Drawing: Sarah Green in The Cripple of Inishmaan

Sarah Greene

Cork born actress Sarah Greene’s memorable performance as ‘Slippy’ Helen McCormick in Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan gained her recognition on both sides of the Atlantic. The dark Irish comedy was the middle production in Michael Grandage‘s 5 play season at the Noël Coward Theatre in London’s West End.

Sarah’s portrayal of the feisty redhead prone to picking fights and breaking eggs over people’s heads opposite Daniel Radcliffe’s ‘Cripple Billy’ earned her an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role . When the play transferred to The Cort Theater on Broadway she picked up a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress. She was awarded the 2014 World Theater Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut.

During its run on the West End, Sarah’s breaks were usually at the stage door, partaking of the tobacco. She was always happy to chat and friendly to everyone. I drew some ‘Helen’ sketches which Sarah signed, but this one was a quick two minute portrait which I thought captured her nicely ‘out of character’.

Drawing: Daniel Radcliffe in The Cripple of Inishmaan at the Noël Coward Theatre

Cripple Billy DR

This is a quick sketch I drew from a poster on the wall of the Noel Coward Theatre, where inside, Daniel Radcliffe was playing the title role of cripple Billy Claven in THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN. I was waiting  for Dan to make his customary, nightly appearance at the stage door to the waiting multitude. He did so and signed the artwork. Last week he picked up Best Actor at the WhatsOnStage Awards and will reprise the part for the Broadway run this April. Also, last week I watched him play another disabled character – this time the hunchback lab assistant Igor on the set of the revisionist remake of Mary Shelley’s classic horror tale FRANKENSTEIN, which was  filming on the Royal Naval College grounds in Greenwich.

Drawing: Sarah Greene in The Cripple of Inishmaan at The Noël Coward Theatre

Sarah Greene

Martin McDonagh’s cruel and disgracefully funny The Cripple of Inishmaan premiered in 1997 and received its first major revival as part of Michael Grandage’s star-studded first season of plays at the Noël Coward Theatre during the summer of 2013.

Irish actress Sarah Greene plays Helen, the love (albeit secret) interest of the disabled hero Billy – a feisty village wild girl who can’t be restrained from “pegging” eggs at people, especially despised priests, “… getting clergymen groping your arse doesn’t take much skill.”

Drawing: Pádraic Delaney and Gary Lilburn in The Cripple of Inishmaan

Padraic Delaney

Pádraic Delaney and Gary Lilburn complete my set of The Cripple of Inishmaan sketches. The third in the series of Michael Grandage’s five plays at the Noël Coward Theatre in London. It transfers for a Broadway run in April.

Pádraic international breakthrough came in 2006 as Irish revolutionary Teddy O’Donovan in Ken Loach’s The Wind That Shakes The Barley, which won the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. He followed up his role in Inishmaan with a consecutive shift in the following Michael Grandage Company play A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the twin roles of Oberon and Thesus.

Gary can currently be seen in the critically acclaimed Oscar nominated Philomena with Judi Dench

Gary Lilburn

Drawings: Pat Shortt and June Watson in The Cripple of Inishmaan

Pat Shortt

Irish actor, comedian and musician Pat Shortt plays the garrulous gossip Johnny Pateenmike who peddles rumours and applies himself to finishing off his 90 year old mother – played by the wonderful June Watson – with alcohol in Michael Grandage’s dark, politically incorrect 1997 comedy The Cripple of Inishmaan at the Noel Coward Theatre.

Better known as the crazy Tom in Father Ted, who was always wearing a tshirt with the slogan “I shot JR”, he also appears on a postage stamp as Josie, from the award-winning film Garage.

Both Pat & June signed my sketch in July 2013 and will join the rest of the cast in the Broadway transfer this April.

June Watson

Drawing: Sarah Greene and Conor MacNeill in The Cripple of Inishmaan

Sarah Conor

Irish actors Sarah Greene and Conor MacNeill played the feisty siblings in The Cripple of Inishmaan – the third of five plays in the Michael Grandage season at London’s Noël Coward Theatre during the Summer of 2013. Sarah played ‘Slippy’ Helen, the egg throwing, foul-mouthed object of Cripple Billy’s desires. “I shouldn’t laugh at you Billy… but I will.” Conor plays her mischievous younger brother, Bartley with a passion for sweeties and telescopes.

