As a child, Irene Warren trained with the Montfort Stage School, Joan Denise Moriarty Ballet School, Annett Foubert for singing and Lorna Daly for Drama, achieving Gold Medals with Distinction from LAMDA in Acting and Verse & Prose. In later years, Irene studied with the remarkable Mary Curtin, who tutored Irene in her qualifications as a teacher. Irene spent many of those younger years performing in the Cork Opera House, where she appeared many times as the principal girl in their pantomimes.
At the age of 18, Irene Warren was cast in Les Misérables in London and subsequently appeared in the production for over two and a half years. She then joined the cast of Miss Saigon at the Drury Lane Theatre for another two-year run. Other West End credits include the role of Dinah in the renowned Starlight Express at the Apollo Victoria, Something for the Boys at the Barbican Theatre London and Grease and Summer Holiday national tours. Irene also worked with Andrew Lloyd Webber on the original concept recordings for The Beautiful Game. Whilst performing by night, Irene trained most days in the Actors Studios in Covent Garden. During this time, Irene was cast as “The Singing Nun” in the hit TV series, Father Ted. Her other television credits include many spots on BBC’s Children in Need as well as commercials for Knorr Soup, Low Low Butter and Heineken.
Irene is the founder and principal of The Performers Academy, one of Cork’s foremost Stage Schools. The Performers Academy was founded in 2007 by Irene following her return to her native Cork after her eleven-year career on London’s West End. Irene’s passion for theatre and her first-hand experience in the business has sculpted what the school has become today: a thriving environment of passion, purpose, determination and skill, whilst having much fun along the way.
As a director, Irene has directed Fame, Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, Seussical, Annie, High School Musical, Maleficent, Fiddler on the Roof, Grease, Snow White, Cinderella, Enchanted and Frozen for The Performers Academy. Irene was children’s director for the Cork Opera House’s production of Oliver which toured to the Helix Theatre in Dublin. She has also directed Les Misérables student version at Cork Opera House. Irene holds a Fellowship with London college as well as a teachers Licentiate.
Irene has subsequently returned to London to appear in the O2 arena, where she performed as part of the cast for the epic 25th Anniversary performance of Les Misérables. This performance was broadcast worldwide and is currently available on DVD. Many Performers Academy students watched the performance in Cork, an incredibly special moment to share with the up-and-coming, future West End performers.
Since her return from London, Irene has been no stranger to the Cork stage, having performed in numerous productions in Cork Opera House and The Everyman. Irene’s most notable appearances include her phenomenal performance in the one-woman musical Tell Me on a Sunday, the role of Maria in The Sound of Music, Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar as well as originating the role of Kitty Kiernan in the legendary Bryan Flynn’s acclaimed production of Michael Collins.
In recent years, Irene has qualified as a life coach and reiki practitioner and enjoys a quieter and more holistic living. However, she cannot wait to unleash her inner diva once more in this year’s Panto. Last year, Irene played the wonderful role of the Evil Stepmother in The Everyman’s Cinderella and on top of adoring her return to pPnto, she made friends for life in the process. Throughout her entire career, Irene’s favourite role is being a mum to her precious son Ben.