British award-winning actress Kate O’Flynn returns to the London stage in John Tiffany’s elegant production of Tennessee Williams’s 1944 autobiographical breakthrough play, THE GLASS MENAGERIE at the Duke of York’s theatre this month. It transfers from a sell-out run at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Kate plays Laura Wingfield, the frail, damaged daughter of the bruised and brittle Southern matriarch Amanda, played by the formidable Broadway great Cherry Jones. Kate’s entrance through the middle of a sofa has been described as ‘unforgettable’ like the rest of her performance.
She signed my sketch on her way to the theatre for last Saturday’s matinee.
The 3′ 6″ STAR WARS and HARRY POTTER star Warwick Davis appeared as Prof in the Bristol Hippodrome festive season panto production of SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS in 2015. Warwick came to prominence as the Ewok Wicket in STAR WARS EPISODE VI RETURN OF THE JEDI and continued in THE PHANTOM MENACE, in three roles – Weael, Wald and the walking version of Yoda. In 2015 he returned in the sequel THE FORCE AWAKENS. Warwick was also part of the HARRY POTTER series, as Professor Filius Flitwick and Griphook. On the small screen he played a fictionalised version of himself in the sitcom LIFE’S TOO SHORT, written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.
I sent this sketch of Warwick as Prof to the Bristol Hippodrome in December 2015 and it came back last week, signed and dedicated!
English ballerina Cordelia Braithwaite has been a regular with Sir Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Company productions since 2013. In a few short years, the 23 year-old has played both the Italian and Spanish Princesses and the Girlfriend in Sir Matthew’s production of SWAN LAKE before playing Mercedes, Frankie and Lana in THE CAR MAN, followed by Aurora and Hibernia in SLEEPING BEAUTY. She is currently sharing the lead role of gifted ballerina Vicky Page with Ashley Shaw in THE RED SHOES, which completed a sell-out, two-month run at Sadler’s Wells, where she signed my sketch before embarking on a national tour.
Sir Matthew Bourne’s full-length ballet adaption of the 1948 film THE RED SHOES is currently touring the UK after a sold-out, two-month season at Sadler’s Wells in London where it had it’s World Premiere over the Christmas period. It is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale about Vicky Page, a young dancer, who is forced to choose between fulfilling her dream and falling in love. Australian ballerina Ashley Shaw plays the lead role, fresh from featuring in Sir Matthew’s dazzling re-imaging of the ballet fairytale SLEEPING BEAUTY which has smashed box office records across the UK and US. She signed this sketch for me at Sadler’s last week.
Twenty-eight year-old London-born actress Karla Crome is currently receiving excellent reviews for her portrayal of Mozart’s shrewd and sharp-witted wife Constanze in Michael Longhurst’s revival of Peter Shaffer’s AMADEUS on the Olivier stage at the National Theatre. Writing in the Radio Times, Claire Webb said that Karla was “superb.” Her small screen credits include Sky Atlantic’s HIT & MISS and regular Jess on E4’s MISFITS. In 2012, Screen International named her as one of the UK Stars of Tomorrow.
Karla is also an accomplished playwright. IF CHLOE CAN was presented by the National Youth Theatre and the award-winning MUSH AND ME premiered at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe.
I found an intriguing piece of trivia in her Q&A on the Theatre’s website. Karla was asked about any pre-show rituals, and she replied she always does vocal warm-ups by singing ten nursery rhymes through a straw. “It’s not a good look, but I swear by it.”
I left this sketch at the National, where she signed it for me, in clutch pencil, which is also unusual.
Born Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart in 1756, the most gifted musician in the history of classical music was multilingual and freely adapted his name to other languages. He preferred ‘Amadeus’, the latin version of his Greek middle name and so did Peter Schaffer for the title of his multi-award winning play and film about the bitter rivalry between court composer Salieri and the young upstart Mozart. The National Theatre’s latest revival directed by Michael Longhurst, is currently running on the Olivier stage starring Adam Gillen in the title role.
Best known as Liam, the son of the transvestite barman/woman Les(ley) in the ITV hit series BENIDORM, Adam’s stage performance has drawn rave reviews from the critics, including Paul Taylor from the Independent. “Adam Gillen delivers the most moving portrayal of Shaffer’s version of Mozart that I have seen since Michael Sheen played the role 20 years ago.” He described his portrayal as “Rik Mayall during a bout of Tourette’s.” I dropped this sketch of Amadeus Adam of at the Theatre’s stage door and it was returned signed and dedicated with a Happy New Year greeting.
Australian mezzo-soprano Emily Edmonds is one of the rising stars of opera and a member of the prestigious Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at London’s Convent Garden. The Royal Opera’s high profile training scheme attracted 370 applicants from 59 countries in 2014, who were put through a gruelling audition process until the final five was selected ….one of whom was Emily!
Her first season included performances in ORPHEUS at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in Shakespeare’s Globe, SOUR ANGELICA and WERTHER on the main stage and the world premiere of 4.48 PSYCHOSIS at the Lyric Hammersmith. During the current 2016/17 season she has appeared in MANON LESCAUT, MADAMA BUTTERFLY, DON CARLO and will be seen in Philip Glass’s dance opera LES ENFANTS TERRIBLES at the end of this month.
I left this drawing at the ROH and Emily signed and returned it to me last week.
Viewers of the popular ITV comedy-drama series DOC MARTIN will be familiar with John Marquez’s character PC Joe Penhale, the dedicated Portwenn policeman ‘on the job 24/7’, who suffered some neurological damage after being kicked by a horse. The Doc’s prognosis is he’s a ‘complete friutcake.’ His latest stage persona has similar qualities.
Having previously appeared at the Young Vic in ANNIE GET YOUR GUN and THE GOOD SOUL OF SZECHUAN, John returned to the London theatre over the festive season to appear in the Richard Jones’ revival of ONCE IN A LIFETIME, the classic 1930’s comedy about Hollywood by Broadway legends Moss Hart and George S Kaufman. He played
‘the beautifully naive’ George Lewis who gets a chance of a lifetime to be a big shot on set.
As part of a down-and-out vaudeville triple act who pack up and move to California to set up a bogus elocution academy for verbally-challenged silent screen stars and cash in on the momentous advent of the talkies. “John Marquez is sublimely good as George,” wrote Paul Taylor in his Independent review. I caught up with John when he arrived for the final matinee on Saturday. Today he starts filming a new series of DOC MARTIN.
This is the second drawing Ed Harris signed for me at the Trafalgar Studios where he appears as Dodge, the whiskey-soaked patriarch of a dysfunctional family in Sam Shepard’s American gothic play BURIED CHILD. His performance has garnered excellent reviews with the guardian’s Michael Billington calling it, “utterly compelling.”
Ed signed my sketch just before Christmas and the production has been extended until early March this year.
Both Amy Madigan and her husband Ed Harris are making their London stage debuts in Sam Shepard’s celebrated play BURIED CHILD at the Trafalgar Studios. Sam Elliot’s revival transferred from a two month run at New York’s Pershing Square Signature Theatre. Amy plays Hallie, the psychologically troubled matriarch of a dysfunctional family which the Guardian’s Michael Billington described as “deftly mixing self-delusion with downright flirtiness.”
Amy received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination in 1985 for TWICE IN A LIFETIME and won a Golden Globe for her portrayal as Sarah Weddington in the 1989 TV film ROE vs WADE.
I meet the very approachable and friendly couple after an evening performance just before Christmas and they were happy to sign my drawings.