Fiona Shaw

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Fiona Shaw
Fiona Shaw BAM 2011-01-16.jpg
Shaw at the Brooklyn Academy of Music,
16 January 2011
Born Fiona Mary Wilson
(1958-07-10) 10 July 1958 (age 56)
County Cork, Ireland
Occupation Actress, director
Years active 1983–present

Fiona Mary Shaw, CBE (née Wilson; born 10 July 1958) is an Irish actress and theatre and opera director. Although to international audiences she is primarily known for her role as Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter films or her role portraying Marnie Stonebrook in the HBO series True Blood, she is an accomplished classical actress.[1][2] She has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre and was awarded an honorary CBE in 2001.[3]

Early life[edit]

Shaw was born in County Cork and was raised in the Roman Catholic faith.[4] Her father was an ophthalmic surgeon[5] and her mother was a physicist.[6]

She attended secondary school at Scoil Mhuire in Cork City. She received her degree in University College Cork. She trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London and was part of 'new wave' of actors to emerge from the Academy. She received much acclaim as Julia in the National Theatre production of Richard Sheridan's The Rivals (1983).[citation needed]


Her notable theatrical roles include Celia in As You Like It (1984), Madame de Volanges in Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1985), Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew (1987), Young Woman in Machinal (1993), for which she won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress, Winnie in Happy Days (2007), and the title roles in Electra (1988), The Good Person of Sechuan (1989), Hedda Gabler (1991), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1998) and Medea (2000). She performed T. S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land as a one-person show at the Liberty Theatre in New York to great acclaim in 1996, winning the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show for her performance.[7]

Shaw notably played the male lead in Richard II, directed by Deborah Warner in 1995. Shaw has collaborated with Warner on a number of occasions, on both stage and screen. Shaw has also worked in film and television, including My Left Foot, Jane Eyre, Persuasion, Gormenghast, and five of the Harry Potter films in which she played Harry Potter's insufferable aunt Petunia Dursley. Shaw had a brief but key role in Brian DePalma's The Black Dahlia.

In 2008, she directed her first opera, Riders to the Sea by Vaughan Williams at the ENO[8] and in 2010 her second Elegy for Young Lovers by Hans Werner Henze.[9]In 2013 she directed The Rape of Lucretia by composer Benjamin Britten and librettist Ronald Duncan for the Glyndebourne Tour.

In 2009, Shaw collaborated with Deborah Warner again, taking the lead role in Tony Kushner's translation of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children. In a 2002 article for The Daily Telegraph, Rupert Christiansen described their professional relationship as "surely one of the most richly creative partnerships in theatrical history."[10] Other collaborations between the two women include productions of Brecht's The Good Woman of Szechuan and Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, the latter was adapted for television.[citation needed]

Shaw appeared in The Waste Land at Wilton's Music Hall in January 2010 and in a National Theatre revival of London Assurance in March 2010.[11] In November 2010, Shaw starred in Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin alongside Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan.[12][clarification needed]

Shaw appeared in season four of American TV Show True Blood. Shaw's character, Marnie Stonebrook, has been described as an underachieving palm reader who is spiritually possessed by an actual witch.[13] Her character leads a coven of necromancer witches who threaten the status quo in Bon Temps, erasing most of Eric Northman's memories and leaving him almost helpless when he tries to kill her and break up their coven.

In 2012, Shaw appeared in the National Theatre revival of Scenes from an Execution by Howard Barker.

The world’s largest solo theatre festival, United Solo recognized her performance in “The Testament of Mary” on Broadway with the 2013 United Solo Special Award.[14]


Other projects, contributions[edit]


  1. ^ "Fiona Shaw". Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  2. ^ Edgware Times.
  3. ^ "Honorary CBE notice for Shaw". BBC News. 30 December 2000. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "Ancient Theater Today". Didaskalia. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Fiona Shaw Biography at Film
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Ben Brantly, Memory and Desire: Hearing Eliot's Passion, New York Times 18 November 1996
  8. ^ Foster, Roy (29 November 2008). "ENO's 'Riders to the Sea'". Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  9. ^ Higgins, Charlotte (2 April 2009). "English National Opera announces 2009/10 season – and it's a good 'un | Culture |". Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  10. ^ Rupert Christiansen "Fiona Shaw's double life", Daily Telegraph, 10 May 2002
  11. ^ Taylor, Paul (18 December 2009). "Mother courage: How Fiona Shaw became the leading actress of her generation". The Independent (London). Retrieved 18 December 2009. 
  12. ^ Events Abbey Theatre web site
  13. ^ Vozick-Levinson, Simon (8 November 2010). "Fiona Shaw joins 'True Blood' cast". Entertainment Weekly. 
  14. ^ Broadway World, Nov. 25, 2013
  15. ^ "Harry Potter's Fiona Shaw Joins True Blood" 8 November 2010, Source: Deadline,
  16. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Fiona Shaw Stars in 'The Testament of Mary', Beginning March 26 on Broadway", 26 March 2013

External links[edit]