Drawing: Sarah Goldberg in Clybourne Park at Wyndham’s Theatre

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Canadian film, television and stage actress Sarah Goldberg made a swift impression on the London Theatre scene. After graduating form the prestigious London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art she stayed on and picked up an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress in Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize winning play Clybourne Park. An ensemble of seven versatile actors plays two sets of characters in a black comedy of manners, fifty years apart.

Sarah played dual roles of Betsy, a deaf, pregnant wife of a racist community activist in the 1950s and Lindsey, the contemporary and also pregnant home buyer whose renovations disturb her African American neighbours.

The production premiered in the UK in August 2010 at the Royal Court Theatre, directed by Dominic Cooke before transferring to Wyndham’s in London’s West End with most of the original cast.

Drawing: Martin Freeman and Sophie Thompson in Clybourne Park

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Clybourne Park was written by Bruce Norris in 2010 and received its UK premiere at the Royal Court Theatre in London, directed by Dominic Cooke and featuring Martin Freeman and Sophie Thompson.

It explores the fault line between race and property. In the first half it’s 1959, Russ and Bev are selling their desirable two bed home at a low price. This enables the first black family to move into the neighbourhood causing ripples of discontent amongst the cosy white urbanites of Clybourne Park. In the second half it’s 2009, the same property  is being bought by Lindsey and Steve, whose plan to raze the house and start again is met with a similar response.

It won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony and Oliver for Best New Play.

Martin (Russ) signed my sketch at the British Independent Film Awards at the Old Billingsgate Fish Market and Sophie signed at the Wyndham’s Theatre stage door after it transferred in 2011, without Martin and Steffan Rhodri.

Drawing: Martin Freeman in Clybourne Park at Royal Court Theatre

Martin Freeman002The Moêt British Independent Film Awards were held at the Old Billingsgate Fish Market in the Shadow of Tower Bridge in December 2010. This time I was on the other side, covering the event for the Irish World – always awkward asking for ‘graphs when you’re interviewing the stars and supping on the sponsor’s product!

However, Martin is one of us: normal, nice and no expletives deleted. I had a couple of sketches on me from his role in the award winning Royal Court play Clybourne Park.

As a member of the forth estate one has to remain professional at all times… so I politely showed Martin the sketches and and said I could send them to his agent. He said “I’ll save you the stamps,” and we had a brief chat about his upcoming trip to Middle Earth (New Zealand) to play Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson‘s Hobbit.

As I write this, I discover that Martin has just won the Best Actor perspex trophy at the Empire Film Awards across town at the Grosvenor Hotel, for his Hobbit role, beating Lincoln and James Bond (Daniel Day Lewis and Daniel Craig).