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Aitken, Maria Biography




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biography of Aitken, Maria

Maria Penelope Katharine Aitken
12 September 1945, Dublin, Ireland


-   'Nigel Davenport' (qv) (May 1972 - 1981) (divorced); 1 child

-   'Patrick McGrath (II)' (qv) (28 December 1991 - present)

-   'Richard Durden' (qv) (19 January 1968 - 1971) (divorced)


-   Mother, with 'Nigel Davenport' (qv), of 'Jack Davenport' (qv).

-   Graduated from Oxford University, where she performed with OUDS.

-   Younger sister of former British Conservative Cabinet minister 'Jonathan Aitken (II)' (qv), daughter of Conservative MP Sir William Aitken, and great-niece of 'Lord Beaverbrook' (qv).

-   She was educated at Riddlesdown Hall in Norfolk; Sherborne School for Girls in Sherborne, Dorset and St. Anne's College, Oxford University.

-   Aunt of 'Alexandra Aitken' (qv) and 'Victoria Aitken' (qv).

-   Ex-stepmother of 'Laura Davenport (I)' (qv).


-   Her theatre credits include: Miss Gossage, Senior Mistress in "The Happiest Days of Your Life" by 'John Dighton' (qv) (1984, Barbican, London, UK, directed by 'Clifford Williams (II)' (qv) ).

-   (January 2008): Directed "The 39 Steps", a play based on the 'Alfred Hitchcock (I)' (qv) film, adapted by 'Patrick Barlow' (qv) (American Airlines Theatre, New York City, New York, USA).

-   (1990) She starred in 'Peter Ransley' (qv)'s play, "Ellen", at the Hampstead Theatre Club in Hampstead, London, England with 'Ian McShane' (qv) in the cast. Directed by 'Richard Wilson (II)' (qv) OBE.

-   (1980) She acted in Sir 'Noel Coward' (qv)'s play, "Private Lives", at the Duchess Theatre in London, England with 'Jenny Quayle' (qv), 'Michael Jayston' (qv) in the cast. Directed by 'Alan Strachan' (qv).

-   (1982) She acted in Sir 'Noel Coward' (qv)'s play, "Design for Living". performed at the Globe Theatre in London, England with 'Gary Bond (I)' (qv), 'Ian Ogilvy' (qv) in the cast. Directed by 'Alan Strachan' (qv).

-   (1989) She acted in Sir 'Noel Coward' (qv)'s play, "The Vortex", with 'Rupert Everett' (qv) in the cast. Directed by 'David Prowse' (qv).

-   (1992) She acted in Sir 'Noel Coward' (qv)'s play, "Hay Fever", at the Albery Theatre in London, England with 'John Standing' (qv), 'Carmen Du Sautoy' (qv) in the cast. Directed by 'Alan Strachan' (qv).

-   (1966) She played the Good Angel in the Oxford University Dramatic Society's production of Christopher Marlowe's play, "Dr. Faustus," at the Oxford University Theatre in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England with Richard Burton CBE, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Andreas Teuber, Richard Durden-Smith, David Wood, Hugh Williams, Andrew Hilton, and Bruce Alexander in the cast. Nevill Coghill was director. Irene Sharaff was designer for Elizabeth Taylor.

-   (1978) She acted in George Bernard Shaw's play, "The Man of Destiny," at the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park, London, England with Ian Talbot, Granville Saxton, Rula Lenska, Clive Carter, Elizabeth Estensen, Anthony Sharp, Zelah Clarke, David Whitworth, and Helen Weir in the cast. David Conville, Richard Digby-Day, and Christopher Biggins were the directors.

-   (1978) She acted in William Shakespeare's play, "A Midsummer's Night Dream," at the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park, London, England with Ian Talbot, Granville Saxton, Rula Lenska, Clive Carter, Elizabeth Estensen, Anthony Sharp, Zelah Clarke, David Whitworth, and Helen Weir in the cast. David Conville, Richard Digby-Day, and Christopher Biggins were the directors.

