My wife and I have a Bard tradition of celebrating our wedding anniversary with a touch of Shakespeare. It can be one of his plays or a production that includes or is based on his work. This year we popped along to Sean Foley’s acclaimed revival of Ronald Harwood’s tragicomedy THE DRESSER at the Duke of York’s in London. The brilliant Scottish and Olivier Award winning actor Ken Stott is ‘Sir’, a fading ham actor who rolls through the regions during the second World War ‘giving’ his Lear, Othello and Richard III to the people. Like the Shakespearean monarch, he is in decline as his longtime and long suffering dresser Norman, wonderfully played by Reece Shearsmith, tries to get him through the evening’s performance of KING LEAR. Both Ken and Reece signed a sketch I did of them together. This one is Ken as Lear, which he graphed for me last night at the stage door.
British actress Harriet Thorpe’s most recognisable TV roles are receptionist Carole in THE BRITTAS EMPIRE and Patsy’s eccentric chum Fleur in ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS, a role she revised in the film adaption this year. She’s also appeared in a few films, including CALENDAR GIRLS and actually played the elderly witch Wakanda in a deleted scene from HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1. On stage Harriet had several seasons with the National Theatre and has worked extensively in the West End including Madame Thenardier in LES MISERABLES. She has returned to the London boards in the role of Sir’s faithful wife, ‘Her Ladyship’ in the revival of Ron Harwood’s THE DRESSER at the Duke of York’s, where I meet Harriet after the evening performance last Saturday and she signed my drawing.