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. Irene was a cast member for the 10th Anniversary performance at the Royal Albert Hall. 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. Whilst in Starlight Express, Irene was cast as Sandy in the national tour of Grease. 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. Irene has appeared on BBC’s Children in Need on many occasions with various casts. She has also appeared in numerous commercials, including ones for Knorr Soup, Low Low Butter and Heineken.
As a child, Irene 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 and 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 Cork Opera House, where she appeared many times as the principal girl in their Pantomimes.
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. Many Performers Academy students watched the performance in Cork cinemas as it was televised worldwide. This was a very 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 and Kitty Kiernan in the acclaimed production of Michael Collins.