Drawing: Daniel Radcliffe and Joshua McGuire in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

Half a century after it’s premiere on the Old Vic stage, ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD, the  philosophical tragicomedy play that made a young Tom Stoppard’s name overnight, returned to the same venue with Daniel Radcliffe and Joshua McGuire in the title roles. Originally booked until the end of April, the season has been extended until this weekend due to popular demand.

It’s the ultimate identity crisis when two hapless minor characters, flipping coins while watching Shakespeare’s HAMLET from the wings. In his four-star review the Guardian’s Michael Billington said, “Radcliffe is perfectly matched by Joshua McGuire in a nimble hire-wire act that balances quickfire humour with a poignant awareness of death.” Both Dan and Joshua signed my sketch a couple of weeks ago after a Saturday evening performance at the Old Vic.

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Drawing: Daniel Radcliffe as Cripple Billy

When Daniel Radcliffe played Billy Craven, the lead in Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy THE CRIPPLE OF INNISHMAAN at the Noel Coward Theatre in 2013, I drew a number of sketches of him and the rest of the cast, which they all kindly signed for me. Daniel’s character, the orphan and outcast ‘Cripple Billy’, eager to escape the gossip, poverty and boredom if Innishmann, tries for a part in a Hollywood film in the neighbouring Inishmore and to everyone’s surprise, gets his chance.

Daniel signed the original of this drawing, but I wanted to add one of his best lies of dialogue, so on a copy of the sketch I added the text.  He has returned to the London stage to star in the 50th anniversary of Tom Stoppard’s ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD at the Old Vic and was signing in the foyer after Saturday’s evening performance, which was a perfect opportunity to get it graphed and dedicated.

Drawing: Daniel Radcliffe in The Cripple of Inishmaan at the Noël Coward Theatre

Cripple Billy DR

This is a quick sketch I drew from a poster on the wall of the Noel Coward Theatre, where inside, Daniel Radcliffe was playing the title role of cripple Billy Claven in THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN. I was waiting  for Dan to make his customary, nightly appearance at the stage door to the waiting multitude. He did so and signed the artwork. Last week he picked up Best Actor at the WhatsOnStage Awards and will reprise the part for the Broadway run this April. Also, last week I watched him play another disabled character – this time the hunchback lab assistant Igor on the set of the revisionist remake of Mary Shelley’s classic horror tale FRANKENSTEIN, which was  filming on the Royal Naval College grounds in Greenwich.

Drawing: Daniel Radcliffe as Cripple Billy in The Cripple of Inishmaan

Radcliffe Cripple001

Daniel Radcliffe picked up Best Actor from the fan voted What’sOnStage Awards over the weekend for his role as Cripple Billy Claven in Martyn McDonagh’s dark comedy The Cripple of Inishmaan, in Michael Grandage’s sold out run last Summer at the Noël Coward Theatre.

Described by The Mail on Sunday as, “the most politically incorrect play in the West End… and probably the funniest”. On discussing perfecting his Irish accent, Daniel said his father’s from Northern Ireland and he was “pretty pleased”.

He will reprise the role along with all the other cast members at the Cort Theatre on Broadway this Spring for a strictly limited engagement.

Daniel was excellent, both on and off stage. Every night after his performance he met the hordes of fans at the stage door. When he signed this sketch he apologised, “I’m sorry my signature’s not very good tonight.” Given he writes his full name out with the tangled ‘liffe’ at the end, I think he does exceptionally well, and as a collector it’s good to get all variation.

Drawing: Daniel Radcliffe in Equus and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Daniel Radcliffe

 

A couple of sketches of Daniel Radcliffe, from Equus on West End and Broadway, and also one from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which was Broadway only.

Daniel signed for me at the London premiere of The Woman in Black in 2012

My other Daniel Radcliffe sketch is here.

Drawing: Daniel Radcliffe in Equus

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When Richard Griffiths passed away earlier this year, Daniel Radcliffe lead the tributes:

“Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career. In August 2000, before official production had even began on Potter, we filmed a shot outside the Dursley’s, which was my first ever shot as Harry. I was nervous and he made me feel at ease. Seven years later, we embarked on Equus together. It was my first time doing a play, but, terrified as I was, his encouragement, tutelage and humour made it a joy. Any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever by his presence. I am proud to say I knew him.”

Peter Shaffer’s Equus is a favourite of mine, both on screen and stage. A revival, directed by Thea Sharrock opened at the Gielgud Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue in February 2007 and subsequently transferred to the Broadhurst Theater on Broadway, running until February 2009. Daniel received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Play.

I did a quick ‘montage’ sketch of Daniel as Alan Strang, the boy who blinds a number of horse with a hoof pick and Richard’s Martin Dysart, a child psychiatrist trying to understand the cause of the boys actions, while wrestling with his own sense of purpose.

In the mayhem that surrounds Daniel I risked damage at this year’s Olivier Theatre Awards at the Royal Opera House to get it signed. Daniel’s signature is always his full name, so that combined with haste to sign as many as possible means the final ‘graph can vary in quality. However, he did take the time to dedicate it to me and seemed genuinely touched by the drawing.

I had also drawn another sketch of just Daniel with Richard behind him, so dropped it into the rehearsal room where Daniel was preparing for The Cripple of Inishmaan (currently in previews at the Noël Coward Theatre). I also enclosed a flyer for him to sign, which he did and sent it back. As you can see, the more ‘relaxed’ ‘graph is a model of legibility.

inishmaan flyer001