Theatre critics have been left breathless by the actor's performance in the Donmar production of Anna Christie
It is only six years since she graduated from drama school. But she has established herself on stage, television and film as an outstanding talent in a very talented generation. She has a face that flits from luminous to plain, and a mouth whose long upper lip gives her the mobility of expression she exploits so dangerously. The critics are breathless. Last week in her latest role, as the eponymous Anna Christie in the Donmar production of the Eugene O'Neill play, Ruth Wilson won warm reviews that singled out her "languorous cadences" and her "toughness and vulnerability" – a hint at her ability to convey lightening mood changes without jeopardising the utter authenticity of her character as a woman heartlessly abused but not yet broken. Remarkably, Anna Christie is only her fourth professional stage role: she scored an equal triumph as a woman descending into madness at the Almeida last year in Through a Glass Darkly , and the year before in her debut at the Donmar in A Streetcar Named Desire, where she picked up an Olivier as best supporting actress. On stage, she is easily as powerful as the big names she appears alongside (Jude Law in Anna Christie, Rachel Weisz in Streetcar). She seems to thrive on the complex and the gritty. But as Jane Eyre on the BBC in 2006 she did stillness and gravity along with endurance. She does funny, too: see her first TV role, Suburban Shootout, and watch how today's feisty has its origins in earlier cocky. A courageous, edgy and compelling talent.