Eugene O’Neill’s epic Pulitzer Award-winning play Anna Christie, about love and forgiveness charts one woman’s longing to forget the dark secrets of her past as she is reunited with her father, an old Scandinavian salt who had exiled her fifteen years earlier.
Winner of the Olivier Award for Best Revival, Rob Ashford’s nautically realistic production played London’s Donmar Warehouse in the late summer of 2011 with Jude Law and Ruth Wilson in the lead roles.
Michael Billington in his Guardian review said, “The acting matches the production’s visual power. Ruth Wilson, following in the footsteps of Greta Garbo on screen and Natasha Richardson on stage… capturing with seeming effortlessness the contradiction inside Anna. Law, in the best performance I’ve seen him give is also excellent as the brawny lover… conveys muscular innocence of a man who has a rolling nautical gait… ”
Both Jude and Ruth were nominated for Oliviers with Ruth winning her second, having previously picked up the award for Best Supporting Actress as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire also at the Donmar. This black biro sketch as based on rehearsal shots for the play which Ruth and Jude kindly signed for me.
The inaugural season of work for the Michael Grandage Company at the Noel Coward Theatre comprising of five productions ended with the final performance of Henry V, starring Jude Law as the national hero, come war criminal monarch.
After a pioneering 15 month season, the star-studded team played to 390,000 people, with a quarter of the tickets sold for £10. At the heart of the Company’s philosophy was to offer affordable seats to attract a new generation of fans. A third were bought by first time theatre goers.
Jude Law signed this portrait on his way to an evening performance at the Donmar Warehouse in August 2011. He was the big draw in this outstanding revival of Eugene O’Neill’s play Anna Christie, playing the role of the hulking seadog hero Mat Burke.
Jude’s fine ear for the salty vernacular of the New York waterfront in the twenties earned him an Olivier Award nomination and five stars from all the major critics.