Irish actor Rory Keenan joined the cast after Richard Eyre’s 2016 production of Eugene O’Neill’s LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT after it transferred to the West End last month. He plays Jamie, one of the Tyrone’s two son’s opposite Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville in the 1945 study of the hellish damage a sick person can wreck on a family.
This is Rory’s second play under Sir Richard’s direction, having played the title role in LIOLA at the National. He won Best Supporting Actor at the Irish Times Theatre awards for his portrayal of Ronan in THE LAST DAYS OF THE CELTIC TIGER at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre in 2009. His extensive screen work includes PEAKY BLINDERS and the BIRDSONG mini series. In her Arts Desk review for JOURNEY, Ismene Brown wrote, “Rory Keenan’s terrific, (as the) cynical Jamie… roughens and undersells himself to very touching effect.”
I caught up with the likeable and friendly Rory at the Wyndham’s stage door on a bitterly cold lunchtime prior to last Saturday’s matinee and he managed to get the sharpie to work on my sketch.
Kilkenny-born actress Jessica Regan reprised her role as Catherine, the Irish housemaid in Richard Eyre’s revival of Eugene O’Neill’s Pulitzer Prize-winning family drama, LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT which premiere at the Bristol old Vic in 2016 before transferring to london’s Wyndham’s Theatre. It’s also Broadway-bound after it’s April West End conclusion.
Jessica will be familiar to soap fans, appearing in EASTENDERS and more recently as regular Niamh Donoghue in the BBC’s DOCTORS, for which she won the Best Newcomer at the British Soap Awards.
The Guardian’s Michael Billington wrote that Jessica’s Catherine was a “welcome relief in a play that, if well done, as it is here, leaves you emotionally pulverised.” Allison Vale in the British Theatre Guide said Jessica added “moments of real sparkle.”
It was great to meet her at the stage door after the matinee a couple of Saturdays ago where she signed my sketch.
American actress Laurie Metcalf played Jackie Harris in the sitcom Roseanne, which ran for 221 episodes from 1988-97. She won three consecutive Emmy Awards (1992-94) and was nominated for two Golden Globes for her performance in the role. She has also appeared in Desperate Housewives, The Big Bang Theory. She has won both a Theatre World Award and an Obie Award for her work on stage.
In 2012, she joined David Suchet in Eugene O’Neills Long Day’s Journey Into Night at London’s Apollo Theatre.
Laurie signed my sketch at the Apollo Theatre stage door in July 2012.