Drawing: Liza Sadovy as Fraulein Schneider in CABARET

Autographed drawing of Liza Sadovy in Cabaret at the Playhouse Theatre on London's West End

British actress Liza Sadovy won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her performance as the amiable landlady Fraulein Schneider in Rebecca Frecknall’s sensational revival of CABARET at the Playhouse Theatre. The production made history, winning all four Musical acting categories with leads Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley and fellow supporting actor and on-stage love interest Elliot Levey also collecting their respective awards at this month’s Royal Albert Hall ceremony.

“Sadovy is especially excellent, bringing both sweetness and steeliness to her depiction of a world- weary woman,” wrote Miriam Gibson in her LondonBoxOffice review. Liza and Elliot (as the Jewish shopkeeper Herr Schultz) are retirement-age lovers as the Nazi party is taking over the streets of Berlin in the 1930’s. They ‘swoon over a pineapple until their relationship is derailed by anti-Semitism.’ In Variety, David Benedict said, “The utter sincerity of the detailing of their relationship is so magnetic that even the pineapple song ‘It Couldn’t Please Me More’ here makes rare emotional sense,”

Liza’s career has seen her perform on both sides of the Atlantic. Her stage appearances include WICKED in the original London production as the replacement Madame Morrible, Catherine De Brie in LA BETE on both Broadway and the West End, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, OLIVER!, PYGMALION and RICHARD II to name a few. She has also appeared in Opera productions such as THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, LA TRAVIATA and DON GIOVANNI. In film and TV she lists Tim Burton’s SWEENY TODD:THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, MIDSOMER MURDERS, EASTENDERS and VERA amongst her credits.

Liza signed this sketch for me on her final day at the Playhouse, before immediately starting rehearsals for Rodger and Hammerstein’s OKLAHOMA!, where the Tony Award- winning production transfers to London’s Young Vic, after its acclaimed Broadway run and US tour. It opens this week with Liza playing the town’s fun-loving caretaker Aunt Eller.

Drawing: Elliot Levey as Herr Schultz in CABARET

Autographed drawing of Elliot Levey in Cabaret at London's Playhouse Theatre on West End

The London revival of the Kander and Ebb classic musical CABARET at the Playhouse Theatre was nominated for 11 Olivier Awards, winning seven, including Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical for Elliot Levey for his portrayal of the kindly old Jewish fruit seller, Herr Schultz in Berlin during the Weimar-era. After reading philosophy at Oxford University, Elliot has become a popular regular on the British stage, including the National Theatre’s 2004 revival of HIS DARK MATTERS, as Brutus in CORIOLANUS with Mark Gatiss and Tom Hiddleston at the Donmar Warehouse in 2013 and in the role of Don John in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING alongside David Tennant and Catherine Tate at Wyndham’s in 2011. His film work includes Kenneth Branagh’s remake of MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, THE LADY IN THE VAN, THE QUEEN, PHILOMENIA and on the small screen, PEAKY BLINDERS.

“Lovely work from Elliot Levey and Liza Sadovy as the landlady Fraulein Schneider… the fate of their sweet, courtly romance in the face of Nazi disapproval drives events in the story,” wrote Andrzej Lukowski in his TimeOut review. Variety critic David Benedict said, “Any scrap of sentimentality in the writing is banished by the wonderfully held tension between the two actors, who use expert comic timing to walk a tentative tightrope between hope and heartbreak.”

Elliot signed this drawing I did of him prior to a Saturday matinee at the Playhouse Theatre stage door the day before he collected his Olivier.

The 2019 Laurence Olivier Awards – a selection of six winners

The 2019 Laurence Olivier Awards, recognising excellence in London theatre was held last Sunday at the Royal Albert Hall. Here’s a 4B pencil tribute to a selection of six winners who all signed their respective sketches over the past year.

Sharon D. Clarke, Best Actress in a Musical for her title role in CAROLINE, OR CHANGE at the Playhouse Theatre, signed in person at the theatre last December.

Autographed drawing of Sharon D Clarke in Caroline, Or Change at the Playhouse Theatre on London's West End

Patti LuPone, Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her portrayal of Joanne in Stephen Sondheim’s COMPANY at the Gielgud Theatre, signed at the stage door in October last year.

Autographed drawing of actress Patti LuPone

Patsy Ferran, Best Actress for SUMMER AND SMOKE, signed at the Duke of York’s Theatre on 18 December 2018, following a West End transfer after a sold-out run at the Almeida Theatre.

Autographed drawing of Patsy Ferran and Matthew Needham in Summer and Smoke at the Duke of York's Theatre on London's West End

Kyle Soller, Best Actor for his role as Eric Glass in the Young Vic’s two-part epic, THE INHERITANCE at the Noel Coward Theatre, signed at the stage door in January this year.

Autographed drawing of Kyle SOller and Andrew Burnap in The Inheritance at the Noel Coward Theatre on London's West End

Kobna Holbrook-Smith, Best Actor in a Musical for his role as Ike Turner, in TINA,THE MUSICAL, signed at the Aldwych Theatre’s stage door late last year.

