One To Watch – Anna Maxwell Martin

Words by Naomi Jeffreys

Anna Maxwell Martin, you may have heard of this name, she is an actor who is frequently in ground breaking dramas, such as Accused and Poppy Shakespeare.

Born in Beverley, near Hull in Yorkshire, she was in school plays and clearly had a talent for acting. She studied History at Liverpool University, and then went on to study at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.


Her first job was as London’s acclaimed National Theatre in a stage adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials as Lyra. She then went on to start her television career, starring in Doctor Who. 

Maxwell Martin is perhaps best known for her role as Esther in the BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel, A Bleak House. Which started her silver screen career.

She was then cast in 2007 in Becoming Jane, alongside Anne Hathway (Princess Diaries) and James McAvoy (Atonement).

From 2008 onwards, Maxwell Martin was frequently on our screens, starring in Poppy Shakespeare, Freefall, South Riding, The Night Watch. And, most recently she starred as Susan in The Bletchley Circle. 

This is an actor who has a great range and is not afraid to show it. Anna Maxwell Martin is one to watch, make sure you do.

One to Watch – Michelle Dockery

Words by Naomi Jeffreys

Michelle Dockery, you may have heard of this name over the past few years, if you haven’t, then you’ve probably been living under a rock. This actor is perhaps best known for her role as Lady Mary Crawley in the phenomenally successful period soap opera drama, Downton Abbey.

Born in Essex, she was acting from a young age. She starred in the Old Vic Theatre’s production of Pygmalion in the summer of 2008, she recieved rave reviews for her performance as Eliza Doolittle. The British Theatre Guide wrote,;”A luminous Michelle Dockery in absolutely sparkling form steals the show in Sir Peter Hall’s transfer from Bath.” Whilst the Independent said: “She has a touching silent mournfulness too, when she’s exquisitely dressed in cream silk gowns…”

Clearly this actor has an affiliation with the Stage, having starred in many productions at the National Theatre, Almeida Theatre and the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield. But it is Period programmes  in which this actor has cemented her name, from the small screen in productions like Cranford and BBC’s Turn of the Screw and as Susan in Sky1 Hogfather.

This Summer, along with the return of the hotly anticipated third series of Downton Abbey, she stars as Princess Myagkaya in Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina. Her role is small, but in this lavish production, with a host of other British actors, this could be the beginning of a fruitful silver screen career for Michelle Dockery.

However, the Rabbit Film believes that in order for this clearly talented actor to not be typecast as a Period Drama actor, she needs to do something modern, something now, something of today. Whether it is a gritty film, or a modern BBC drama, the actor needs to avoid being typecast. An example of another actor who could have been typecast as a Period actor is Anna-Maxwell Martin, star of the BBC’s Bleak House in 2005. Since then she has set out to star in modern dramas, such as Accused, Poppy Shakespeare and Freefall. 

Keep an eye out for Michelle Dockery, she has been nominated for multiple awards and this year, she has been nominated for an Emmy for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. It wouldn’t surprise the Rabbit Film if she was starring in her own film within the next two years.