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.

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Drawing: Helen McCrory and Robert Glenister in The Late Middle Classes

The late middle classes

The Donmar produced David Leveaux’s sensitive revival of Simon Gray’s The Late Middle Classes in 2010.

This funny, melancholic and captivating play about a young boy and promising pianist who is trapped between conflicting emotional needs of the adults in his life, revealing the frustration, secrets and guilt of middle class respectability in 1950s England.

Helen McCrory played Celia, his emotionally demanding mother, frustrated at finding a role for herself “blending waspishness with vulnerability”. Robert Glenister is his piano teacher, living alone with his Austrian refugee mother. The boy is a mixture of muse, playmate and object of his desire.

Both Helen and Robert signed my sketch on 13 July 2010 at the Warehouse stage door.

Drawing: Noises Off, starring Jonathan Coy, Janie Dee, Robert Glenister, Jamie Glover, Celia Imrie, Karl Johnson, Aisling Loftus, Amy Nuttall and Paul Ready

noises off001

Large cast, Winter weather, exposed stage door (actually there are very few covered stage doors at London theatres) was the bad news. The good news was they were all good signers if you were good enough to meet them.

I required the nine cast members of Noises Off to sign my sketch at the Old Vic in January 2012. In alphabetical order – Jonathan Coy, Janie Dee, Robert Glenister, Jamie Glover, Celia Imrie, Karl Johnson, Aisling Loftus, Amy Nuttall and Paul Ready. In signing order – completely different. I consulted a few of the ‘zombies’ to figure out the exit and entry behaviour of the said nine – who arrives early, who pops out for a ciggy (and possibly siggy) breaks, who stays back after the shows making sure the Pit Bar makes a profit that week.

A single ‘hit’ visit looked unlikely. Once again I aimed for a Saturday matinée. Hopefully a staggered entrance over an hour wold enable me to get the majority of them. Some had already beaten me – drat – but luckily Robert required some lunch and was happy, as always, to sign.

Janie was also inside, but she was having a nap in preparation for the two performances ahead. It’s a physically demanding show, so I could understand her reasons but that didn’t help my mission. An hour out from curtain and I had all but Celia (who had gone in through the front door to sort some tickets out for friends, so I was told) and Janie. The following Tuesday I collected the duo coming out on my way home from a ‘stalking’ raid in the West End. A successful ‘play’ in two acts!