Back in the summer of 2012, Stephen Mangan and Lisa Dillon starred in Joe Penhall’s BIRTHDAY at the Royal Court in London. Lisa played Lisa and Stephen was Ed, a thirty-something couple with fertility problems who reverse roles and take advantage of a new procedure that allows him to give birth to their second child.
I drew this sketch, but didn’t get a chance to get it signed at the time.I managed to catch-up with Stephen when he appeared in JEEVES & WOOSTER at the Duke of York’s a year later and posted it here. This week I completed the mission when Lisa also ‘graphed it for me at the Theatre Royal Haymarket where she is featuring in the Shakespeare double-Bill (sorry), MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING and LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST. So here it is again.
The Royal Court Theatre has, an ‘Open Court’ Programme which takes theatre to the “less-heeled parts of London” as critic Dominic Cavandish likes to call them. One such foray was to the Rose Lipman Building in Haggerston, a former library turned arty community centre on the fringes of Shoreditch, Islington and Dalston.
It was the late Autumn of 2013 when Annie Baker’s quirky comedy about drama-therapy sessions CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION had its U.K. premiere, featuring, among others Imelda Staunton and Toby Jones. I had drawn a sketch of Toby as J.M.M Turner in THE PAINTER when it premiered in the same part of town at the Arcola Theatre in 2011 and had hoped to get it signed by stalking him at the Haggerston venue.
To justify the intrusion and for a bit of pictorial therapy l did this quick rendering of him and Imelda in rehearsal. Toby would relate to this I thought. Years before he became well-known for everything from HITCHCOCK to THE HUNGER GAMES and the House Elf, Dobby in HARRY POTTER, he had a small bit part as the stalker of Julia Roberts’ character in NOTTING HILL, begging her for an autograph in a cafe. He was so convincing as a creepy fan that even security stopped him on his way to the set. The scene, however ended up on the cutting room floor, but he did turn it into a play called MISSING REEL which received warm reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe three years later, ending with footage from his unused cameo.
Back to story. The out-of-the-way Rose Lipman Building proved just that. I couldn’t find it, got lost and ran out of time, so resorted to posting the drawings.After some months past I figured the postman didn’t find it either. Then they arrived, both signed along with a graphed 5 x7 and a nice note apologising for the lengthy delay, but he had only just received them. The Royal Mail are more persistent than me.