Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Hollywood stars to lecture at Republic of Ireland's new school of acting

Some of the biggest Irish names in Hollywood are to take on their most daunting role to date -- lecturing in the Republic of Ireland's most prestigious college in front of just 14 students.

Colin Farrell, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Day Lewis, Colm Meaney and Saoirse Ronan are amongst the film stars who will be giving classes at Trinity College's new school for the performing arts, the Irish Independent has learned.

The A-listers will be ambassadors to Ireland's new National Academy of Dramatic Art, The Lir. Trinity hopes The Lir will be the Irish equivalent of the renowned Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London.

Along with conducting classes in their chosen areas of expertise, they will also make contributions to course content, The Lir spokeswoman Danielle Ryan said last night.

The number of lectures and their lecture schedule will obviously vary depending on their other work commitments. But they have fully committed themselves to the new school, she added.

"They're the guardians of the academy," Ms Ryan said.

Other leading lights of Irish literature, film, television and stage are also on board -- including filmmaker Jim Sheridan, writer Sebastian Barry, actor Alan Stanford and playwright Conor McPherson.

It is understood that only 14 students have been granted a coveted place on the three-year Bachelor in Acting course which begins this autumn.

Each student had to undergo a series of auditions and interviews that began last November before securing their place, which is not based on CAO points

Students will be given first-hand instruction in all aspects of stage, film and television acting in the conservatoire-style academy which aims to train the next generation of actors, playwrights, directors and stage and theatre technicians.

It is the first theatre school in Ireland to grant degrees and diplomas.

Like other university courses in Ireland, tuition fees are paid by the State.

The academy will also offer a masters degree in Fine Art in playwriting, theatre directing, and stage and lighting design.

Acclaimed theatre festival curator Loughlin Deegan has been appointed to head up the academy, which is an affiliate of RADA.

The current artistic director and CEO of the Dublin Theatre Festival beat rivals from across Europe, America, Australia and New Zealand to secure the post.

Mr Deegan will be tasked with shaping the school's academic and artistic programmes, which it is hoped will mirror the high standards at RADA.

RADA has trained generations of award-winning stage, film and television stars for over a hundred years. Alumni include actors John Gielgud, Anthony Hopkins, Kenneth Brannagh and Albert Finney.

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