Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton Wykenham Fiennes was only signing programmes and tickets at the stage door of the Royal Theatre Haymarket in London in August 2011. He was playing Prospero in Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
Although spelt ‘Ralph’ it is pronounced ‘Rafe’, so don’t ask ‘Ralph’ for a ‘graph or you may not get one! The theatre management were very strict about the signing policy, so I made do with my ticket and programme siggys. I did however, leave a drawing of Ralph as Prospero and Elisabeth Hooper as his daughter Miranda at the stage door, and it was returned, signed by both.
Later that year Ralph also made his film directional debut, with an adaption of the Bard’s tragedy Coriolanus, in which he also played the title role. It screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October that year. Ralph attended and was happy to sign and dedicate my sketch at the Odeon West End Theatre in Leicester Square. Coriolanus actually had its premiere at the Curzon Mayfair in early January 2012. Once again Ralph attended and this time signed a sketch I did some years earlier, when he was on Broadway in 2006, playing Frank Hardy in Faith Healer at the Booth Theater. I was, in fact, in New York during the play’s season, but couldn’t get a ticket. Anyway, he was once again obliging with his autograph and complimentary comments.