-   (1978) She acted in George Bernard Shaw's play, "The Dark Lady of The Sonnets," at the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park, London, England with Ian Talbot, Granville Saxton, Rula Lenska, Clive Carter, Elizabeth Estensen, Anthony Sharp, Zelah Clarke, David Whitworth, and Helen Weir in the cast. David Conville, Richard Digby-Day, and Christopher Biggins were the directors.

-   (1994) She acted in Oscar Wilde's play, "The Picture of Dorian Gray," at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, London, England with Benedick Bates, Bette Bourne, Tim Pigott-Smith, and Joanna Riding in the cast.

-   (1974) She acted in Tom Stoppard's play, "Travesties," in a Royal Shakespeare Company production at the Aldwych Theatre in London, England with John Wood, John Hurt, Tom Bell, Frank Windsor, and Barbara Leigh-Hunt in the cast. Peter Wood was director.

-   (1984) She acted in John Dighton's play, "The Happiest Days of Your Life," in a Royal Shakespeare Company production at the Barbican Theatre in London, England with John Cater, Peggy Mount, Paul Greenwood, and Griffith Jones in the cast. Clifford Williams was director.

-   (1976) She acted in Noel Coward's play, "Blithe Spirit," in a National Theatre production at the Lyttelton Theatre in London, England with Richard Johnson, Elizabeth Spriggs, and Rowena Cooper in the cast. Harold Pinter was director.

-   (March 1976-December 1976) She acted in the Repertoire Season in the National Theatre production at the Lyttelton Theatre in London, England in P.L. Travers's play, "Plunder;" William Shakespeare's play, "Hamlet;" Henrik Ibsen's play, "John Gabriel Borkman;" Samuel Beckett's play, "Happy Days;" John Osborne's play, "Watch It Come Down;" Harold Pinter's play, "No Man's Land;" Noel Coward's play, "Blithe Spirit;" John Millington Synge's play, "Playboy of the Western World;" Howard Brenton's play, "Weapons of Happiness;" Tom Stoppard's play, "Jumpers;" and Thomas Bernhard's play, "Force of Habit;" with Albert Finney, John Gielgud, Peggy Ashcroft, Ralph Richardson, Angela Lansbury, Frank Finlay, Richard Johnson, Simon Ward, Wendy Hiller, Denis Quilley, Michael Hordern, Alan Anna Carteret, Brenda Blethyn, Dandy Nichols, David Yelland, Derek Thompson, Diana Quick, Dinsdale Landen, Elizabeth Spriggs, Gawn Grainger, J.G. Devlin, Jill Bennett, Joan Hickson, Julian Glover, Julie Covington, Michael Feast, Michael Medwin, Nick Brimble, Oliver Cotton, Polly Adams, Robert Eddison, Roland Culver, Struan Rodgers, Susan Fleetwood, Terence Rigby, Thelma Whitely, and Warren Clarke in the cast.

