Gillian in J Sheekey's Photo Collection
Posted at 6:11 AM (PST) on Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Sheekey girls
By Louise Jury, Chief Arts Correspondent
The Evening Standard
November 26, 2008

For decades, theatre stars of the Fifties and Sixties have stared out from the walls of J Sheekey's restaurant in the West End.

Now the big names of today have been captured by photographer Alison Jackson for a new oyster bar extension to the venue.

Rosamund Pike, Gillian Anderson, Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Eddie Izzard and Felicity Kendal are among more than 60 stars who appear in the collection.

Anderson decided to eat toast in bed for her shot. Rhys Ifans is seen leaving the ladies' loo at The Ivy.

Some, such as Michael Gambon, are pictured backstage at recent productions. He is currently starring in Harold Pinter's No Man's Land at the Duke of York's Theatre round the corner. Others chose to pose at home or in one of the other clubs and restaurants where actors gather.

Alison Jackson, best known for creating deceptive images using lookalikes of famous people,said: "Everyone was very amenable. It's not the easiest thing having your portrait taken."

Those photographed range from newcomers Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch and Cillian Murphy, to old hands such as John Hurt, Derek Jacobi and Vanessa Redgrave. Writers such as Tom Stoppard are also included.

The J Sheekey Oyster Bar in St Martin's Court opens to the public today. It will operate on a first-come first-served basis, without bookings.