Drawing: Jenny Agutter in Equus

Jenny Agutter won a BAFTA Award for her performance as Jill Mason in Sidney Lumet’s 1977 production of Peter Shaffer’s psychological drama EQUUS, one of my favourite, if not my favourite play. In the 2007 London stage revival of the play featuring Richard Griffiths and Daniel Radcliffe at the Gielgud Theatre she portrayed magistrate Hesther Solomon. A couple of weeks ago I did this sketch of Jenny in both roles and sent it to her. She signed and sent it back with this dedication.

Drawing: Jenny Agutter in Equus

Jenny AgutterBritish actress Jenny Agutter won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role as Jill Mason in the film Equus in 1977. Thirty years later she appeared in the stage version of Peter Shafffer’s most powerful play at the Gielgud Theatre in London alongside Richard Friffiths and Daniel Radcliffe. This time she played Hesther Saloman, the magistrate who brings Alan Strang (Radcliffe) to Martin Dysart (Griffiths) the psychiatrist, for blinding six horses.

Many moons ago I directed Equus for Invercargill Repertory back in New Zealand. When I sent Jenny this portrait sketch to sign at the Gielgud in 2007 I mentioned it in the accompanying note. She not only signed the drawing, but wrote a lovely letter about the productions. I had to the privilege of meeting her briefly when she attended the Captain America: A Winter Soldier premiere earlier this year in London, which confirmed my impression of her as one of the most enchanting people in the business.

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

radcliffe signed001

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