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Playwright David Hare and Peaky Blinders Creator Steven Knight Pay Tribute to Helen

“She Lit Up the Screen”

by David Hare and Steven Knight | Radio Times | April 27, 2021

David Hare Section:

One Saturday night in 1995 I sat down to watch a Screen Two film on BBC2. Streetlife, written and directed by Karl Francis, was about a single mother in a caravan in Wales, struggling to provide for her young child.

Although the material was bleak – Jo kills her child because she despairs of her future – it was played with the most extraordinary humour and vitality by a young actor I’d never seen before. She wore a tiny mini skirt, sparked with brave life, and gave one of the most moving performances I’d ever seen on TV.

Continue reading Playwright David Hare and Peaky Blinders Creator Steven Knight Pay Tribute to Helen

Categories As You Like It Print Media The Deep Blue Sea The Seagull Tributes Uncle Vanya

Helen McCrory: ‘If there’s one interesting thing about acting it’s trying to lose your ego’

Three encounters with the great actor who has died at the age of 52

Helena McCrory as Hester Collyer in The Deep Blue Sea at the National Theatre in 2016

Each generation is given an actress who can do everything – be intimate with the camera but also coat a back wall in honey from 100 paces. There was Judi Dench, and then there was Imelda Staunton, both loved by all. Helen McCrory – who has died at the age of 52 – was the next in line, and she was destined to be as great for as long.

Even in her late twenties, when she was barely known, she was already and obviously different. She had a face that seemed prematurely mature and wise. She didn’t look like anyone else, nor sound it. Her voice was a husky instrument that moved between romance and rage. It could seethe and seduce, conquer and coax.

Continue reading Helen McCrory: ‘If there’s one interesting thing about acting it’s trying to lose your ego’

Categories As You Like It Medea Print Media The Deep Blue Sea Tributes

Rufus Norris: ‘In 15 years, I would have loved to have directed Helen McCrory as Prospero’

The Artistic Director of the National – Where McCrory Performed Her Last Major Plays – Recalls the Actor’s Sense of Wickedness and Mischief

Helen McCrory in Medea at the National

Few actors can stand by themselves on the Olivier or the Lyttelton stage and leave an audience thinking: if you are the only thing going on, then I’m happy. Helen McCrory was one of those actors. She appeared eight times at the National Theatre, most recently in Euripides’s Medea and in Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea, and she had a rare ability to inhabit and communicate what a character was feeling right to the back of the stalls. People talk about actors having natural magnetism but Helen was simply really, really good at what she did. Her death at the age of 52 has left the industry in utter shock.

Helen adored working at the National. We would often meet for a coffee and discuss parts she might play and, like everyone, I was extremely keen to get her and Damian in a production together. She had tremendous range, just at home with new work such as The Last of the Haussmans – Stephen Beresford’s look at the after effects of the Sixties’ in which Helen played the exasperated daughter of a hippie – as with the classics.

Continue reading Rufus Norris: ‘In 15 years, I would have loved to have directed Helen McCrory as Prospero’

Categories Print Media The Deep Blue Sea Trelawny of the Wells Tributes

Helen McCrory Remembered: ‘She had a brightness about her. She was a star’

Richard Eyre, the National Theatre Director Who Cast the Actor in Some of Her Earliest Roles, Pays Tribute to Her After Her Death

by Richard Eyre  | The Guardian | April 17, 2021

Helen McCrory. ‘The trumpets will have sounded for her on the other side.’ Photograph: Antonio Olmos/The Observer

Part of the tragedy of Helen McCrory dying at such a young age, leaving a husband and two young children, is that professionally she had everything to look forward to. She had established herself as a very considerable actor in the theatre and on film and television.

She had a brightness about her, a luminosity: she was, in short, a star. She lit up a stage or a screen – you knew you were in the presence of a force of character and talent.

When I was running the National Theatre in the 1990s we cast her in a play about the theatre called Trelawny of the Wells – part comedy, part melodrama.

Continue reading Helen McCrory Remembered: ‘She had a brightness about her. She was a star’

Categories Medea Print Media The Deep Blue Sea Tributes Uncle Vanya

How Helen McCrory Shone, Even in a Haze of Mystery

She Was Unforgettable Onstage Playing Seemingly Serene Women Who Rippled With Restlessness

by Ben Brantley | The New York Times | April 17, 2021

Helen McCrory in the National Theater revival of Terence Rattigan’s “The Deep Blue Sea.” Credit: Richard Hubert Smith

Selfishly, my first feelings on hearing that the uncanny British actress Helen McCrory had died at 52 were of personal betrayal. We were supposed to have shared a long and fruitful future together, she and I. There’d be me on one side of the footlights and her on the other, as she unpacked the secrets of the human heart with a grace and ruthlessness shared by only a few theater performers in each generation.

I never met her, but I knew her — or rather I knew the women she embodied with an intimacy that sometimes seemed like a cruel violation of privacy. When London’s theaters reawakened from their pandemic lockdown, she was supposed to be waiting for me with yet another complete embodiment of a self-surprising life.

Ms. McCrory had become world famous for dark and exotic roles onscreen, as the fiercely patrician witch Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies and the terrifying criminal matriarch Polly Gray in the BBC series “Peaky Blinders.” But for me, she was, above all, a bright creature of the stage and in herself a reason to make a theater trip to London.

Continue reading How Helen McCrory Shone, Even in a Haze of Mystery