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Jerry Springer and friends take on Dublin

The star of the show Simon Delaney took a few minutes out of rehearsal to talk to TheJournal.ie about the show and how he is Ireland’s answer to George Clooney.

Delaney
Delaney
Image: Grand Canal Theatre

JERRY SPRINGER THE Opera has landed in Dublin, complete with sexual deviant guests, men in diapers and tap dancing Ku Klux Klan members. Of course.

The show has also brought its share of controversy to the doors of the Grand Canal Theatre where it is being staged.

Earlier today, TheJournal.ie spoke with Simon Delaney, the actor playing the title role, to get the low-down on the protests, how exactly opera fits in with the Jerry Springer Show and how he is just like George Clooney.

First off, we ask the Dublin actor if the controversy which marred the show in the West End has followed it to Dublin.

“It’s Jerry Springer – so of course there is course language and, let’s say very adult situations,” he begins.

“Obviously it will not be everyone’s cup of tea but it is a great show – it would not have spent 15 months (and 600 performances) on the West End in London if it wasn’t.”

There have been protests outside the theatre since the first performances began on Monday and people have walked out at half time but Delaney says the cast and crew “kind of expected that”.

Some Christians have a problem with the show but others do not. There are Christians in the cast. It is that age-old problem of people being ill-informed and giving out about what they do not know.”

The main beef that Christians have with the show is not its foul language or less than angelic themes – although we can’t imagine they are delighted with those either – but with the second act, a dream sequence that stars both Jesus and Satan.

“It is a strange one,” concedes Delaney, “but it is great to perform.

“We are all familiar with the Jerry Springer Show and the type of guest that he interviews. So far, we’ve had three great audiences and we’re looking forward to more.”

People who stay for the whole show have been amazed by the production and the music but they have also commented on how funny it is, the 40-year-old actor says.

It is actually hysterical – an odd combination for an opera.”

Delaney says the music is stunning throughout the two acts but he is the only character that does not sing.

I thought I could hold a tune until the professional opera singers opened their mouths.”

The role of Springer is actually a departure from Delaney’s usual work as it is more of an impersonation rather than true acting.

During preparation and rehearsals, he had to do a lot of work to perfect the presenter’s accent, mannerisms and phrases.

“I just hope I’ve been successful,” he said

The new George Clooney?

The show finishes up on Saturday but Delaney tells TheJournal.ie that there has been something of a turnaround in his career recently.

He has spent time in America over the past few months, filming alongside A-listers such as Kiefer Sutherland and Julianna Marguiles.

Last Augutst, the Dublin actor landed a part in the critically acclaimed CBS hit The Good Wife. Playing an English lawyer, Delaney faces off against Eddie Izzard, the episode’s guest star.

Those familiar with the show will be glad to hear his part leaves him on the Lockhart Gardner side so his nine days of filming were opposite Marguiles and Josh Charles.

The episode aired four weeks ago in the US to an audience of 19 million people.

“It’s actually hard to comprehend that stuff,” he says.

“The character was well-received and there was some good feedback from reviewers, particularly in the LA Times,” he adds. “It’s kind of surreal.”

Delaney was not forthcoming with any spoilers (sorry!) but he did say there was a possibility his character could come back at a later date.

Obviously it is something I would love to do. It is a brilliant show and the whole experience was a good one.”

Delaney’s scenes are primarily with Marguiles, who became known as George Clooney’s love interest in ER back in the mid-1990s. Since then, she has gone on to win two Emmy awards and a Golden Globe.

I put it to Delaney that there is now just one degree of separation between him and the Hollywood heart-throb.

“The only similarities between me and Clooney is that we are both blokes,” he jokes.

However, he added that Marguiles revealed to him that Clooney had acted in 16 pilot shows before landing the role of Dr Doug Ross in ER.

“America is a tough road but I’ve taken baby steps now that have opened some doors.”

If (like us) you can’t wait to see Delaney’s stint on The Good Wife, here is a short sneak peek:


Jerry Springer the Opera opened at the Grand Canal Theatre on Monday evening. The remaining shows take place this evening at 7.30pm, Friday 7.30pm and Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets are between €20 and €40.

Grand Canal Theatre warns that the show is for mature audiences only due to extremely coarse language and adult situations.

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