Drawing: Michelle Fairley in Splendour

michelle fairley

Northern Irish actress Michelle Fairley has returned to London’s  Donmar Warehouse for it’s season of  Abi Morgan’s power play Splendour. In 2008 she played Iago’s wife Emilia in Othello at the same, intimate Covent Garden venue. It was her lauded portrayal that impressed the Game of Thrones writers , who saw her performance and offered her the role of the ‘maternal Boadicea’, Catelyn Stark in the hit HBO TV series. Inspite of an impressive list of small screen credits, Michelle says that theatre is her preference, hence her return to the boards. She is part of an all-female quartet, which includes Sinead Cusack, Zawe Ashton and Genevieve O’Reilly, playing the best friend of the wife of a dictator whose unnamed regime is collapsing around him.

London-based since 1986, Michelle has openly stated her dislike for Hollywood,  where she has worked on a number of projects, including her recurring role as Dr. Ava Hessington in Suites. With that recognition comes the usual  increased attention-something I got the impression Michelle isn’t comfortable with. She seemed a little more happier to sign my sketch at the theatre than the piles of glossy 8×10 Thrones stills the swarm of dealers gave her to graph.

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