The premiere of the new documentary took place in Bray, Co Wicklow on December 20 at the Mermaid Theatre. I arrived the day before and spent some time exploring Dublin, but I have to confess I don’t remember much about that first day except a fantastic tour of the Abbey Theatre and a yummy dinner at Crackbird, a new Dublin restaurant…jet lag is a killer!
Fortunately, I met a friend who knows Dublin well and she ensured that I saw everything on my list while I was there–and, being “in the business,” she knows all about film and we had some great conversations. I was lucky to meet her and spend time with her and she was a gracious guide and friend. Go Dublin Go!!
The premiere itself was exciting! Despite the cold and the rain, the theater filled up and everyone was enthusiastic to see the film at last. Alec and Mark, director and producer, did a great job and the reception afterwards was filled with conversations and wine and nibblies. I met my fellow Executive Producer, Philip Reeve, and that was lovely. I started to take pictures but it became apparent the event was too intimate for a lot of picture-taking, so I’ve only got two to share with you. We managed to catch the last train back to Dublin, but just barely!
It was wonderful to see the documentary. So many people associated with Excalibur participated in interviews and offered their memories in front of the camera. Liam Neeson, Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Patrick Stewart, Gabriel Byrne, Nigel Terry, and others associated with the film recalled their experiences making this film. They shared anecdotes and stories and offered insights into what it was like to be on a movie set for the first time. The documentary really shone when director John Boorman was on screen, both in recent interviews and also on the set during the actual filming in 1980 and 1981. Excalibur was obviously an important event in the director’s life and Alec and Mark were successful in capturing Boorman’s passion and intensity–I thought this was the highlight of the documentary, watching the director then and also now, talking about his experience with a wry smile.
These promotional images are very familiar to readers who have been following the progress of this documentary
The other highlight of the film was, of course, Gabriel. He spoke with real emotion about his work in Excalibur and his memories were moving and also quite humorous. At the end of the film, he was honest and open about what his experience meant to him. He was very touching and the audience responded to his stories.
In the following photos, you will see many aspects of Dublin at Christmas-time. The city is a beautiful, old, elegant, shiny, shabby, new and remarkable place! I loved being there and seeing all of the inspiring and historic sites on my long list. I hope to return someday soon–72 hours is not enough time to do such a significant and lovely city justice.
If you click on the photo in the each gallery, you can enlarge it and see more details. I took some photos on my phone and others with my Canon camera.
This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience! I am so glad I was able to visit Dublin and see the premiere of this lovely documentary. Go Dublin Go!!