An Evening with Lucian Freud

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An Evening with Lucian Freud
Written by Laura-Jane Foley
Date premiered 19 May 2015 (2015-05-19)
Place premiered Leicester Square Theatre
Genre Drama

An Evening with Lucian Freud is a 2015 play written by Laura-Jane Foley.[1] It is a one-woman show with video cameos based on a real life encounter the playwright had with the artist Lucian Freud.[2] The play made its world premiere on 19 May 2015 at the West End's Leicester Square Theatre where it ran until 6 June 2015.[3]


The play is based on a real life encounter the playwright Laura-Jane Foley had with the artist Lucian Freud.[4] In the 65 minute one act play with video cameos, the character Laura recounts the evening she spent with the 82 year artist. The narrative is broken up with five video cameos from characters including Dora Maar and Leigh Bowery.[5]

Original West End Production[edit]

Casting for the play took place in April 2015,[6] and was formally announced on Twitter on 22 April.[7][8] Cressida Bonas was cast as Laura.[9] The play also featured video cameo appearances from Maureen Lipman,[10] Alastair Stewart, Laura-Jane Foley, Russell Grant, Shana Swash and Benjamin Ramm.[11] The play was produced by Wonderful Artful Theatre and was directed by Ella Marchment and designed by Lily German.[12] The Daily Mail revealed that rehearsals began at the end of April,[13] and the Evening Standard announced that filming for the video cameos took place on 11 May.[14] The play ran at the Leicester Square Theatre. The opening night was 19 May and the play ended on 6 June.[15]

Press Attention[edit]

The play received a lot of press attention with Quentin Letts remarking in the Daily Mail that there was “a full house packed…. and Fleet Street drama critics in the front row” on the play’s Press Night.[16] Prior to Press Night there had been a lot of press interest due to the casting of Cressida Bonas in her first major theatrical role.[2][17] Details of the play were not released prior to the opening and due to the libidinous reputation of the eponymous Lucian Freud,[18] there was much speculation in the press about the nature of the production.[19] The Evening Standard wrongly stated that the play “features explicit sex scenes".[20] The play and Bonas’s portrayal of the playwright were widely termed ‘fascinating’ and ‘charming’. [21][22] [23][24] Jane Shilling in The Daily Telegraph praised the “charm and energy of Bonas’s performance’.[25]

Principal roles and original cast[edit]

Character Original West End performer
Laura Cressida Bonas
Dora Maar Maureen Lipman
Leigh Bowery Russell Grant
Model 1 Laura-Jane Foley
Model 2 Shana Swash
Presenter Alastair Stewart
Lucian Freud Benjamin Ramm


  1. ^ "Harry's ex to star in Lucian Freud play - The Sunday Times".
  2. ^ a b "Cressida Bonas shows she doesn't need a Dior gown to shine - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online.
  3. ^ "Wonderful Artful Theatre Company". Wonderful Artful Theatre Company.
  4. ^ "Playdead Press: Our Publications".
  5. ^ "West End Wilma – An Evening with Lucian Freud – Leicester Square Theatre Lounge".
  6. ^ @WonderfulArtful (April 18, 2015). "We are very excited; casting is in place for 'An Evening with Lucian Freud' and an announcement will be made this week! #LucianFreudPlay" (Tweet). Retrieved July 23, 2015 – via Twitter.
  7. ^ @WonderfulArtful (April 22, 2015). "CASTING REVEALED - 'An Evening with Lucian Freud' opens 19th May @lsqtheatre Book now! 0207 734 2222 #LucianFreudPlay" (Tweet). Retweeted by Shana Swash. Retrieved July 23, 2015 – via Twitter.
  8. ^ Editorial Staff (22 April 2015). "Cressida Bonas stars in one-woman play about Lucian Freud".
  9. ^ "SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Starlet Cressie goes solo". Mail Online.
  10. ^ "A Precarious Profession - Standpoint".
  11. ^ "An Evening With Lucian Freud - May 21, 2015 - Leicester Square Theatre, London - Listings - The Stage".
  12. ^ Artlyst. "Lucian Freud: The Artist Examined In New Play". Artlyst London.
  13. ^ "Tatler's Best of British party with Jaeger at The Ritz Hotel, London - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online.
  14. ^ "Londoner's Diary: Liz Kendall would be a breath of fresh air for Labour". The Evening Standard.
  15. ^ "An Evening with Lucian Freud, Leicester Square - Culture Whisper". Culture Whisper.
  16. ^ "Cressida Bonas really can act in An Evening With Lucian Freud - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online.
  17. ^ "An Evening With Lucian Freud Pictures".
  18. ^ "Lucian Freud: portrait of a very peculiar father - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online.
  19. ^ "Cressida Bonas Will Appear Naked Onstage With 'Sexual Abandon' In New One-Woman Play; Will Prince Harry Sit Front Row?". Fashion & Style.
  20. ^ "Cressida Bonas's family turn out to support her on first night of Lucian Freud play". The Evening Standard.
  21. ^ Eva Draper-Oatley. "An Evening With Lucian Freud". Platform505.
  22. ^ Tal Fox. "Review: An Evening with Lucian Freud, Leicester Square Theatre". A Younger Theatre.
  23. ^ Lily Middleton (25 May 2015). "An Evening with Lucian Freud, Leicester Square Theatre – Review".
  24. ^ "AN EVENING WITH LUCIAN FREUD REVIEW". Family Affairs and other matters.
  25. ^ Jane Shilling (19 May 2015). "An Evening with Lucian Freud, Leicester Square Theatre, review: ' - Telegraph".