Categories Anna Karenina Harry Potter Medea Peaky Blinders Platonov Print Media Quiz Roadkill The Deep Blue Sea The Queen The Special Relationship Trelawny of the Wells Tributes

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 Medea Print Media Trelawny of the Wells Tributes Uncle Vanya

Helen McCrory: ‘One of the great actors of her generation’

As the Worlds of Stage and Screen Mourn the Effervescent Star, Our Chief Theatre Critic Looks Back on a Career – and Life – That Positively Blazed

by Nick Curtis | Evening Standard | April 18, 2021


“She had it all.” This is how the National Theatre’s artistic director Rufus Norris sums up Helen McCrory, whose crushingly sad death from cancer at 52 has robbed London of a woman who dazzled, onstage and off.

Although she found wide fame as Polly Gray in Peaky Blinders and as Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter film franchise – and as half of London’s most glamorous theatre power couple, with her husband Damian Lewis – she was, first and foremost, one of the greatest stage actresses of the age. “Doing theatre is what made my heart sing,” McCrory said, according to Lewis’s own moving tribute this weekend.

Though blessed with superb comic poise, she excelled particularly in tragic roles: her National Theatre appearances alone embraced a poignant Nina in The Seagull (1994), a searing Medea (2014) and a heartbreaking Hester Collyer in Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea (2016), among others, making use of what Sam Mendes this weekend called her “explosive energy”.

Offstage she was wickedly witty, devoted to her friends and to her children, Manon and Gulliver. Her palpable zest for life makes her early death seem all the more unjust. As Lewis heartbreakingly wrote: “I’ve never known anyone able to enjoy life as much.”

Continue reading Helen McCrory: ‘One of the great actors of her generation’

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 Reviews Trelawny of the Wells

Trelawny of the Wells at the National Theatre – Review

By Sheridan Morley | February 24, 1993 | International Herald Tribune

“Trelawny of the ‘Wells’ ” is one of those scripts that everyone hates except the public, and the actors who get to play it. After a 30-year absence from London, Pinero’s epitaph for the old actor-laddies has turned up twice, just before Christmas in a patchy all-star West End revival sadly lacking much direction, and now in a vastly better John Caird production for the open Olivier stage of the National.

The mystery, though, is why he didn’t go for the musical; Caird at his best (“Les Misérables”)and his worst (“Children of Eden”) is a director who, like his old partner Trevor Nunn, knows a very great deal about how to give classical dignity to song-and-dance shows.

Continue reading Trelawny of the Wells at the National Theatre – Review