The study depicts a Shakespearian actor dressed as a soldier leaning against a post backstage in a theatre. A quick but effective drawing from the post-war era; the dimensions of the drawing are the same as those produced by Knight during the production of Henry VI at the Old Vic in 1953.
Between 1911 until 1929, Knight drew and painted backstage, some of the most famous ballet dancers of the day from Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Knight also painted backstage, and in the dressing rooms, at several Birmingham Repertory Theatre productions. Working backstage improved her drawings as it forced her to produce quick drawings that reduced line to a minimum, they were equally important drawings that were accurate. If Laura’s drawings were inaccurate the famous ballet instructor Cecchetti would blame the dancer, not Laura. Also in the 1920s, Laura met Bertram Mills and the Great Carmo that began Laura’s famous circus scenes. During the war Knight was an official war artist. After the war ended Barry Jackson took control of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Knight again became theatrically minded and spent many seasons with him and Scott Sunderland. Later Barry Jackson asked Laura to do a number of records for him at The Old Vic “I filled many big sketch books with perhaps the best drawings I ever did of life backstage” p.325 Magic of a Line.