British songstress Samantha Barks made her stage debut as Sally Bowles in the 2008-09 UK Tour of CABARET, followed by her West End introduction as Eponine in LES MISERABLES at the Queen’s Theatre in 2010. Regarded as one of the finest to perform the tragic street waif, Sam was chosen by Director Tom Hooper to reprise the part in the 2012 film adaption.
Sam returned to the West End in the dual roles of Mallory and Avril for Josie Rourke’s revival of the Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical comedy CITY OF ANGELS at the Donmar Warehouse in the winter of 2014. Her latest London stage appearance was at the St James’ Theatre in THE LAST FIVE YEARS with Jonathan Bailey, which finished before Christmas, where she signed this drawing for me after the final performance.
The cult cabaret trio, The Tiger Lillies performed their latest stage piece, LULU – A MURDER BALLAD at the Royal Opera House this month. With their trademark demon / clown face paint; composer, singer and accordionist Martyn Jacques, bass player Adrian Stout and percussionist Jonas Gollard presented the ‘brilliantly twisted’ song cycle distillation of Frank Wedekind’s dangerous, unpredictable and tragic heroine, Lulu played by Laura Caldow. Described as part grand guignol, part seedy vaudeville and part grunge cabaret the trio are part of a centuries-long tradition of art that challenges social and cultural conventions.
In his four-star review for The Stage, Neil Norman wrote, “Martyn Jacques’ trio are jaunty, post-punk night crawlers, renegade musicians who cleave to the after-dark melodrama of sex,death and the macabre”.
I left this sketch of Martyn and Laura at the ROH last week and they kindly signed and returned it for me.
The Huffington Post said, “Matthew Tedford gives a five star performance as the late Prime Minister,” in its review of the award winning actor, comedian and writer’s Margaret Thatcher, Queen of Soho which played the Leicester Square Theatre in London earlier this year.
Co-written with Jon Brittain, the camp comic cabaret is a re-imagining of the events leading up to the passing of the controversial Section 28 in 1988 that banned the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools. Matt’s ‘Maggie’ takes a wrong turn in Soho and ends up as an unlikely drag diva. Yes… the Iron Lady becomes a gay rights championing cabaret superstar!
Margaret Thatcher still remains the United Kingdom’s longest running and only female Prime Minister (1979-1990). Before running the country, she was a research chemist and actually invented the chemical that makes soft serve ice cream…
The show played to full houses around the UK and Ireland, culminating in a total sell out season at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year. Not only did Matt sign, but his alter ego did as well, bonus!
Michelle Williams made her Broadway debut as Sally Bowles opposite Alan Cumming’s depraved emcee in the revival of Kander & Ebbb’s Berlin set musical Cabaret, directed by Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall, at Studio 54.
Nominated for three Academy Awards, for Brokeback Mountain (2005), Blue Valentine (2010) and My Week With Marilyn (2011), she won the Golden Globe for her role as Marilyn Monroe in the latter.
Hermione Holey in her review in The Telegraph commented on Michelle’s performance: “She becomes more and more compelling as the show goes on, singing and dancing with a furious, madcap quality and by the time she delivers the title number she’s at the height of her power”
NBC simply said “Michelle Williams is brilliant in a stunning and heartbreaking portrayal.”
I sent this quick 4B pencil portrait to Michelle at the theatre and she graciously signed it with a nice comment.
Former ‘Eastender’ and ‘Bionic Woman’ Michelle Ryan performed the role of Sally Bowles in Cabaret for a UK tour, before transferring to London’s Savoy Theatre in October 2012 for its season finale, where Michelle signed my sketches.