Drawing: Montserrat Lombard in Barking in Essex at Wyndham’s Theatre

montserrat L001

Montserrat Lombard is “an interesting name,” I said, when she signed it on my sketch. “It’s Spanish,” the English-born actress replied.

Montserrat – a Caribbean island with a once dormant volcano erupting, forcing two thirds of its population to flee; or a multi-peaked mountain near Barcelona? Probably the latter. Close. In fact, her Spanish father named her after the Barcelonian opera legend Montserrat Cabellé.

Lombad – from Lombardy, the region in Northern Italy. Her mother is Italian, so she’s half Spanish, half Italian. She’s also best known as policewoman Sharon ‘Shaz’ Granger in the BBC Drama series Ashes to Ashes, plus roles in a variety of television shows and films such as St Trinians 2 and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

In September this year, Montserrat made her professional stage debut in the World Premiere of the crime caper Barking in Essex at Wyndham’s Theatre in London. She plays Allegra Tennyson (an equally interesting name) a lawyer trying to sort out the Packer family, a dysfunctional Essex brood played by Lee Evans, Sheila Hancock and her Ashes to Ashes co-star, Keeley Hawes. The black comedy runs until 4 January 2014.

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