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.
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.
Joe Orton’s farce What the Butler Saw premiered at the Queen’s Theatre in London on 5 March 1969 – his last play before he was bludgeoned to death by his partner Kenneth Halliwell in August 1967 at the age of 34. In a short, but prolific, career he became known for scandalous black comedies often referred to as “Ortonesque” characterised by dark yet farcical cynicism.
In 2012 a revival was staged at the Vaudeville Theatre, featuring Omid Djalili, Tim McInnerny, Samantha Bond, Georgina Moffett, Jason Thorpe and Mick Hendry who all signed my sketch in July.
Aptly named, Samantha Bond featured in four 007 films as Miss Moneypenny during the Pierce Brosnan era between 1995 and 2002. The popular British actress has been a regular on the West End boards over the past five years. In an interview for WhatsOnStage, Samantha said, “I try and do a play a year. It’s my favourite place, nothing compares to live theatre… where I feel most at home, but it does scare the shit out of me.”
Following the revival of Tom Stoppard’s classic comedy of ideas Arcadia at the Duke of York’s in 2009, she did two shifts at the Vaudeville Theatre, with Oscar Wilde’s The Ideal Husband (with her husband Alexander Hanson) and What the Butler Saw before returning to the Duke of York’s for Passion Play in May 2013.
Her next appearance will be the comedy musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy next month. So, plenty of opportunities to get Samantha to sign a sketch…. In this case she ‘graphed it at the Vaudeville during What The Butler Saw in July 2012.