Drawing: Hugh Bonneville in An Enemy of the People

Hugh Bonneville

BAFTA nominee Hugh Bonneville has made a welcome return to the stage in Henrick Ibsen’s AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE at the Chichester Festival Theatre this month. He plays the brilliant scientist Dr Stockmann, standing against an entire town when he discovers that their popular local spa is polluted. Written in 1882, the play is a response to the Norwegian playwright’s public outcry against his earlier work GHOSTS, which was considered indecent because of its vague references to syphillis, while challenging the hypocrisy of Victorian morality. In a note to his publisher, Ibsen wasn’t sure if ENEMY was a comedy or a straight drama… or both.

Best known as Robert, Earl of Grantham in the ITV hit series DOWNTON ABBEY, Hugh was part of the ensemble cast that received Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations, winning the latter twice. His extensive theatre career includes work with both the National and the Royal Shakespearean Company.

I sent this portrait to Hugh at Chichester and he retuned it, signed, lickety split. AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE is directed by Howard Davies and runs until 21 May.

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