Sarah and Conor signed my first sketch in July, when I suddenly noticed that, “it’s Mintios, not Mintos!”

So, I did another drawing with the correct spelling, which Conor was happy to graph. I gave him a copy, then realised I had spelt his surname ‘O’Neill’ instead of ‘MacNeill.’

The play was magical – there was, after all, a wizard in the title role – and it cast a mis-spell over me. Both will be a part of the returning cast when Inishmaan takes on the Broadway boards in April.


Drawing: Daniel Radcliffe as Cripple Billy in The Cripple of Inishmaan

Radcliffe Cripple001

Daniel Radcliffe picked up Best Actor from the fan voted What’sOnStage Awards over the weekend for his role as Cripple Billy Claven in Martyn McDonagh’s dark comedy The Cripple of Inishmaan, in Michael Grandage’s sold out run last Summer at the Noël Coward Theatre.

Described by The Mail on Sunday as, “the most politically incorrect play in the West End… and probably the funniest”. On discussing perfecting his Irish accent, Daniel said his father’s from Northern Ireland and he was “pretty pleased”.

He will reprise the role along with all the other cast members at the Cort Theatre on Broadway this Spring for a strictly limited engagement.

Daniel was excellent, both on and off stage. Every night after his performance he met the hordes of fans at the stage door. When he signed this sketch he apologised, “I’m sorry my signature’s not very good tonight.” Given he writes his full name out with the tangled ‘liffe’ at the end, I think he does exceptionally well, and as a collector it’s good to get all variation.

Drawing: Gillian Hanna and Ingrid Craigie in The Cripple of Inishmaan

cripple sisters

Gillian Hanna and Ingrid Craigie played the sisters and aunties to ‘Cripple Billy’ in Michael Grandage’s The Cripple of Inishman at the Noel Coward Theatre from June til August last year.

It was part of the Michael Grandage season of 5 plays and featured Daniel Radcliffe in the title role. Gillian and Ingrid have picked up a number of award nominations for their brilliant performances, including last weekend’s WhatsOnStage Awards in London. The play will transfer to Broadway in April.

Drawing: Daniel Radcliffe in Equus

radcliffe signed001

When Richard Griffiths passed away earlier this year, Daniel Radcliffe lead the tributes:

“Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career. In August 2000, before official production had even began on Potter, we filmed a shot outside the Dursley’s, which was my first ever shot as Harry. I was nervous and he made me feel at ease. Seven years later, we embarked on Equus together. It was my first time doing a play, but, terrified as I was, his encouragement, tutelage and humour made it a joy. Any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever by his presence. I am proud to say I knew him.”

Peter Shaffer’s Equus is a favourite of mine, both on screen and stage. A revival, directed by Thea Sharrock opened at the Gielgud Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue in February 2007 and subsequently transferred to the Broadhurst Theater on Broadway, running until February 2009. Daniel received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Play.

I did a quick ‘montage’ sketch of Daniel as Alan Strang, the boy who blinds a number of horse with a hoof pick and Richard’s Martin Dysart, a child psychiatrist trying to understand the cause of the boys actions, while wrestling with his own sense of purpose.

In the mayhem that surrounds Daniel I risked damage at this year’s Olivier Theatre Awards at the Royal Opera House to get it signed. Daniel’s signature is always his full name, so that combined with haste to sign as many as possible means the final ‘graph can vary in quality. However, he did take the time to dedicate it to me and seemed genuinely touched by the drawing.

I had also drawn another sketch of just Daniel with Richard behind him, so dropped it into the rehearsal room where Daniel was preparing for The Cripple of Inishmaan (currently in previews at the Noël Coward Theatre). I also enclosed a flyer for him to sign, which he did and sent it back. As you can see, the more ‘relaxed’ ‘graph is a model of legibility.

inishmaan flyer001