-   (January 1977-December 1977) She acted in the Repertoire Season at the National Theatre in London, England in Odon Von Horvath and Christopher Hampton's play, "Tales from the Vienna Woods;" Edward Albee's play, "Counting the Ways;" Thomas Bernhard's play, "The Force of Habit;" Carlo Goldoni's play, "Il Campiello;" Christopher Marlowe's play, "Tamburlaine the Great;" Tom Stoppard's play, "Jumpers;" Noel Coward's play, "Blithe Spirit;" John Millington Synge's play, "Playboy of the Western World;" Harold Pinter's play, "No Man's Land;" William Shakespeare's plays, "Hamlet," "Julius Caesar;" Ben Jonson's play, "Volpone;" Alan Ayckbourn's play, "Bedroom Farce;" Harley Granville Barker's play, "The Madras House;" Robert Bolt's play, "The State of Revolution;" Sean O'Casey's play, "The Plough and the Stars;" Samuel Beckett's play, "Happy Days;" play, "The Passion;" play, "Sir is Winning;" play, "Judgement;" Georges Feydeau's play, "The Lady from Maxim's;" William Wycherley's play, "The Country Wife;" Julian Mitchell's play, "Half-Life;" John MacKendrick's play, "Lavender Blue;" Ferenc Molnar and Frank Marcus's play, "The Guardsman;" play, "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight;" Victor Hugo's play, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame; James Kirkup's play, "The Magic Drum" (produced by Phoenix Theatre of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England); Ben Jonson's play, "Devil is an Ass" and William Shakespeare's play, "Measure for Measure," (produced by the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in Birmingham, West Midlands, England); play, "Nas Palabras," (produced by the Nuria Espert Company); Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's musical, "Don Giovanni" (produced by the Glyndebourne Opera in Glyndebourne, Wales); Franz Kafka's play, "The Metamorphosis," and Edgar Allen Poe's play, "The Fall of the House of Usher" (produced by the London Theatre Group of London, England); play "Babel's Dancer" (produced by Moving Being Company); William Shakespeare's play, "Richard III Part II and the play, "Motocar" (produced by Paine's Plough Company) and Halleschen Uber company of West Berlin, West Gergmany; with Paul Scofield, John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, Albert Finney, Peggy Ashcroft, Diana Rigg, John Neville, Ben Kingsley, Brian Cox, Denis Quilley, Barbara Jefford, Stephen Rea, J.G. Devlin, Beryl Reid, Elizabeth Spriggs, Ian Charleson, Joss Ackland, Cyril Cusack, Susan Fleetwood, Warren Clarke, Ronald Pickup, Tom Wilkinson, Brian Blessed, Brenda Blethyn, Michael Bryant, Kenneth Cranham, Joan Hickson, Richard Johnson, Sara Kestelman, Susan Littler, Elspeth March, Michael Medwin, Stephen Moore, John Normington, Kate Nelligan, Hugh Paddick, Paul Rogers, Jane Asher, Tony Haygarth, Fulton Mackay, Dinah Stabb, Sylvia Coleridge, Oliver Cotton, Robert Eddison, Julian Glover, Michael Gough, Michael Kitchen, Peggy Mount, Ann Way, Brenda Fricker, Christopher Good, Edward Hardwicke, Isabel Dean, Richard Pearson, and Robin Bailey in the cast.

-   (1977) She acted in Alan Ayckbourn's play, "Bedroom Farce," in a National Theatre production at the Lyttelton Theatre in London, England with Michael Gough, Joan Hickson, Michael Kitchen, Stephen Moore, Polly Adams, Derek Newark, and Susan Littler in the cast. Peter Hall and Alan Ayckbourn were directors.

-   (1977) She acted in Noel Coward's play, "Blithe Spirit," in a National Theatre production at the Lyttelton Theatre in London, England with Richard Johnson and Elizabeth Spriggs in the cast. Harold Pinter was director.

-   (1975) She acted in Stephen Sondheim's musical, "A Little Night Music," at the Adelphi Theatre in London, England with Jean Simmons, Hermione Gingold, Joss Ackland, Veronica Page, Terry Mitchell, Diane Langton, and Liz Robertson in the cast. Harold Prince was director.

-   (1975) She acted in Stephen Sondheim's musical, "A Little Night Music," at the Adelphi Theatre in London, England with Jean Simmons, Angela Baddeley, Joss Ackland, David Kernan, Diane Langton, and Liz Robertson in the cast. Harold Prince was director.

-   (February 1976) She acted in Stephen Sondheim's musical, "A Little Night Music," at the Adelphi Theatre in London, England with Virginia McKenna, Angela Baddeley, Joss Ackland, David Kernan, Diane Langton, and Liz Robertson in the cast. Harold Prince was director.

-   (1980) She acted in Noel Coward's play, "Private Lives," at the Duchess Theatre in London, England with Michael Jayston and Jenny Quayle in the cast. Alan Strachan was director.

