Categories Print Media Radio Tributes

Helen McCrory Was a Star of Screen as Well as Stage

There Was Vastly More Depth and Breadth in Her Screen Work than The Queen and Skyfall

by Lawrence Jackson | The Guardian | April 21, 2021

Actor Helen McCrory
Actor Helen McCrory. ‘I liked her immediately’, writes Lawrence Jackson. Photograph: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

In 2002, I had the luck to direct Helen McCrory (Obituary, 18 April) in a BBC Radio 4 Classic Serial of The Charterhouse of Parma. She was every bit as talented, funny, raucous and generous as everyone says, and more.

My first impression of her was when, upon arrival, she started to debate, with her fellow lead actor, the merits of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, the film everyone was seeing at the time. The other performer was cool about it; Helen passionately defended it and said she loved it so much that she stayed in the cinema to watch it a second time.

I liked her immediately and thought: fantastic, she’s brought a real buzz to the production. But her appetite to consume a film twice in a row was also a reflection of her infectious attitude of wanting to make discoveries and take things further.

Memorials and obituaries so far have focused on her achievements on stage; but there was vastly more depth and breadth in her screen work than The Queen and Skyfall. In particular, I would suggest seeing her in Streetlife (Karl Francis, 1995), In a Land of Plenty (Hettie Macdonald, 2001), Charles II: The Power and the Passion (Joe Wright, 2003) and Inside No 9 (S1 E6, 2014).

Categories Appearances Audio Feed NHS Personal and Family Life Podcast Radio

Helen McCrory on Desert Island Discs Podcast

Helen Dishes About Her Better Half

by Gingersnap | | June 28, 2020

Helen McCrory OBE is one of the most versatile and critically acclaimed actresses working today. On screen she has played Anna Karenina, Cherie Blair (twice), Harry Potter‘s Narcissa Malfoy and the Peaky Blinders matriarch Aunt Polly. Her theatre roles range from Yelena in Uncle Vanya to Euripides‘ Medea.

A diplomat’s daughter, she spent her early childhood in Africa before continuing her education in the UK. After a bruising and unsuccessful audition at the Drama Centre in London – she was instructed to find out more about life before learning to act – she travelled to Italy where she discovered art and love and came back to try again. This time she passed the audition.

In 1993 she made her mark in Richard Eyre’s production of Trelawny of the Wells at the National Theatre and went on to perform leading roles on some of London’s most prestigious stages, winning two Olivier Award nominations. She was awarded an OBE for services to drama in 2017.

She met her husband, fellow actor Damian Lewis, when they both starred in a play called Five Gold Rings. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic Helen and Damian, together with the comedian Matt Lucas, co-founded the Feed NHS campaign which raises money to provide hot meals to frontline NHS workers.

Continue reading Helen McCrory on Desert Island Discs Podcast

Categories Broadcast Media Damian Lewis Radio Voicework

Helen McCrory and Damian Lewis on BBC Radio 4

Niccolo Machiavelli – The Prince

Tune in on iPlayer to hear Damian as Machiavelli and Helen as Defence on BBC Radio 4 Extra. The programme, originally broadcast in 2013, is one hour in length and there are currently 29 days left to listen.

A little about the audio play: Five hundred years after writing his most provocative political tract, Niccolo Machiavelli appears before an infernal court to appeal against the harsh treatment his works have received over time. Rather than being seen as a description of political cynicism and opportunism, he argues that “Machiavellian” should be a compliment and The Prince has in fact been an infallible guidebook followed closely by all successful leaders.

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
Adapted by Jonathan Myerson

Produced and directed by Clive Brill
A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4

Categories Radio Voicework

The Pumpkin Eater on BBC 4 Radio

A Classic Study of Marriage and Motherhood

by Helenistic | | August 3, 2015

Helen McCrory and Paul Ready star as Mrs Armitage and Jake Armitage  in Penelope Mortimer’s stark portrait of marriage and motherhood from 1962.

Dramatised in five parts (15 minutes each)  by Georgia Fitch. Continue reading The Pumpkin Eater on BBC 4 Radio