Drawing: Sian Thomas in Passion Play

Autographed drawing of Sian Thomas in Passion Play at the Duke of York's Theatre on London's West End

Welsh actress Sian Thomas, known for her big screen role as Amelia Bones, the Head of Magical Law Enforcement at the Ministry of Magic in 2007’s HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX also has an impressive set of stage credentials. She is currently playing Aunt Pat in Jez Butterworth’s epic new play THE FERRYMAN at London’s Gielgud Theatre, which ends this month.

The last time I saw Sian on the West End was in Peter Nichol’s PASSION PLAY at the Duke of York’s in 2013. She was the ‘friend’ who decides to enlighten Zoe Wannamaker’s character about her husband’s betrayal, a performance Charles Spencer in his Telegraph review describes as “memorably bitter.”

I had been carrying this sketch of Sian around in my ‘working’ file (probably ‘walking’ file is more apt given the miles I cover stalking stage doors) since I missed her at the Duke’s five years ago so took the opportunity to catch up before with her at the Gielgud on Saturday when she arrived for the matinee and signed it.

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Drawing: Annabel Scholey in Passion Play

Passion Play - Annabelle Scholby

British actress Annabel Scholey played the alluring Kate in last year’s West End revival of Peter Nichol’s Passion Play at the Duke of York’s Theatre.

The 25-year-old marriage of James and Eleanor (Owen Teale and Zoe Wanamaker) is disrupted by his affair with Annabel’s femme fatale.  The playwright has also created their alter egos, Jim and Nell (Oliver Cotton and Samantha Bond) which allows the lead characters to express their private thoughts and anxieties.The technical device was not given to the femme fatal Kate, who comes across as a heartless predator.

Oxford-trained Annabel has balanced her career with a bunch of Shakespearian parts-she played Queen Anne to Kevin Spacey’s Richard III at the Old Vic – and a stint as a vampire in the cult BBC series Being Human.

She signed this sketch of her as Kate at the Theatre in June 2013.

Drawing: Zoe Wanamaker and Samantha Bond (Eleanor and Nell) in Passion Play

Passion Play - Zoe Wanamaker Samantha Bond

Two of the great contemporary British actors of our time, Zoe Wanamaker and Samantha Bond combined in David Leveaux’s beautifully judged revival of Passion Play at the Duke of York’s Theatre last summer.

Peter Nichol’s searing play of a modern marriage disrupted by a ‘blast of sexual infidelity’ is technically daring with the two leading characters each portrayed by two actors for public and private thoughts.

Zoe and Samantha play the competing versions of the same innocent character, soon shattered and betrayed in a 25 year marriage she believed to be happy and strong.
Owen Teale and Oliver Cotton play the love rat husband and his alter ego.

When it opened in 1981 at London’s Aldwych Theatre critics recounted a joke about Moses coming down from Sinai with the Commandments and announcing, “First the good news – I’ve got ’em down to ten. Now the bad news – adultery’s still on.”

Samantha’s maiden name is apt – her best known screen role is in the James Bond series, playing Miss Moneypenny, secretary to M. She appeared throughout Pierce Brosnan’s tenure as 007 which began in 1994 and ended in 2002 with Golden Eye, Tomorow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day.

Zoe’s extensive list of stage and screen credits includes the Harry Potter series. Fo her theatre works hs ha sheen nominate four times of the Tony and nine times for the Oliver awards, wining two. She has also received three BAFTA nominations.

Both signed this sketch for me at the theatre in Juen 2013.

Drawing: Owen Teale and Oliver Cotton (James and Jim) in Passion Play

Passion Play

Owen Teale and Oliver Cotton played the same character in the revival of Peter Nichol’s Passion Play at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London’s West End in the middle of 2013.

An initially happy 25 year marriage becomes strained to breaking point when the husband embarks on an affair with a woman half his age.

Owen played the husband (James) opposite Zoe Wanamaker. But each has an identically dressed alter ego, respectively played by Oliver (Jim) and Samantha Bond, who depicts the character’s interior thoughts and feelings.

Owen won the 1997 Tony Award for his performance as Torvald in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House at the Belasco Theatre. Oliver’s prolific stage career was founded on his extensive work at the National during the time Sir Laurence Olivier was its articsic director. He also writes scripts for both stage and screen. They both signed my sketch at the theatre in June 2013.