Sketch: Uncle Vanya with Anna Friel and Ken Stott

uncle vanya

Lindsay Posner’s wonderful revival of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya played London’s Vaudeville Theatre during the winter of 2012/2013.

My favourite critic, The Telegraph’s Tim Walker, gave it five stars in what he called, “a joyfully depressing revival… If you are into depressing plays, this production is, paradoxically, an unalloyed joy.”

The prolific Russian playwright’s classic tragi-comedy was adapted by Oscar winning Portuguese British writer Christoper Hampton and freatured Ken Stott and Anna Friel in the lead roles admirably supported by Samuel West, Laura Carmichael and Paul Freeman.

The date was the twelfth of December 2012, or in numerical formation 12/12/12 . One would have to do something special to mark the occasion, so one decided to try and get 12 theatre sketches signed on that auspicious day. That plan was quickly downsized due to the logistical barriers relating to the timing of entrances and exits at the various theatres. I ended up getting two, but they were good ones. … so thanks to Ken and Anna for marking this special day.

Drawing: Anna Friel and Joseph Cross in Breakfast at Tiffany’s at Theatre Royal Haymarket

Breakfast At Tiffany's

One of the most anticipated productions of 2009 was the stage version of Breakfast at Tiffany’s at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket, featuring Anna Friel as Holly Golightly and Joseph Cross as her neighbour William Parsons. It was the role that established Audrey Hepburn as a glamour icon and arguably Capote’s most famous character.

He wanted Marilyn Monroe for the 1961 Hollywood film, and hated Hepburn in the part. In fact, he hated the whole film. He called it, “a mawkish Valentine to New York City… thin and pretty where as it should have been rich and ugly!” The stage version is considered a closer adaption of the book.

The Telegraph’s Charles Spencer gave the production four stars. “This is the sexiest performance I have seen on stage since Nicole Kidman in The Blue Room… Friel creates a thrilling frisson of eroticism.”

The production opened on the 29th of September, concluding on 9th January 2010. Both Anna and Joseph signed my quick black biro sketch in the final week.