Kfir Yefet’s staging of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House played London’s Donmar Warehouse through the summer of 2009. I’ve been carrying this sketch around with me ever since. Well, not this specific sketch and not ever since. I originally did another one which I carried arouond with me, hoping to get Gillian to sign it since I missed her at the theatre (note to self: never leave signings to the last performance). Gillian was a regular at screenings, premieres, film festivals and press nights, so I carried the sketch just in case. When I didn’t have the sketch, Gillian would make an appearance. In the end I mailed it to her via her agent and re-drew this one, which I have carried around ever since (and when I haven’t, déja vu!)
My chance came last night. Gillian has returned to the London stage to rave reviews as Blanche Dubois in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire at the Young Vic. He opened this week after a short preview season. It’s a long play which can be a help or a hinderance for ‘graphing. After three and a half hours of “shatteringly powerful” performing I guess the last thing she would want to do is meet, greet and ‘graph with the gathered throng.
Normally at the Young Vic I position myself near the interior stage door that opens out onto The Cut Bar, but the two security persons (first time I’ve seen that at the Young Vic) corral to a line near the ticket desk. It’s well after 11pm, so the bar’s closing. “Programmes and tickets only,” one of the security guys told the handful of people waiting.
“Ms Anderson will only be signing programmes or tickets, so don’t offend her by offering anything else.”
Gillian popped down and stood behind the ticket desk and started signing. I waited until everyone had finisihed then approached her, apologising that I didn’t have a programme or a ticket, but a sketch from 2009, which I showed her and asked if she could sign it “to Mark”. She looked at it, smiled and said, “is that with a ‘c’ or a ‘k’?”
“A ‘k’,” I replied, and left thanking the security on my way out to catch the last train.