Drawing: Joseph Fiennes in Ross

Joseph Fiennes in Ross
The play ROSS is Terence Rattigan’s bio-drama about English archaeologist, military genius and diplomat T. E. Lawrence. It is bookended with a framing device when Lawrence was hiding under an assumed name as ‘Aircraftman Ross’ in the Royal Air Force in 1922, before flashing back six years under a malaria-induced fever dream to his involvement as a liaison officer in the Arab Revolt against the Turks where he became known internationally as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’.
It premiered in 1960 at London’s Theatre Royal, Haymarket with Alec Guinness in the title role, who went on to portray Prince Feisal in the Oscar-winning David Lean epic LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, Steven Spielberg’s favourite film and his inspiration to become a filmmaker.
To mark the centenary of the outbreak of the Arabian Revolt, the Chichester Festival Theatre staged a rare revival of ROSS this month, directed by Adrian Noble and featuring Joseph Fiennes, who returned to the stage after seven years to play the British hero, in what many critics called a tour de force, capturing Lawrence’s  troubled spirit. Michael Billington in the Guardian wrote, “Fiennes gives an accomplished performance in an elegantly mounted production.”
I sent this sketch of J.F. as T.E. to him at the theatre for signing and he graciously did so.

Drawing: Michele Dotrice in The Ladykillers

Michele Dotrice

It’s always a delight to see the wonderful Michele Dotrice, both on and off the stage. She is currently starring in the Globe’s transfer of Jessica Swale’s NELL GWYNN at the Apollo. It’s the saucy tale of a 17th Century orange-seller who becomes King Charles ll’s mistress. Michele plays Nell’s faithful dresser or as one critic called her,” befuddled wardrobe mistress.” Holly Williams in her Independent review said, “Special mention must go to Michele Dotrice… Her comic timing slays the audience.”

This is a drawing of Michele as Mrs Wilberforce, the ‘lady’ in THE LADYKILLERS which toured the UK in 2012/13. Michele kindly signed it for me at the Apollo stage door a couple of weeks ago. She was recently nominated for an Olivier Award for her performance in NELL, so I’ll have everything crossed for and hope she wins.

Drawing: Glenn Close in A Delicate Balance on Broadway

glenn close

Acclaimed for her versatility and widely regarded as one of the finest actresses of her generation, Glenn Close returned to the Broadway Stage after a twenty year hiatus in Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance at New York City’s John Golden Theatre.

Glenn’s last outing on the Great White Way won her third Tony for playing silent screen star Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. In spite of an extraordinary film and television career, theatre was where she began and remains her first love.

Glenn top lines a lustrous cast with John Lithgow as the complacent heads of a family who lose their composure when faced to confront and undefined terror that has stricken their best friends. Her “meaty role” as Agnes is the “witty, self-described harridan”.

Apart from winning three Tonys, Glenn tied the record for being the actress with the most Oscar nominations never to have won. The six time nominee has, however, collected three Emmys (14 noms) two Golden Globes (14 noms) and a SAG award (8 noms). She has also been nominated three times for a Grammy and once for a BAFTA.

The limited 18 week season ends on 22 February 2015.

Drawing: Imelda Staunton in A Delicate Balance at The Almeida Theatre

Imelda Staunton

A Delicate Balance won Edward Albee his first Pulitzer Prize in 1967, followed by the more commercially successful Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

The Almeida Theatre’s revival in the summer of 2011 featured Imelda Staunton as the drunken Sister Claire – “Vodka? Sunday? Ten-to-eight? Well, why the hell not.”

This ‘country comedy’ explores the “secret terror that lurks beneath the bland routines of bourgeois life.” Imelda’s performance, as usual, attracted rave reviews. She signed my sketch at the final matinee on the 2nd of July.

My sketch of Imelda in Sweeney Todd is here.