Sketch: Helen Mirren in Phèdre, National Theatre

mirren phedre

Dame Helen Mirren returned to the stage in June 2009 after a six year absence to play the title role in Jean Racine’s 1676(ish) tragedy Phèdre at London’s National Theatre.

In the absence of her royal husband Thésée King of Athens, his second wife Phèdre declares her love to Hippolyte (played by Dominic Cooper) the King’s son from a previous marriage.

Described by Michael Billington as a, “powerful and striking production,” Phèdre was directed by the National’s outgoing Director Sir Nicholas Hytner, from Ted Hughes’ gutsy free verse translation replacing Racine’s formal Alexandrine couplets on a vast, stark palace veranda stage under the hard Mediterranean sunlighitng.

On 25 June the play was filmed and broadcast live to over 70 cinemas across the UK and subsequently screened “as live” in over 280 cinemas across the world as part of the NT Live Project.

Always a great signer, Dame Helen signed and happily dedicated this black biro Phèdre portrait montage in person at the European Premiere of Brighton Rock at London’s West End Odeon in February 2011.

See my other Helen Mirren sketches:
This portrait sketch
A sketch from The Audience

8 thoughts on “Sketch: Helen Mirren in Phèdre, National Theatre

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