters talking about their latest works and providing thought provoking insights.   This year arrangements are digital but we look forward to 2021 and a very special festival to celebrate our 10th anniversary.

The Isle of Wight Literary Festival is a registered charity (No. 1164814) relying on the generous support of sponsors, benefactors and friends. The festival is organised and staffed by volunteers. The festival has two patrons: Major General Sir Martin White KCVO, CB, CBE and Nicholas Allan – author and illustrator patron of the Youth Programme and two vice patrons, Alan Titchmarsh MBE DL and Michael Grade – The Lord Grade of Yarmouth CBE.

The Schools’ Programme, which is supported by the Isle of Wight Literary Festival, sends authors, illustrators and dramatists into the schools to enrich the education for the under 18s on the Isle of Wight by providing cultural experiences to stimulate interest in learning and creative ideas.   In 2019 over 40 schools and nearly 5000 Isle of Wight children were involved in the programme.

 For more information please contact: 

marketing@isleofwightliteraryfestival.com

t: 01983 295612

Isle of Wight Literary Festival, Northwood House, Ward Avenue, Cowes, Isle of Wight PO31 8AZ.

 

 

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