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School report which advised Diana Rigg ‘to give up acting’ goes under hammer

Property from the estate of actress Dame Diana Rigg is to be auctioned at Bonhams in London (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Property from the estate of actress Dame Diana Rigg is to be auctioned at Bonhams in London (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The school reports of Dame Diana Rigg – in which a teacher advised her to “give up” her dream of becoming an actress – are to go under the hammer, along with her Tony award nomination and an annotated script.

Property from the estate of the actress, who died last September aged 82, are to be auctioned at the Bonhams Film, Rock and Pop auction on Wednesday.

Famous for her performance in the 1960s TV classic The Avengers, a Bond film and the HBO series Game Of Thrones, the British actress’s talent was not always recognised.

Writing in a school report about Rigg, who would later become a global star, a teacher at St Christopher’s school said: “I should suggest she ought to give up any idea of becoming an actress.”

Bonhams’ Film, Rock and Pop sale – London
Diana Rigg’s Tony awards nomination certificate for her role in My Fair Lady

The four term reports dated from 1955 to 1957, school reports from around 1946, and a file of assorted education certificates providing an “enlightening insight into the formative years of Diana Rigg’s acting, training and early career,” are expected to sell for up to £700 at the London Knightsbridge auction.

Also available at the auction will be the dame’s signed copy of the script for the play Night and Day, inscribed and annotated by Sir Tom Stoppard, with a proportion of the proceeds going to a children’s literacy charity.

Similarly, Rigg’s Tony award nomination certificate for Best Performance by an Actress in a Feature Role in a Musical for My Fair Lady will be sold, and expected to fetch up to £2,000.

Other auction highlights include a Yamaha G3 acoustic grand piano, used on records by Paul Weller, The Stone Roses, The Charlatans, Ash, The Manic Street Preachers and, most famously, on the Oasis track, Morning Glory, at Rockfield Studios.

The piano, which featured in the band’s first global hit, Wonderwall, as well as Don’t Look Back in Anger and Champagne Supernova, has an estimated value of £20,000 to 30,000.

Bonhams’ Film, Rock and Pop sale – London
The Yamaha G3 acoustic grand piano which was used during the recording of the Oasis song Morning Glory at Rockfield Studios

Katherine Schofield, the Bonhams director of Popular Culture, said: “Hidden away in the rolling hills of Monmouth you could drive right past without the knowledge that this unassuming, former stables has been host to the recording of some of the biggest and most influential albums in music history.

“Since 1990, at the heart of the Coach House studio, one of two studios on Rockfield’s grounds, this grand piano has stood, and its sound has played a part in helping to define the Britpop era. We are truly delighted that it is part of our sale, especially as this is the first time Rockfield has parted with any equipment from their studios.”

Also included in the auction is an EVH Charvel art series electric guitar, signed and used on stage by the late Eddie Van Halen, and a complete Pearl Export Series four-piece drum kit used by Oasis drummer Tony McCarroll.

Music fans will also battle it out to bid on a blue Hawaiian-style dress worn on stage by Amy Winehouse during her performance in Brazil and later signed by her in 2011, which is expected to sell for up to £40,000.

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