Drawing: Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Owen Teale and Damien Molony in No Man’s Land

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Following their hit run on Broadway, Sirs Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart brought the Pinter masterpiece NO MAN’S LAND to the West End for a sell-out season at Wyndham’s Theatre, which concluded on Saturday last. They were joined by Owen Teale and Damien Molony in this much-anticipated revival of Harold Pinter’s 1975 cryptic and hilariously tragicomedy directed by Sean Mathias.

A pub postman, Spooner (Sir Ian) is invited back to the luxurious Hampstead pad of Hirst, (Sir Patrick) a famous writer, where they proceed to get trollied on epic amounts of whiskey and vodka, and spend the evening in drunken conversation as the guest ingratiates himself on his near comatose host only interrupted by the intimidating manservants Briggs (Owen) and Foster (Damien). The play is evoked by the classic English farce, laden with ‘peachy’ one-liners such as Briggs, “the best time to drink champagne is before lunch, you cunt.”

In a nutshell, it looks at the absurdity and chaos of late life and the disintegration of memory. TimeOut said of the Sirs performance,”Two actors who still live up to their legend, nailing one of the great works of a playwrights who still lives up to his.”

I managed to get Sir Ian, Owen and Damien to graph this montage sketch in person at the stage door, but Sir Patrick was a little more elusive. I tried on a few occasions, but he had  guests or had to rush off, so missed him. However, caught in no man’s land in the final week, I passed it onto  the helpful Joshua at Wyndham’s, who did get the drawing to Sir Patrick and it was returned signed, completing the set.

Drawing: Patrick Stewart in Shakespeare

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The Cut Bar at the Young Vic is a popular theatre restaurant. Named after the street location rather than the state of its patrons…. mostly, it provides a convivial place to wait for the talent as they slip through to the stage door and the bar’s western hall.

I had heard that Sir Patrick wasn’t likely to sign going in, so left this sketch of him in his role as William Shakespeare in Bingo at the theatre rather than suffer a rejection in person. I was finishing a quiet ale in the aforementioned establishment, when Captain Picard walked past me. I was sketching at the time and he complimented me, we exchanged some pleasantries, but I decided not to mention my request. The Shakespeare sketch was returned, signed.