Drawing: Miranda Raison as Anne Boleyn… twice

Miranda Raison Anne Boleyn

In 2010 English actress Miranda Raison played Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s notorious second wife at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. In fact she played her twice in the same season in different productions. Once in the world premiere of Howard Benton’s play, simply entitled ANNE BOLEYN and again in the  Bard’s HENRY VIII.

Keeping with the ‘two’ theme, I drew her twice as Anne from the former production and posted the first sketch on this blog in November 2013. Both sketches depict the opening scene when the ghost of Anne Boleyn addresses the audience, carrying a bloodied bag containing her severed head and a copy of Tyndale’s bible. The previous sketch is a full-bodied version. This is the close-up and has more ‘energy’ in the rendering.

Since her beheading  for treason Anne became a heroine and key figure in the political and religious upheaval of the English Reformation inspiring numerous cultural works since.

The reason for two similar sketches is simples. I often do a number of variations, some subtle, then select one for signing and sometimes giving the ‘victim’ one of the others. In this case I had dropped off the close-up drawing at the Globe for Miranda to sign and must have forgotten about it. Sometimes I do this just in case I don’t get an ‘in-person’ sig. As you can see I got both, with a nice little note on the flyer with the one mailed back to me.

So this is a second, similar drawing of Miranda in the same role and the Raisons (sorry)
for it.

Anne Boleyn Flyer

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Drawing: Miranda Raison in Anne Boleyn at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

miranda raison

Shakespeare’s Globe commissioned Howard Brenton to write a new play – Anne Boleyn. It premiered at the Globe Theatre on 24 July 2010 with Miranda Raison in the title role as Henry VIIIs notorious second wife. It received high critical acclaim and won Best New Play at the What’s On Stage Theatregoers Choice Awards in 2011. Sell out performances resulted in its return for two months in 2011.

Not some dusty, historical drama, it was described as a tale full of life and humour, adventure and romance, all tinged with sadness. It is a celebration of a great English heroine who was a significant force in the political and religious fight leading to the English reformation. While sharp intelligence, political acumen and forward manners are desirable in a mistress, they were at the time unacceptable in a wife… the rest, as they say, is ‘herstory’.

Miranda is best known for her role as Jo Portman in the British television series Spooks (a show Howard Brenton also wrote scripts for). She also played Anne Boleyn in Henry VIII in the same season at the Globe.

The play opens with Miranda addressing the audience holding her severed head, rendered in my sketch which Miranda kindly signed. She also sent me a lovely note, thanking me for a “wonderful drawing”.