Drawing: MyAnna Buring and Laura Donnelly in The Wasp

The Wasp

The Tarantula Hawk is a wasp that lays an egg in a spider’s abdomen, hatching a larvae that feeds on the arachnid’s innards avoiding the vital organs to ensure they remain a living host until it is ready to emerge. It is reference to Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s electric triller THE WASP, which has transferred to the Trafalgar Studio’s intimate 100-seater number 2 space after a sell-out season at the Hampstead Theatre earlier this year.

MyAnna Buring reprises the role of Carla and replacing Sinead Matthews is Laura Donnelly as Heather. Two women who haven’t seen each other since school. The rough Carla is married to a man thirty years her senior and heavily pregnant with her fifth child. Heather is glamorous, successful and happily married. It asks in 90 minutes with two plot twists and a ‘gobsmaking ending’, how far beyond the playground we carry our childhood experiences and how people are willing to go in order to come to terms with them.

“A taunt, brilliantly calibrated two-handed, which takes pleasure in shocking its audience” wrote The Stage’s Natasha Tripney in her four-star review. I met MyAnna and Laura as they emerged from the Trafalgar Studios stage door to an unseasonably mild winter’s evening and both signed my sketch, adding some kind comments.

Sketch: MyAnna Buring

MyAnna

British based Swedish actress MyAnna Buring played Tanya of the Denali Coven in the hugely popular Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I in 2012, and has had significant supporting roles, including BBC drama series Blackout and Ripper Street; she also joined the cast of Downton Abbey, playing the role of maid Edna Braithwaite in the 2012 Christmas special episode and the fourth season.

This month she hit the London stage as part of an all-star cast of fifty, including Dame Judi Dench, Timothy West, Mark Gatiss, Catherine Tate and Nina Sosanya of The Vote at the Donmar Warehouse.

Conceived by James Graham and director Josie Rourke, the play is set in a London Polling station during the final 90 minutes before the polls closed.

It shines light on the diverse, diligent and often hilarious individuals who turn the unglamorous settings into places where history is made. It was broadcast live after two weeks of previews on More4 on 7 May, the night of the General Election.

It’s such a large cast that half of them occupied a changing room across the road from the stage door alley way. I found out from one of the other ‘graphers that MyAnna was in that half, so positioned myself in the dark alley with my sketch. She was lovely and liked the sketch enough to sign it and write a nice comment. I would vote for her.

Drawing: Strangers On A Train starring Laurence Fox, Jack Huston, MyAnna Buring, Christian McKay and Miranda Raison

strangers on a train001

A ‘film noir’, live on stage. Robert Allan Ackerman’s stylish psychological crime thriller Strangers On A Train pays homage to Hollywood and heralds the successful return of the thriller to the West End.

Adapted by Craig Warner from Patricia Highsmith’s iconic 1950 novel and Alfred Hitchcock’s film version. The plot concerns two men that both have good reason to wish someone else dead. A seemingly innocent conversation soon turns into a nightmare for architect Guy Haines (Laurence Fox) when he meets Charles Bruno (Jack Huston) on a train journey. Over a bottle of whisky, Bruno suggests they should ‘exchange’ murders. Haines is trying to divorce his unfaithful wife (MyAnna Buring). Bruno hates his cruel father and wants an early inheritance.

Watertight alibis. No connection – the perfect criss cross crime. Except, when Bruno performs his side of what was never a real deal, it exposes the appalled Haines to the dangerous reality of blackmail and stalking.

Christian McKay plays the detective who sees through the flawed collusion; Miranda Raison plays the perfect Hitchcock blonde and Imogen Stubbs is the psychopath’s besotted mother. A swirling set constantly in motion, effortlessly changing locations and watch out for an impressive closing effect.

All the cast signed and inscribed the 4b pencil montage after Saturday’s matinee performance at the Gielgud Theatre London.