Goodbye, Ian Richardson CBE. The West End Whingers salute you.
He was best know to television viewers as Francis Urquhart in the House of Cards trilogy, but in the theatre he had some notable successes. He played Marat in Peter Brook’s famous Marat Sade (which luckily we didn’t see – terribly experimental) and was nominated for a Tony award for his portrayal of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady on Broadway. We didn’t see that either.
What a shame that we did see one of his last stage appearances – the pointless and execrable revival of the not-only-creaky-but-bordering-on-offensive The Creeper at The Playhouse. He was also woefully underused in last year’s National Theatre production of The Alchemist.
His celluloid swansong, Becoming Jane, will be released in the UK in March (with Dame Maggie Smith and Julie Walters!)
According to his agent, he had not been ill. Could his unexpected death be related to the fact that he was due to start filming an episode of the (in)terminably dreary Midsomer Murders? We could not possibly comment.