Drawing: Kristin Scott Thomas

Kristin Scott Thomas

As you may have realised drawing sketches and then getting them signed takes time. Hanging around stage doors in all weather conditions is part of the package. There are a variety of things one can do to pass the time, not all of them worthwhile. Sometimes I get out my little A5 Ryman’s sketch pad and start employing my trusty 4B clutch pencil.

On one such occasion on a balmy summer’s evening, while waiting for Kristin Scott Thomas, Lia Williams and Rufus Sewell to emerge after a performance of BETRAYAL at the Comedy Theatre to sign a cast drawing, I drew this quick portrait of Kristin… manners, Dame Kristin, although she wasn’t a Dame then in 2011. She kindly signed and dedicated both renderings for me.

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Drawing: Kristin Scott Thomas in The Audience

Kristen Scott Thomas

Dame Kristin Scott Thomas completed her three-month role as Queen Elizabeth ll in Peter Morgan’s hit production The Audience, directed by Stephen Daldry at London’s Apollo Theatre on Saturday evening. The play received it’s world premiere next door at the Gielgud in February 2013, with Dame Helen Mirren in the lead role. It’s inspired by the Queen’s private weekly meetings with all of Britain’s Prime Ministers during her six decades on the throne. This quick revival was updated to include the recent UK General Election, opening two days before polling. Apparently auditions were held for an ‘Ed Miliband’ just in case, but in response to the results, Morgan rewrote the scene between the Monarch and David Cameron (Mark Dexter). Coinciding with this production, Dame Helen was reprising the royal role at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on Broadway. It finished it’s season at the end of June, with Helen winning every major award, including the Tony. Dominic Cavendish in The Telegraph wrote, “Scott Thomas is a match for Mirren,’  a sentiment matched by the majority of critics and theatre-goers alike. Just weeks before embarking on her portrayal, Kristin had first-hand experience of her subject when she meet the Queen to receive her damehood for services to drama. Kristin recalled the conversation in an interview afterwards and said the Queen asked her what she was doing next. After being told she replied, ‘It would be quite q challenge.”

Waiting at stage doors on final nights can be drawn out affairs, so I didn’t have my drawing out when Dame Kristin was super quick to appear to a sizeable gathering of her ‘subjects’, She chatted amongst them and signed items which gave me time to get it ready and queue for the royal siggy of approval.

Drawing: Kristin Scott Thomas in Electra at The Old Vic Theatre

Kristin Scott Thomas

Kristin Scott Thomas plays Sophocles’ avenging heroine Electra in the title role at London’s Old Vic.

It reunites Kristin Scott Thomas with director Ian Rickson after a string of great collaborations, including the award-winning 2007 revival of The Seagull at the Royal Court.  The stage is set in-the-round, as it has been all year at the theatre. Frank McGuinness adapted this retelling of the 2,500 year old classic Greek tragedy of a daughter’s grief over her father’s death, consumed by a desire for revenge against his murderers, her mother and stepfather. An added bonus is the music of PJ Harvey.

The BBC News reported “Kristin Scott Thomas thrills critics at the Old Vic”. With a clutch of five star reviews, the idiom “kill for a ticket triumph” has been used.

The Telegraph’s Dominic Cavendish called Kristin’s performance a, “tour de force,” and said, “… within 90 minutes or so, the erstwhile screen goddess propels herself into the first rank of theatrical titans”.

Phil Taylor in The Independent said Kristin was, “excruciatingly good,” and The Telegraph’s Tim Walker (my favourite London critic) said, “Kristin Scott Thomas’ performance  of raw human intensity makes this production unforgettable. This is unquestionably the Old Vic at its very best.”

Drawing: Kristin Scott Thomas, Lia Williams and Rufus Sewell in Old Times

old times001

Ian Rickson’s classy revival of Pinter’s cryptic play Old Times had a limited (Jan-April) engagement at the Harold Pinter theatre in London earlier this year. Locked away in a secluded farmhouse, Kate, Deeley and Anna reminisce about early days together in London. But, with conflicting memories and underlying sexual tensions, the past suddenly feels vividly present.

Kristin Scott Thomas and Lia Williams alternated the role of Kate and Anna with Rufus Sewell playing Deeley. All three were happy to sign my sketch after a Saturday evening performance. In fact, Rufus even picked my New Zealand accent, and didn’t call me ‘Australian’ as is often the case