An accomplished actor, director, producer, comedian, novelist, screenwriter and playwright, Mark Gatiss is the modern Renaissance man. “I’m all over the TV like a rat,” he said in The Independent, when they listed all his small-screen involvement over the past winter season. He has written for and acted in DOCTOR WHO and SHERLOCK, which he also created and produced with Steven Moffat and is cast as banker Tycho Nestoris in Season 4 of THE GAME OF THRONES. Mark’s latest stage appearance was Menenius in the Donmar’s acclaimed production of CORIOLANUS, opposite Tom Hiddleston. It was his first Shakespearean role since his student days at Bretton Hall drama school in Yorkshire. The RadioTimes said,”… a beautifully modulated performance, provides the voice of reason throughout the play with skill and precision”. With other super turns under his belt-such as his Charles I in Hampstead Theatre’s 55 DAYS last year – Gatiss really is growing in statue as a stage performer”. Mark said he spent a lot of the play saying “calm down”. He was like Geoffrey Howe to Coriolanus’s Thatcher. Both Mark and Tom, in the title role were nominated for Olivier Awards, which were presented at the Royal Opera House last Sunday (13 April,2014). I drew a quick montage of Mark as Menenius and the seventeenth-century British Monarch, which he signed on the red carpet at the ceremony.
George Farquhars 1706 Restoration comedy The Recruiting Officer was Josie Rourke’s first play as the new artistic director at the Donmar Warehouse in 2012. She assembled an impressive cast for this pacy and complicated piece in which big themes (love and war) are presented amid a riot of bed-hopping, social blockades, meddling servants and enticing legacies. Described as an unashamed celebration of love, lustiness and victory in battle and in the bedroom, it was a critical success, ensuring Josie’s tenure at the Donmar got off to a bright start.
On the 12th of April 2012, I managed to get all the cast on my sketch (Nicholas Burns, Nancy Carroll, Mackenzie Crook, Kathryn Drysdale, Mark Gatiss, Gawn Grainger, Tobias Menzies and Rachael Stirling) to sign it – not an easy feat given that there were eight of them leaving through various exits and often at the same time.