Nina Sosanya quickly signed a portrait sketch I drew of her after the final televised performance of James Graham’s THE VOTE on Election night in May 2015. She actually apologised for the hasty sig as she literally signed on the run to catch the cast (which numbered over 50) bus for the final night function.
Nina’s a familiar face on the small screen, appearing in such shows as HUSTLE, VERA, LEWIS, JONATHAN CREEK, DR WHO, SILENT WITNESS and was a regular on the comedy-drama series TEACHERS. She was also part of the all-star cast in the Christmas-themed romantic comedy movie LOVE ACTUALLY.
I decided to try again and redrew the same portrait, adding Nina in character as one the assistants at the fictional polling station and got my opportunity to get a graph and dedication in less chaotic circumstances last month, when Nina returned to the Donmar in Nick Payne’s ELEGY. And here it is.
Nina’s appreciation society Sosanyatoriam will be pleased.
The Vote at London’s Donmar Warehouse dramatised the frantic last 90 minutes in a polling station in London (a hastily converted primary school gym).
It featured an all star cast of 50 – as The Guardian’s Michael Billington called it, “as many famous names as a charity gala” – and was broadcast live on Election night on More4. Nina Sosanya plays one of the two polling clerks (the other is Catherine Tate)
This is literally a ‘graph on the run and down a dark alley. After the Election Night performance, the cast left for the after party through the back door to an awaiting bus that was parked at the end of an alley way opposite. A dimly lit alley way at that.
Nina was one of the last to leave and the ‘assistants’ were hurrying everyone along. She went to sign my sketch, but was kept kept moving. Plus she was carrying a lot of stuff. So no arms, no light, moving target… and a security person between me and Nina. This was not looking promising. I managed to giver her a pen and tried to keep the drawing at the ‘write’ distance and as still as possible moving at 100mph…. After a brief period of kinetic combining Nina handled me the pen back and said “sorry… it’s not a very good one.” But nevertheless . A true collector will try and get variations of a signature and this was certainly a variation. It allows me to collect another in less trying circumstances.
British based Swedish actress MyAnna Buring played Tanya of the Denali Coven in the hugely popular Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I in 2012, and has had significant supporting roles, including BBC drama series Blackout and Ripper Street; she also joined the cast of Downton Abbey, playing the role of maid Edna Braithwaite in the 2012 Christmas special episode and the fourth season.
Conceived by James Graham and director Josie Rourke, the play is set in a London Polling station during the final 90 minutes before the polls closed.
It shines light on the diverse, diligent and often hilarious individuals who turn the unglamorous settings into places where history is made. It was broadcast live after two weeks of previews on More4 on 7 May, the night of the General Election.
It’s such a large cast that half of them occupied a changing room across the road from the stage door alley way. I found out from one of the other ‘graphers that MyAnna was in that half, so positioned myself in the dark alley with my sketch. She was lovely and liked the sketch enough to sign it and write a nice comment. I would vote for her.