Royal Albert Hall concert billed as President Higgin's 'gift to Britain'

Royal Albert Hall concert billed as President Higgin's 'gift to Britain'

TOMORROW night's cultural celebration at the Royal Albert Hall is a "gift" to the people of Britain says Irish actor Fiona Shaw.

The Cork-born star of stage and screen was among those who welcomed Sabina Higgins at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London today.

Shaw, who graduated from RADA in 1982, will take part in tomorrow night's Ceiliuradh event, where she will recite three pieces.

Of the concert, she told The Irish Post: "President Higgins has overseen who will take part in the event - in a way it is his gift to the people of Britain."

Shaw joined the likes of Kate O'Toole, daughter of Peter, and RADA Chairman Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen to give Mrs Higgins a tour of the esteemed acting school near London's Euston Square.

The President's wife made the stop as part of her husband's official State visit to Britain.

Accompanied by their son John, daughter Alice-Mary and two nieces, the former actor took time to view RADA's set-making department and meet some of its recently graduated Irish students.

Karen Cogan, Kevin Trainor and Grainne Keenan were among them.

During a color demonstration in RADA's Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre,  the former actor took to the boards and gave an impromptu speech calling for better support for the creative industries.

Shedding a few tears under the stage spotlight, Mrs Higgins added: "There is no place my husband and I feel more happy than with creatives."

The President's wife then moved on to the Irish Embassy in London for lunch with Irish fashion designers, including Simone Rocha, Lousie Kennedy and Orla Kiely.