Sketch: Felicity Jones and Finty Willilams, in Luise Miller

Luise Miller

Kabale und Liebe, Love and Intrigue, Love and Politics or simply Luise Miller, are all titles for the same play written by the German dramatist Friedrich Schiller in 1784.

The Donmar Warehouse in London chose Luise Miller in June and July 2011, directed by Michael Grandage, working with translator Mike Poulton on a more contemporary version of this landmark bourgeois tragedy.

In the title role was East Londoner Felicity Jones, who turned down a major film role to do the play. She plays the wholesome daughter of a modest violinist in a tale of “precarious liaisons, shadowy desires, backroom skulduggery and the iniquities of class snobbery.” It’s Schiller’s answer to Romeo & Juliet with melodramatic tendencies.

Having just won the special jury prize at the Sundance Festival for Like Crazy, she was in great demand for more film roles. “I want to keep a balance,” she said, “West End won’t lose me to the movies.”

Her ‘mother’ was played by Finty Williams, described by one review as “a sweet natured blabbermouth”. I had drawn a sketch of the both of them with a fine black biro. Whilst waiting outside the Donmar on a balmy summer’s evening for the cast to emerge (which took a bit longer because I think the were doing a Q+A session with the audience) I drew a quick pencil sketch of Felicity with my 2B – which in the balminess became a softer 4B! This was based on a publicity photo pinned to the Donmar Wall.

Felicity Jones

Drawing: Felicity Jones

Felicity Jones001

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.