Drawing: Lily James in Romeo and Juliet

Lily James

Young English actress Lily James’s star continues its meteoric rise with the title role in Shakespeare’s tragic tale of young star-crossed lovers, ROMEO AND JULIET as part of Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s Plays at the Garrick season in London.

Already well known for her roles are Lady Rose Aldridge in ITV’s period drama DOWNTON ABBEY, for which she and the ensemble cast have won two Screen Actors Guild Awards and this year’s BBC drama series WAR & PEACE, Lily is no stranger to the stage. After graduating from London’s The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2010 she quickly appeared in a variety of prominent plays, including the modern version of Chekhov’s THE SEAGULL at the Southwark Playhouse and as Desdemona in OTHELLO alongside Dominic West at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. The Daily Mail’s Quentin Lett’s wrote “…she practically sweeps all before her as Desdemona, poise, diction, allure – she has them all.”

I managed to position myself in a good place at the Garrick’s stage door barriers after the first night performance last Thursday, where initially two security officers were in attendance and soon joined by a third after he had finished his duties at Kit Harington‘s meet-and-greet one street over at the Duke of York’s. Obviously they were anticipating a large gathering and that proved to be the case. Eventually, both Lily and her ‘Romeo’, Richard Madden, who was also her Prince Kit in Disney’s 2015 live-action version of CINDERELLA appeared and Lily signed and dedicated this sketch for me.

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