Written By GingersnapComments Off on Spy Wars Now Available on History Play
Critical and Remarkable Intelligence Operations
by Staff | Sky History | June 3, 2021
Damian Lewis: Spy Wars is available now on History Play. Starring Damian Lewis in his first factual role, Damian Lewis: Spy Wars reveals remarkable true stories behind the most gripping and significant international spy operations of the last forty years. Now available on HISTORY Play, Amazon Prime UK subscribers can watch the whole series for just £0.99 along with other award-winning Sky HISTORY documentaries and factual series.
A first in the worldwide factual genre, the new series focuses on many of the most critical and remarkable operations which have defined intelligence warfare. Damian explores the action and the context of key incidents which, in several instances, brought the world to the brink of war. By presenting an all-encompassing 360-degree perspective, each case is unpacked by experts and former spies on all sides: ex-Mossad, ex-CIA, ex-KGB and ex-MI6. Damian provides an unprecedented insight into the spy operations which literally shaped today’s geo-political climate.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Dream Horse Review by The Guardian, Part 2
True Story of a Welsh Village That Bought a Racehorse is a Winner!
by Peter Bradshaw | The Guardian | June 3, 2021
****4 Stars ****
Yes, it’s schmaltzy, very schmaltzy, but with strong performances by Toni Collette and Damian Lewis the odds are that you’ll love it.
Six years ago I found myself gripped by the overwhelmingly likable documentary Dark Horse, which told the amazing true story of Janet Vokes, a former whippet breeder and pigeon fancier from the depressed Welsh village of Cefn Fforest who organised a community syndicate to buy a racehorse. The drinkers at Jan’s local chipped in a weekly £10 sub and their horse, symbolically called Dream Alliance, wound up winning the Welsh Grand National, basically making it the Seabiscuit of the valleys.
I predicted at the time that this would be remade as a fiction feature with Imelda Staunton as Jan and Jim Broadbent as her hangdog husband Brian. Well, actually it’s Toni Collette and Owen Teale, with Damian Lewis playing Howard Davies, the local tax accountant and breezy man-of-the-world whose dangerously addictive love of horseracing inspires Jan. The resulting movie may be a bit schmaltzy – actually, a lot schmaltzy – but I couldn’t help enjoying it: like Chariots of Fire, only with horses. That comparison, however, may be down to Chariots cast member Nicholas Farrell here playing the shrewd professional trainer Philip Hobbs.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Enter for a Chance to Win an Autographed CD by Damian
The Music of Kings and Queens
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | June 2, 2021
Updated 6/22/21: Congrats to competition winners Rose Heathcote, Chris Conlan, Susan Stacey, Jules Dietrich, Carolyn Chester, Rita Porter, Alex Cameron, Bianca Summons, and Sandra.
Music composer Debbie Wiseman is giving away 9 copies of the Music of Kings & Queens CD, signed by Damian Lewis, Helen Mirren, and Debbie. Both Damian and Dame Helen narrated the music compilation. Click here for a chance to win and if you join Debbie’s mailing list, you will receive an extra entry into the drawing! Winners will be chosen at random and emailed on June 15, 2021. Good luck! BONUS: Did you know Debbie Wiseman also composed the music for the series Wolf Hall; it was performed by The Locrian Ensemble of London and conducted by Debbie. For more information about the Wolf Hall soundtrack, click here.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Damian on the Out to Lunch Podcast and Video of Jazz Performance
Damian Lewis and the Kansas Smitty’s Supersize Band
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | June 1, 2021
Listen to Damian on today’s podcast episode of Out To Lunchwith Jay Raynerhere. Among many other things, Damian discusses his music and work with the the Kansas Smitty’s Supersize Band.
Here is Damian performing the Dr. John classic ‘Such a Night’ with the Kansas Smitty’s, recorded on February 23, 2021 from Kansas Smitty’s headquarters in East London. Giacomo Smith and Alec Harper on Alto, Camilla George on Tenor, Dylan Jones on Trumpet, Dave Archer on Guitar, Kit Downes on Keyboard, Joe Webb on Piano, Ferg Ireland on Bass and Jas Kayser and Will Cleasby on Drums.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Dream Horse Review by The Guardian, Part 1
The True Story of a Welsh Village That Raised a Racehorse
by Vanessa Thorpe | The Guardian/The Observer | May 30, 2021
Ever felt stirred by a warm sense of connection to the world around you? Well, the Welsh have a word for that precious sensation: “hwyl”, sounding a little like “hoyle” to an English ear. And, as cinema projectors whirr into action again, there is one film above all others that aims to bring you this very emotion.
Out on 4 June, Dream Horse is the true story of the extraordinary racehorse that brought a group of impoverished Welsh owners together and offered them fresh hope against all imaginable odds. And the concept of hwyl, a kind of mystic combination of those two more famous buzz words, the Irish “craic” and the Danish “hygge”, is right at the film’s core, according to director Euros Lyn.
“Its meaning is described in the film, but actually there are lots of uses. If you are a Welsh speaker, you ask people in the morning how the hwyl is. Or you use it if someone is clearly enjoying few drinks at the bar. It is a sort of “life force”, and the characters in Dream Horse are certainly on that kind of adventure. So it’s the right word and it is also what we want for our audiences.”
Starring Toni Collette, Damian Lewis, Joanna Page and Owen Teale, the film tells of an inexperienced syndicate in the valleys of South Wales who fund the training of a thoroughbred, Dream Alliance, that goes on to beat the best on the race course.
The Dream Alliance story had already been told in an award-winning documentary, Dark Horse, but writer Neil McKay “went back to first base”, said Lyn. “Neil did a deep dive and spent a long time with the real people involved. They’ve all had such varied lives, including Howard Davies, the accountant that Damian plays, we knew we had to leave some of it out.”
Lewis, who lost his wife, the acclaimed actress Helen McCrory, to cancer earlier this year, is half Welsh and had been keen to work closer to home after starring in the flashy American hedge-fund drama, Billions, for Sky. “It was perfect timing,” the actor has said. “I like its almost naive warmth and generosity of spirit, compared to the Billions world, which is all about transactional favour-trading.”
“It was wonderful to have Damian as Howard,” said Lyn. “His father is Welsh and he has a brilliant ear anyway.”