‘THERE WAS A MOMENT AT SCHOOL, DURING THE CRUCIBLE — YOU PLAYED JOHN PROCTOR AND I PLAYED ELIZABETH — WHERE I SHIFTED GEARS’

Pippa Bennett-Warner has starred alongside Derek Jacobi, outshone Eddie Redmayne, and is getting her due in British T.V. None of it, however, would have been possible without a character-forming turn opposite a certain Editor-in-Chief. Probably.

  • fashion director Veronica Perez

  • by Tom Chamberlin

  • photography Kim Lang

Golden Rose gown, Italian silk crepe 3D boned corset and an Italian silk gazar skirt painted with gold leaf paint, Benveniste Couture. Bucherer Fine Jewellery Pastello necklace, Bucherer; Joséphine Aigrette earrings in white-gold with brilliant-cut diamonds and pear-shaped rhodolite garnet, Chaumet; white- and yellow-gold Serpenti Seduttori green dial model watch, Bvlgari.

Pippa Bennett-Warner has managed matters well. She has always been a stately figure, overflowing with talent, whose creative endeavours are garlanded with artistic merit. I used the word ‘always’ in the previous sentence because I know that, from as long ago as 2001, ’twas ever thus. Pippa and I were at school together (St. Edward’s in Oxford), and her attendance was anticipated before she’d arrived. We heard that there was someone who had already acted in the West End, as the young Nala in The Lion King. Enter Pippa, with acting chops, for sure, but also an extraordinary singer. It was a fait accompli that she was destined for a higher calling than the school stage, and it was not long after leaving drama school that she paired with Derek Jacobi in Michael Grandage’s King Lear (2010).

Since then, her name has been on programmes at the Donmar, the Almeida and the National theatres, the latter of which was for Richard II with Eddie Redmayne (a former cover star of the magazine). The Independent said the Oscar-winning actor was “outshone” by Pippa.

Having conquered the British theatre scene, she is now walking nonchalantly onto our screens again in the psychological thriller Chloe. She plays the likeable and relatable Livia, whose surefooted life is juxtaposed with the unhinged reality of the show’s lead, Becky, played with disturbing determination by Erin Doherty (who is no longer Princess Anne). Chloe will air this month on the BBC and Amazon, so I took the opportunity to catch up with an old friend before its release...

Contributor

Tom Chamberlin

Editor of The Rake Magazine

Published

February 2022

Tags

Also read