Drawing: Ruth Wilson and Jake Gyllenhaal in Constellations on Broadway

Constellations

Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson both made their Broadway debuts in English playwright Nick Payne’s  two-hander CONSTELLATIONS at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre last month. Playing star-crossed lovers Roland and Marianne, they received rave reviews from both critics and the audience. “Short, sweet and strangely haunting”, said Variety. It called the hour long performance a “baby bombshell”- single set, two characters, sparce scenery, killer acting!

The story of a young couple who break through the boundaries of the time/space continuum to explore the infinite possibilites of their love, CONSTELLATIONS premiered at London’s  Royal Court Theatre in early 2012. As a result of strong reviews it subsequently transferred to the Duke of Yorks in the West End.

Both Jake and Ruth received Golden Globe nominations this year, with Ruth winning for her role as Alison Bailey in the new TV drama THE AFFAIR. Jake has picked up a haul of awards and nominations, including BAFTA and the Screen Actors Guild nods for his performance in the neo-noir crime thriller NIGHTCRAWLER.

Ruth has signed a couple of my drawings at West End productions so I sent this simple portrait sketch based on the plays poster to Ruth at the Theatre and both she and Jake kindly signed it for me.

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Drawing: Ruth Wilson and Jude Law in Anna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse

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Eugene O’Neill’s epic Pulitzer Award-winning play Anna Christie, about love and forgiveness charts one woman’s longing to forget the dark secrets of her past as she is reunited with her father, an old Scandinavian salt who had exiled her fifteen years earlier.

Winner of the Olivier Award for Best Revival, Rob Ashford’s nautically realistic production played London’s Donmar Warehouse in the late summer of 2011 with Jude Law and Ruth Wilson in the lead roles.

Michael Billington in his Guardian review said, “The acting matches the production’s visual power. Ruth Wilson, following in the footsteps of Greta Garbo on screen and Natasha Richardson on stage… capturing with seeming effortlessness the contradiction inside Anna. Law, in the best performance I’ve seen him give is also excellent as the brawny lover… conveys muscular innocence of a man who has a rolling nautical gait… ”

Both Jude and Ruth were nominated for Oliviers with Ruth winning her second, having previously picked up the award for Best Supporting Actress as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire also at the Donmar. This black biro sketch as based on rehearsal shots for the play which Ruth and Jude kindly signed for me.

Drawing: Ruth Wilson

Ruth Wilson

Ruth Wilson is a two time Olivier Award winner. In 2010 she picked up the first – a Best Supporting Actress Award for her role as Stella in The Donmar Warehouse’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire opposite Rachel Weisz, who also won the Best Actress category – followed by the 2012 Olivier for Best Actress as the title character in Anna Christie, also at the Donmar, opposite Jude Law.  She was also nominated for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Mini Series for her role in Jane Eyre. Ruth kindly signed this quick portrait study at the Donmar during the 2011 Anna Christie season.

Drawing: Elliot Cowan, Rachel Weisz and Ruth Wilson in A Streetcar Named Desire

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Tennessee Williams 1947  Pulitzer Prize winning play A Streetcar Named Desire had a hugely acclaimed revival at London’s Donmar Warehouse from July to October in 2009.

It featured Oscar winner Rachel Weisz as the drunken, pretentious Southern belle, Blanche DuBois; Ruth Wilson as her self-effacing sister, Stella Kowalski and Elliot Cowan as Stanley Kowalski, the primal, brutish husband. All three signed for me in September 2009.

The first West End staging starred Vivien Leigh and was directed by her husband Laurence Olivier in 1949.

Both Rachel (Best Actress) and Ruth (Best Supporting Actress) won Olivier awards for their performances.

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