Drawing: Lisa Palfrey in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

Welsh actress Lisa Palfrey was appearing as Big Mama in the Young Vic’s West End production of Tennessee William’s CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF at the Apollo Theatre… until an emergency appendectomy cut short her performance last month. Initially understudy Kate Britain covered until Kiwi actress Kerry Fox stepped into the role until Lisa recovered. She signed this sketch for me a week before the unscheduled appendix removal.

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Drawing: Hayley Squires in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

Hayley Squires performance as single mum Katie in Ken Loach’s multi-award winning film I, DANIEL BLAKE catapulted her into the international spotlight, earning a BAFTA nomination and winning a number of accolades including the Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her latest role is the complete opposite, making her West End debut in the Young Vic production of Tennessee William’s steamy southern family drama CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF opposite Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell at the Apollo Theatre. Hayley plays Mae, the scheming sister-in -law which The Times critic Ann Treneman called a “stand-out performance.” She signed my drawing a month ago at the stage door.

Drawing: Brian Gleeson in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

Irishman Brian Gleeson, together with father Brendan and older brother Domhnall form a formidable family trio of actors. Since starting his career in 2006 alongside his father in John Boorman’s THE TIGER’S TAIL, Brian has balanced his work between stage and screen. All three actually appeared on the Dublin boards together for four weeks in Enda Walsh’s THE WALWORTH FARCE in 2015.

He is currently playing Brick’s (Jack O’Connell) conspirational brother Gooper in the Young Vic’s West End revival of Tennessee William’s CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF at the Apollo, where he signed my sketch for me last week.

Drawing: Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

Hollywood stars Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell are attracting the critics attention and West End audiences in the Young Vic production of Tennessee William’s simmering Southern drama CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF at the Apollo theatre.

“Benedict Andrews radical update of the classic delivers emotional intensity shot through with humour- and a blistering performance from Jack O’Connell”, wrote Michael Billington in the intro to his Guardian review. The Telegraph’s Dominic Cavendish, who admitted he initially was going to write it off as a summer filler, saw the production and gave it four stars, adding, “Miller confirms she’s not just a pretty feline face… her Margaret is a hideously plausible portrait of a women putting on a grave face to hold back tears desolation.”

On a very wet Saturday lunchtime Sienna arrived at the stage door and signed for all who were waiting including my sketch, under the small covered doorway. Jack rides his bike, complete with helmet, so he flies in with no one recognising or stopping him. It took me a couple of return visits to figure this out, so last Saturday, when he did the same I managed to get his attention and his graph before he disappeared into the theatre and on stage for the matinee.

Drawing: Colm Meaney in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

Dublin-born and Golden Globe nominated actor Colm Meaney has returned to the West End boards after a ten-year absence, playing plantation patriarch Big Daddy in Tennessee Williams’s Pulitzer Prize winning drama CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF. The Young Vic production directed by Benedict Andrews is currently playing the Apollo until October. Colm, known to Trekkies as Chief Petty Officer Miles O’Brien in STAT TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION and DEEP SPACE NINE.

Colm’s last London stage appearance was in Eugene O’Neill’s A MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN opposite Kevin Spacey at The Old Vic in the Autumn of 2006. He signed this sketch of him as Big Daddy a few weeks ago at the stage door before a Saturday matinee.

Drawing: Catrin Stewart in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Catrin Stewart

Appropriately named Welsh actress Catrin Stewart is currently playing the ‘cat’, Maggie in Tennessee William’s CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF at the Theatr Clwyd  in northeast Wales. Known to TV viewers for her roles as Emma in the comedy drama STELLA, Jenny Flint in DR WHO and Lily in MISFITS, Catrin was last seen on the London stage as the besotted Anya in Chekhov’s THE CHERRY ORCHARD at the Young Vic in late 2014.

The Telegraph’s Chris Bennion, in his four star review described Catrin’s performance as  Maggie as “…one tin roof absolutely dominated by its Cat. Catrin Stewart is a superb, captivating Maggie, stealing in scenes in which she doesn’t speak. It’s a delightfully nuanced performance, with real depth that manages to catch Maggie the Cat’s frustration, heartbreak, lust, scheming, bitterness, desperation and wit-often with a single sentence.”

I sent this drawing to Catrin at the intimate hillside theatre and she returned it, signed with a kind dedication.

Drawing: Ciarán Hinds in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Broadway

Ciaran Hinds

 

Irishman Ciaran Hinds has developed an impressive film, television and stage career as a versatile character actor. In January 2013 he played the role of ‘Big Daddy’ in Tennessee William’s 1955 family drama CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF alongside Scarlett Johansson at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway. He signed my sketch while featuring in Conor McPherson’s THE NIGHT ALIVE at London’s Donmar Warehouse in July 2013.