Autographed drawing of Kobna Holdbrook-Smith in Tina The Musical at the Aldwych Theatre on London's West End

Chris Walley, Best Actor in a Supporting Role for playing the teenager Davey in THE LIEUTENANT OF INISHMORE, also signed at the Noel Coward stage door last summer.

Autographed drawing of Chris Walley in The Lieutenant of Inishmore at the Noel Coward Theatre on London's West End

Drawing: Jo McInnes in The Jungle

Autographed drawing of Jo McInnes in The Jungle at the Playhouse Theatre on London's West End

Jo McInnes divides her time between acting and directing. She is currently appearing in the hugely acclaimed THE JUNGLE at the Playhouse theatre in London’s West End. Jo was a member of the original cast when the play premiered last year, with previews from 16 June (World Refugee Day) and transferred with the production across the river to its present venue. It is scheduled to cross a wider stretch of water and set up in New York later this year.

Set in Europe’s largest unofficial refugee camp, the Calais Jungle on the northern French coast, which became the home for more than 10,000 people in 2015, it immerses audiences in all the complexities and contradictions of a refugee camp.

In his Variety review, Matt Bateman wrote, “THE JUNGLE does everything theatre does best, and more.” Jo plays the pragmatic and jaded volunteer Paula, a ‘free swearing child protector… a caring, no-nonsense matriarch’

She signed my sketch of her in the role at the stage door last month.

Drawing: Jack Shepherd in The Best Man

Autographed drawing of Jack Shepherd in The Best Man at the Playhouse Theatre on London's West End

Veteran British actor, Jack Shepherd has returned to the West End as ex-US President Art Hockstader in Gore Vidal’s searing political drama THE BEST MAN at the Playhouse Theatre. The 77 year-old actor, theatre director, playwright, accomplished saxophonist and jazz pianist is probably best known for his TV role as Cornwell’s Detective Superintendent Charles Wycliffe in WYCLIFFE, from 1993-1998.

Jack’s stage pedigree includes originating the role of Richard Roma in the 1983 London production of GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, which won him Best Actor at the Society of West End Theatre Awards, later known as the Oliviers.

Jack signed my sketch at the Playhouse Theatre stage door as he arrived for a Saturday matinee a few weeks ago.

Drawing: Honeysuckle Weeks

Autographed drawing of Honeysuckle Weeks in The Best Man at the Playhouse Theatre, A Daughter's Daughter at Trafalgar Studios and in King Lear at the Old Vic in London

Honeysuckle Weeks has a memorable stage name, so called because the fragrant climbing plant was in bloom at the time she was born 38 years ago. After graduating from Oxford University with an English degree in 2001, she embarked on an acting career that has spanned stage and screen.

She is best known on the small screen for her role as Samantha Stewart in ITV’s wartime drama FOYLE’S WAR. In 2010 she appeared in the West End run of Agatha Christie’s A DAUGHTER’S A DAUGHTER at the Trafalgar Studios and three years later played Cordelia in KING LEAR at the Old Vic.

She is currently starring in the West End debut of Gore Vidal’s THE BEST MAN at the Playhouse Theatre. I did this montage of Honeysuckle in all three stage roles and she signed it for me as she arrived at the Playhouse for last Saturday’s matinee.

Drawing: Don Warrington in Glengarry Glen Ross

Autographed drawing of Don Warrington in Glengarry Glen Ross at the Playhouse Theatre on London's West End

Trinidadian-born British actor Donald Williams graduated from The Drama Centre in London’s Kentish Town, taking the stage name Don Warrington. His professional stage debut was at the Hampstead Theatre in 1973, playing Philip Smith in Eric Chappell’s THE BANANA BOX, opposite Leonard Rossiter and France de la Tour, which transferred to the West End and then became the classic TV sitcom RISING DAMP, making Don a household name. Since then he has carved an impressive stage and screen career, including his role as Commissioner Selwyn Patterson in the hit BBC series DEATH IN PARADISE since 2011.

He returned to the stage in 2012 with the UK tour of DRIVING MISS DAISY with Gwen Taylor and the lead in KING LEAR at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre in 2016, which theatre critic Claire Allfree wrote was a ‘heartbreaking tour-de-force,’ in the Telegraph. Don is currently appearing at the Playhouse Theatre in the absorbing London revival of David Mamet’s GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, playing the apprehensive George Aaronow, who has been left behind by the changes in the corporate world. Lacking confidence and self esteem he has plunged to the bottom of the heap in a ruthless hierarchical and cutthroat Chicago real estate office.

I met Don last Saturday when he arrived at the theatre for the matinee performance where he signed this drawing for me.

Drawing: Robert Glenister and Kris Marshall in Glengarry Glen Ross

Autographed drawing of Robert Glenister and Kris Marshall in Glengarry Glen Ross at the Playhouse Theatre, London

Popular British TV stars Robert Glenister and Kris Marshall join Christian Slater in the first major revival in nearly a decade of David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize winning GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS at London’s Playhouse theatre. Set in the cut-throat world of a Chicago real-estate office, it’s a fast talking, expletive-filled depiction of sleazy salesmen scrapping it out. Robert plays the ‘spitting, hissing’, angry Moss and Kris is the uptight office manager, Williamson. I met both actors after last Saturday nights performance at the stage door, where they signed my sketch for me.