Thirty one year old Australian actress Abbie Cornish was in London this week for the World Premiere of the RoboCop remake.
In 2009 she starred opposite Ben Whishaw in Jane Campion’s Bright Star. Abbie played Frances (Fanny) Brawne who was betrothed to the English poet John Keats from 1818 until his death in 1821, a time in which he spawned some of his most productive work.
I sent Abbie this sketch in July 2009 and she signed and returned it a year later.
Ken Stott, the Scot, better known to cinema goers as the dwarf Balin in the current Hobbit trilogy, is an accomplished theatre thespian. His most recent West End appearance was the lead in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Theatre critic Tim Walker, writing in The Telegraph said, “Good for Lindsay Posner, the director of this pitch perfect production for not choosing a big star name to play the title role but a proper, solid stage actor in Ken Stott”.
I sketched Ken as the tragic protagonist Eddie when he starred in the revival of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge at the Duke of York’s in early 2009. He played an Italian-American longshoreman on the New York docks. The production drew media attention when Ken halted a performance to demand a group of rowdy school children be removed from the audience, who supported him by shouting, “out, out, out.” After a 15 minute stand-off the offending juveniles were removed…
English actress Felicity Jones’ latest role is the heroine in THE INVISIBLE WOMAN, the biopic of Charles Dickens. Directed by Ralph Fiennes,who also plays the renowned English writer, the film follows his relationship with 18 year old actress Nelly Ternan, while still married with nine children. Felicity’s acting career is far from invisible, dividing her time equally between stage and screen with equal aplomb. Her last performance on the boards was in Mike Poulton’s new version of Friedrich Schiller’s LUISE MILLER at the Donmar, which critics referred to as ‘the Felicity Jones phenomenon.’ After delivering the final ‘unbearable’ moments, she was still able to sign my sketch as she left the theatre in July 2011.
Both Keeley Hawes and her husband Matthew Macfadyen appeared in the West End at the same time… but two blocks apart. Matthew is still currently playing the dutiful valet, Jeeves in PG Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster: Perfect Nonsense, at the Duke of York’s while Keeley finished her run at Wyndham’s as Chrissie Packer in Clive Exton’s comedy Barking in Essex.
Keeley’s memorable TV roles include Zoe Reynolds in Spooks, Alex Drake in Ashes to Ashes and Kathy Butler in Tipping the Velvet. She is also the voice of the iconic Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider video games.
Both Keeley and Matthew are Patrons of CHASE, hospice care for children.
David Tennant calls theatre work his “default way of being” but there’s no faulting his latest foray on to the boards with the Bard’s Richard II at Stratford-Upon-Avon in October and November 2013, before transferring to the Barbican in London, completing its run last Saturday.
“There are many splendid things about the RSCs production of Shakespeare’s history play, not least of which is David Tennant’s hair,” one critic wrote. “With his startled eyes and concentrated frowns, Tennant is frail, pale and consistently interesting.”
The Danish actress Birgitte Hjort Sorensen took the role of Roxie Hart in the 2007 production of Chicago at the Del Ny Theatre in Copenhagen. Based on that success she reprised the role in the London production at the Cambridge Theatre. Birgitte gained international prominence playing the crusading reporter Katrine Fonsmark in the Danish radio and television production Borgen.
She returned to London last year to play Virgilia in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus opposite Tom Hiddleston at the Donmar Warehouse, where she signed this sketch last week.
Lauded as one of the great Shakespearean interpreters on both stage and film, Sir Kenneth Branagh returned to Shakespeare after more than a decade in July 2013. He co-directed and headlined in Macbeth with Rob Ashford at the Manchester International Festival. Alex Kingston played Lady Macbeth. Set in the intimate, deconsecrated St Peter’s Church to sell-out performances, the production will transfer to the Park Avenue Armoury in New York this June, marking Ken’s stage debut in the Big Apple.
A BAFTA and Emmy winner, he is the first man to be nominated for an Academy Award in five different categories, the most recent as Supporting Actor, playing Sir Laurence Olivier in My Week With Marilyn.
He walked the red carpet at the Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit European premiere at the Vue Cinema in Leicester Square this week as both director and antagonist Russian Viktor Cherevin, and signed my quick black biro Macbeth portrait.
Scottish actress Karen Gillan played Amy Pond, the Eleventh Doctor Who‘s (Matt Smith) first companion in May 2009.
She made her first theatre appearance playing the role of Shirley in John Osborne’s greatest play Inadmissible Evidence alongside Douglas Hodge, debuting at the Donmar Warehouse on 16 October 2011. She appeared on Broadway in Time To Act, one of the plays included in ‘The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway’ benefitting the non-profit Urban Arts Partnership in November 2013.
Karen signed my sketch after the final night’s performance of Inadmissible Evidence at the Donmar stage door.
Argentine-Chilean playwright Ariel Dorfman’s DEATH OF A MAIDEN had its revival at the Harold Pinter Theatre in October 2011. It was particularly appropriate that this play should inaugurate the newly named Pinter Theatre (formerly The Comedy), since Harold Pinter was a friend who was instrumental in getting the original production onto the London stage over twenty years ago. It went on to collect the 1992 Olivier Award for Best New Play. Focusing on the after-effects of political torture and the issue of justice in a society emerging from a violent dictatorship, the 2011 revival starred Thandie Newton, Tom Goodman-Hill and Anthony Calf and ran from October through to January 2012.
Ruth Wilson is a two time Olivier Award winner. In 2010 she picked up the first – a Best Supporting Actress Award for her role as Stella in The Donmar Warehouse’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire opposite Rachel Weisz, who also won the Best Actress category – followed by the 2012 Olivier for Best Actress as the title character in Anna Christie, also at the Donmar, opposite Jude Law. She was also nominated for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Mini Series for her role in Jane Eyre. Ruth kindly signed this quick portrait study at the Donmar during the 2011 Anna Christie season.