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.

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Categories As You Like It Print Media Reviews

As You Like It at Wyndham’s Theatre – Review

Call off the phones : Sienna Miller as Celia and Helen McCrory as Rosalind in As You Like It


Michael Billington | June 22, 2005 | The Guardian

Hymen sings of “most strange events” and this is certainly one of them: a piece of star-driven, West End Shakespeare full of whimsical absurdities and coarse acting. Yet I can forgive almost everything for the sake of a Rosalind as vibrant and compelling as Helen McCrory.

But let’s start with the bad news. David Lan has chosen to set the action in France in the 1940s. This means the show starts with accordions and berets, though mercifully without an onion-seller on a bicycle. Rosalind and Celia (Sienna Miller) exchange court news while sitting in the kind of cafe supposedly frequented by Jean-Paul Sartre. And, when the action moves to the country, we discover the banished Duke has gone into exile with a four-strong musical combo as if he were on leave from the Café de Paris rather than a political refugee.

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Categories As You Like It Interviews Print Media

Shakespeare’s Sister Act

As You Like it with Sienna Miller and Helen McCrory

Sienna Miller, Jude Law’s fiancée, is making her West End debut in ‘As You Like It’, a play she’s never seen. But it helps that she and co-star Helen McCrory have become close friends. They talk to Jasper Rees

‘The part of Celia is the most important role in As You Like It. Discuss.” This question will not crop up in any exam you may happen to be sitting, but it must cross the mind of directors.

Shakespearean comedy is full of twins sundered by accident or fate whose reunion the plot works towards, but As You Like It is the one comedy that portrays the daily event of sibling love. Rosalind and Celia may be only cousins, but “being ever from their cradles bred together”, they are “like Juno’s swans… coupled and inseparable”. Theirs is the best sister act in Shakespeare. So a production that offers a great Rosalind but an indifferent Celia gives with one hand but takes away with the other.

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Categories Media Print Media Reviews Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night at the Donmar Warehouse – Review

Harrowing hilarity

By Paul Taylor | October 28, 2002 | The Independent

He looks as though his copious blubber has been constrained from birth in a wing collar and buttoned-up pinstripe suit and that he must have emerged from the womb with that self-important beard and punctilious moustache. His gait is an effeminately officious cross between a march and a scamper; his tone is a prissily sibilant sneer; and he is forever consulting his watch with righteous impatience. At night, his locks are lovingly protected by a lady’s hairnet.

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Categories Print Media Reviews Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night at Donmar Warehouse – Review

Mendes bows out brilliantly

As Shakespeare wrote elsewhere, parting is such sweet sorrow, and I am not ashamed to admit I had a lump in my throat as the cast took their calls at the end of Sam Mendes’s farewell production at the Donmar.

It was partly because of the moving depth of his staging of this most bittersweet of Shakespearean comedies, but it was also the memory of Mendes’s tremendous achievement here over the past decade.

It is 10 years to the day since he reopened the Donmar with the British premiere of Sondheim’s Assassins, since when he has scarcely put a foot wrong. The theatre became fashionable under his directorship, but the buzzy atmosphere was always founded on excellence. From Friel’s Translations to Nicole Kidman in The Blue Room, from Electra to Privates on Parade, the Donmar has an unparalleled track record in great shows brilliantly staged.

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