Drawing: Frances Barber in An Ideal Husband

Autographed drawing of Frances Barber in An Ideal Husband at the Vaudeville Theatre on London’s West EndAutographed drawing of Frances Barber in An Ideal Husband at the Vaudeville Theatre on London's West End

One of Britain’s finest actresses Frances Barber continues her impressive and comprehensive theatre repertoire as the blackmailing Mrs Laura Cheveley in the Classic Spring Company’s Oscar Wilde Season production of AN IDEAL HUSBAND at London’s Vaudeville Theatre.

Nominated for two Olivier Awards-CAMILLE (1985) and UNCLE VANYA (1997), Frances plays the femme fatale –”bitingly witty, famously well dressed, cruel, ambitious and above all, duplicitous” and repeatedly described throughout the play as the product of ‘horrid combinations’. She returns from Vienna as a ‘ghost from the past’ to expose and blackmail the much-admired politician Sir Robert Chiltern.

Frances signed my sketch last week at the stage door.

Drawing: Frances Barber

francis barber

Picasso had his ‘Blue’ period, I had my ‘black Bic biro’ one. The fine point version is very versatile, building up layers with cross-hatching, or in my case ‘scribble-hatching’. This drawing of the alluring English actress Frances Barber and her enticing evening gloves is an example. However, the medium is not always ideal for rendering certain textures such as black latex with it defining ‘shimmers’, so it turned into more of a doodling exercise emptying the ink of one ballpoint overworking the gloves. It worked for her hair though. Actually I found out that Frances’s most treasured possession is a piece of artwork, a painting of her adored bulldog  Smack, who she had for 11 years. While not in the same revered class, she didn’t mind mind signing my sketch of the doodled-fur gloves for me during her run in Les Parents Terribles at London’s Trafalgar Studios in 2010.