(Alexis Soloski’s article appeared in The New York Times, 5/6; via Pam Green.)

At the end of every performance of “Wolf Hall,” the actress Lydia Leonard rushes downstairs to get her corset unlaced. “If there’s a knot, it takes 30 seconds longer, and it feels like an eternity,” she said.

But all those petticoats and farthingales have been good to Ms. Leonard, 33. As Anne Boleyn, the tragic heroine of the twinned plays based on the novels of Hilary Mantel, she has just received a Tony nomination for best performance by a featured actress in a play.

Like Boleyn, Ms. Leonard, the daughter of an accountant and a costume historian, spent several formative years in France. After returning to England, she studied at the Bristol Old Vic Theater School and has made a career of shrewd brunettes, including Anne, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, whom she played in the West End, and Virginia Woolf, whom she plays in “Life in Squares,” a mini-series that will air on BBC later this year.


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