Drawing: Olivia Colman as Queen Anne in The Favourite

Autographed drawing of Olivia Colman as Queen Anne in The Favourite

British actress Olivia Colman is one of the early favourites to win the Best Actress Oscar at the pinnacle of the awards season early next year for her ‘royally bonkers’ portrayal of Queen Anne in the restoration black comedy THE FAVOURITE. She has started well, winning the best actress categories at the British Independent Film Award (her fourth) on Sunday, and at the Venice International Film Festival in August.

Directed by Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos, the film centres on the close relationship between Queen Anne, the last Stuart to occupy the British throne and her friend Lady Sarah Churchill, (Rachel Weisz) which comes under threat with the arrival of Sarah’s cousin Abigail Hill, (Emma Stone) resulting in a bitter rivalry to become the Queen’s favourite. In his five- star review for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers writes, “Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and the mighty Olivia Colman turn a period piece into a caustic comeuppance comedy with fangs and claws… THE FAVOURITE belongs to its three fierce, profanely funny female trio.”

They collected a Special Jury Prize for their ‘kinky palace triangle’ ensemble performance at the recent Gotham Independent Film Awards in New York. Olivia is no stranger to winning awards, nor for that matter, playing British queens. She is currently Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s historical drama web television series THE CROWN and during her career has won three BAFTAs, a Golden Globe and received two Emmy nominations, accolades which are likely to be added to over the coming months.

Olivia signed my ‘Queen Anne’ sketch at the Gala Screening of THE FAVOURITE at the BFI London Film Festival at the pop-up Embankment Cinema in October.

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Sketch: Hay Fever at the Noël Coward Theatre

Hay Fever

Noel Coward’s 1924 play Hay Fever is often described as the quintessential English play – a cross between high farce and a comedy of manners. It had a major West End revival at the theatre named after him in 2012.

Both The Telegraph’s critics Charles Spencer and Tim Walker gave it five stars. “Howard Davies cracking production… superbly funny… transforms triviality into comic perfection”. Tim called it “excruciatingly funny”. Michael Billington wrote in The Guardian, “it helps that he has a cast that could, as Coward said of his own 1964 revival, play the Albanian telephone directory”.

Led by the sublime Lindsay Duncan as Judith Bliss, the stellar cast included Kevin McNally as her testy and bookish husband, who’s “wearing a bit thin now” and the delightful Olivia Colman as the predatory vamp Myra Arundel.

This is one of a series of sketches I drew based on the production which both Olivia and Kevin signed in May 2012. The latest revival with Felicity Kendal opened this week at the Duke of York’s theatre in London, so I know what I’ll be drawing this week.