-   (1982) She acted in Noel Coward's play, "Design for Living," at the Greenwich Theatre in Greenwich, London, England with Gary Bond, Ian Ogilvy, and Roland Curram in the cast. Alan Strachan was director.

-   (1982) She acted in Noel Coward's play, "Design for Living," at the Globe Theatre in London, England with Gary Bond and Ian Ogilvy in the cast. Alan Strachan was director.

-   (1983) She directed Giles Cooper's play, "Happy Family," at the Duke of York's Theatre in London, England with Ian Ogilvy, Angela Thorne, Stephanie Beacham, and James Laurenson in the cast.

-   (1983) She directed Giles Cooper's play, "Happy Family," at the Theatre Royal in Windsor, Berkshire, England with Stephanie Beacham, Ian Ogilvy, Angela Thorne, and James Laurenson in the cast.

-   (1985) She directed William Douglas Home's play, "After the Ball is Over," at the Old Vic Theatre in London, England with Patrick Cargill, Anthony Quayle, Maxine Audley, and Michael Fenton-Stevens in the cast.

-   (1980) She acted in 'Noel Coward' (qv)'s play, "Private Lives", at the Duchess Theatre (Wes End) in London, England with 'Michael Jayston' (qv) and 'Jenny Quayle' (qv) in the cast. 'Alan Strachan' (qv) was the director.

-   (1989) She acted in Noel Coward's play, "The Vortex," at the Garrick Theatre in London, England with Rupert Everett in the cast. Philip Prowse was director.


-   (August 2006) Directing "The 39 Steps" at the Tricycle Theatre, London. Book by John Buchan, adapted by Patrick Barlow and compromising a cast of just 4 playing nearly a 100 roles between them!

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Acting in movies by Aitken, Mari

