Galleries: Theatrical Portraits

Celia Imrie as Dotty in Noises Off

Portrait of Celia Imrie as Dotty in Noises Off,Novello Theatre, London, 2012

Oil On Linen
30" x 22" 

This portrait of Celia Imrie, by Carol Tarn, depicts the actress in her dressing room at the Novello Theatre London during a production of ' Noises Off' by Michael Frayn. The painting captures Ms Imrie just before going on stage as 'Dotty' and is based on a sitting in her dressing room.

Celia Imrie's varied career spans films, television and radio drama, and the theatre. Her film credits include Nanny McPhee, Hilary and Jackie (playing Iris du Pré) and the 1997 film of The Borrowers where she played Homily Clock. Other films include Bridget Jones's Diary, Calendar Girls, Highlander and, as Fighter Pilot Bravo 5, in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. She appeared in St Trinian's in 2007 as the Matron, alongside Stephen Fry, Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Russell Brand and Mischa Barton.In 2011 she appeared in the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel alongside Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, and Maggie Smith.

Television series include The Nightmare Man, Bergerac, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Absolutely Fabulous, The Darling Buds of May and Upstairs, Downstairs. She starred in the BBC sitcom, After You've Gone, alongside Nicholas Lyndhurst and in the ITV1 drama Kingdom, with Stephen Fry.

In 2009, Ms Imrie appeared in Plague Over England on the West End, a play about John Gielgud. In the same year, she appeared in the world premiere of Robin Soans' Mixed Up North, directed by Max Stafford-Clark. In 2010, she appeared alongside Robin Soans in a production of Sheridan's The Rivals. 

Her radio work includes parts in BBC Radio 4's No Commitments, Adventures of a Black Bag, and Bleak Expectations. In early 2007, she narrated the book Arabella, broadcast over two weeks as the Book at Bedtime.

Imrie is perhaps best known for her frequent collaborations with Victoria Wood, with whom she has appeared in TV programmes such as the sitcom dinner ladies and sketch show Victoria Wood As Seen On TV. It was on the latter show in 1985 that she first played the infamous part of Miss Babs, owner of Acorn Antiques, a parody of the low budget British soap opera Crossroads.

These sketches became such a British institution that the show was turned into a West End musical in 2005. Celia Imrie won an Olivier Award for her performance.