Drawing: Antony Sher and Tara Fitzgerald in Broken Glass

Broken Glass

“Arthur Miller’s 1994 play towers over the dismal lowlands of current West End theatre like a majestic mountain peak.” wrote The Guardian’s Michael Billington in his five-star review of Broken Glass. Pretty impressive stuff from one of Britain’s leading critics.

The play focuses on Phillip and Sylvia Gellburg, a Jewish couple living in 1938 New York whose lives are affected by the anti-Semitic events of Kristallnacht (The night of Broken Glass) in Nazi Germany. Sylvia becomes paralysed from the waist down, a condition her doctor believes is psychosomatic and treats it as such. But what was the cause and who is the real cripple?

Originally staged in London at the National in 1994, this revival began at the Tricycle Theatre, a small fringe venue in Kilburn in late 2010. It returned for a month run in August the following year before transferring to the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End in September for a four month season. An excellent cast was headed by Antony Sher and Tara Fitzgerald in the lead roles. “Sher gives a superb performance of crippling anxiety…Fitzgerald brings a potent mixture of warmth,sensuality and grief,” wrote Charles Spencer of their performances in the Daily Telegraph. Both signed my sketch in person on a chilly winter’s evening at the stage door.

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Drawing: Tara Fitzgerald

Tara Fitzgerald

Another quick sketch of British actress Tara Fitzgerald – this time in fine black biro. Since her first stage role opposite the late, great Peter O’Toole in Our Song in 1992 at the Apollo, she has divided her career between screen and stage.

Tara signed this drawing during The Misanthrope season at the Comedy Theatre on Christmas Eve in 2009

Drawing: Tara Fitzgerald

Tara Fitzgerald001

Actress Tara Fitzgerald has appeared in two acclaimed productions on the West End over the last few years. Her theatre pedigree includes playing Ophelia opposite Ralph Fiennes in Hamlet on Broadway in 1994-95, winning the New York Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a play.

In 2009 she featured in The Misanthrope, alongside Damien Lewis and Keira Knightley at the Comedy Theatre.

More recently she joined Anthony Sher in Arthur Miller’s Broken Glass at the Vaudeville Theatre.

Tara signed my sketch at the Comedy Theatre in December 2009 after a performance of The Misanthrope. She’s always friendly and obliging and stops for a chat after the show.