  1. Asylum (2005)
  2. The Bench (1999) (TV)
  3. Jinnah (1998)
  4. Fierce Creatures (1997)
  5. The Grotesque (1995)
  6. "Love on a Branch Line" (1994) {Ain't She Sweet (#1.4)}
  7. "Love on a Branch Line" (1994) {I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby (#1.3)}
  8. "Love on a Branch Line" (1994) {I Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight (#1.2)}
  9. "Love on a Branch Line" (1994) {Yes Sir, That's My Baby (#1.1)}
  10. "The Late Show" (1989) {(1994-05-11)}
  11. "The Good Guys" (1992) {Tooth (#1.6)}
  12. The Fool (1990)
  13. "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" (1987) {(#2.3)}
  14. "The Return of Shelley" (1988) {Second Best Man (#3.5)}
  15. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
  16. "Great Performances" (1970) {Melba}
  17. Half Moon Street (1986)
  18. Weekend in Wallop (1984) (TV)
  19. "Poor Little Rich Girls" (1984) {Blue Skies (#1.2)}
  20. "Poor Little Rich Girls" (1984) {Kissing Cousins (#1.1)}
  21. "Poor Little Rich Girls" (1984) {Lonely as a Crowd (#1.4)}
  22. "Poor Little Rich Girls" (1984) {Rainbows (#1.3)}
  23. "Poor Little Rich Girls" (1984) {The Gentleman Caller (#1.7)}
  24. "Poor Little Rich Girls" (1984) {The Gentlemen Caller: Part 2 (#1.8)}
  25. "Poor Little Rich Girls" (1984) {The Oriental Chest (#1.5)}
  26. "Poor Little Rich Girls" (1984) {Tit for Tat (#1.6)}
  27. "Friday Night, Saturday Morning" (1979) {(#5.4)}
  28. "Saturday Night at the Mill" (1976) {(#6.9)}
  29. Bedroom Farce (1980) (TV)
  30. "Company and Co" (1976) {The First Touch (#1.1)}
  31. "Play for Today" (1970) {Don't Be Silly (#9.21)}
  32. "Ripping Yarns" (1976) {Whinfrey's Last Case (#2.1)}
  33. "Armchair Thriller" (1967) {Quiet as a Nun Part 1: The Tower (#2.15)}
  34. "Armchair Thriller" (1967) {Quiet as a Nun: Part 2 'The Chapel' (#2.16)}
  35. "Armchair Thriller" (1967) {Quiet as a Nun: Part 3 'The Black Nun' (#2.17)}
  36. "Armchair Thriller" (1967) {Quiet as a Nun: Part 4 'Witness and Wills' (#2.18)}
  37. "Armchair Thriller" (1967) {Quiet as a Nun: Part 5 'Powers of Darkness' (#2.19)}
  38. "Armchair Thriller" (1967) {Quiet as a Nun: Part 6 'Death and Decision' (#2.20)}
  39. "Crown Court" (1972) {White Lies: Part 1 (#7.10)}
  40. "Crown Court" (1972) {White Lies: Part 2 (#7.11)}
  41. "Crown Court" (1972) {White Lies: Part 3 (#7.12)}
  42. Moths (1977) (TV)
  43. "Romance" (1977) {Moths (#1.1)}
  44. Out of the Trees (1976) (TV)
  45. "Call My Bluff" (1965/II) {(1976-07-15)}
  46. Goose with Pepper (1975) (TV)
  47. "Aquarius" (1970) {The Three Marias}
  48. "Crown Court" (1972) {Saboteur: Part 1 (#4.24)}
  49. "The Onedin Line" (1971) {Port Out, Starboard Home (#3.12)}
  50. "Crown Court" (1972) {No Smoke Without Fire: Part 1 (#2.142)}
  51. "Scotch on the Rocks" (1973) {Phase 1 (#1.1)}
  52. "Scotch on the Rocks" (1973) {Phase 2 (#1.2)}
  53. "Scotch on the Rocks" (1973) {Phase 3 (#1.3)}
  54. "Scotch on the Rocks" (1973) {Phase 4 (#1.4)}
  55. "Scotch on the Rocks" (1973) {Phase 5 (#1.5)}
  56. Joy (1972) (TV)
  57. "Justice" (1971) {A License to Build Your Own Money (#1.12)}
  58. "The Edwardians" (1972) {Conan Doyle (#1.4)}
  59. "The Regiment" (1972) {A Gentleman from Europe (#1.10)}
  60. "The Regiment" (1972) {A Perfect Day (#1.4)}
  61. "The Regiment" (1972) {Christmas at the Cape (#1.12)}
  62. "The Regiment" (1972) {Days of Betrayal (#1.3)}
  63. "The Regiment" (1972) {Dragon's Teeth (#1.11)}
  64. "The Regiment" (1972) {Gentlemen in Khaki Ordered South (#1.6)}
  65. "The Regiment" (1972) {The Fortunes of Peace (#1.2)}
  66. Mary, Queen of Scots (1971)
  67. "Codename" (1970) {Appointment in Prague (#1.11)}
  68. "ITV Playhouse" (1967) {The Style of the Countess (#3.33)}
  69. "ITV Saturday Night Theatre" (1969) {The Exiles: Jennie (#3.1)}
  70. "Manhunt" (1969) {Degrade and Rule (#1.21)}
  71. "Counterstrike" (1969) {Nocturne (#1.4)}
  72. "ITV Playhouse" (1967) {Murder: Double Negative (#2.25)}
  73. "Take Three Girls" (1969) {Requiem for Cello in SW3 (#1.3)}
  74. "The Gold Robbers" (1969) {The Arrangement (#1.8)}
  75. "The Gold Robbers" (1969) {The Cover Plan (#1.10)}
  76. "The Gold Robbers" (1969) {The Kill (#1.13)}
  77. Doctor Faustus (1967)

Produced by Aitken, Maria

  1. "Acting" (1987) {Brian Cox: On Acting in Shakespearean Tragedy} (co-producer)
  2. Spider (2002) (associate producer)