Bertie Carvel

ZACHARIAH OSBORNE, is a nervous, owlish, godly man. He owns a hardware shop on Goldhawk road, and believes in the dark arts.

Bertie Carvel is considered one of the most exciting and versatile actors of his generation, often completely unrecognisable from one role to the next. As an acclaimed theatre actor, Olivier Award-winner, Bertie returned to the stage last summer as Rupert Murdoch in Ink, for which he won the Olivier Award in the ‘Supporting Actor’ category. The play depicts the birth of this country’s most influential newspaper – when a young and rebellious Rupert Murdoch asked the impossible and launched its first editor’s quest, against all odds, to give the people what they want. The play transferred to Broadway and he received this year’s Tony Award for ‘Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play’.

He will next be seen in Channel 4’s new crime thriller series Baghdad Central, starring opposite Waleed Zuaiter and Corey Stoll. The show takes place in 2003 as US forces are occupying Baghdad territory and follows a local ex-policeman who goes in search of his missing daughter. It will TX later this year.

Bertie reprised his role of ‘Simon’ in the second series of BBC One’s five part drama Doctor Foster. Written by award-winning writer Mike Bartlett (King Charles III, The Town, Chariots Of Fire) and directed by Tom Vaughan (Press, Starter For Ten) Doctor Foster tells the story of a woman seemingly in control: she is a trusted GP, the heart of her town, a woman people can trust. But Doctor Gemma Foster’s life is about to explode when she suspects her husband (played by Bertie) is having an affair she is determined to find out the truth.

Bertie made his directing debut in August 2016 at the Chichester Festival theatre, directing John Galsworthy's play about a strike at a tinplate factory in Wales called Strife. It stars William Gaunt as John Anthony.

In July 2015 Bertie stared in a new version of the Greek epic Bakkhai at the Almeida Theatre in July 2015. Directed by James Macdonald and translated by poet Anne Carson, Bertie plays both ‘Pentheus' and his mother ‘Agave' opposite Ben Whishaw as ‘Dionysus'. Euripides’ electrifying tragedy is a struggle to the death between freedom and restraint, the rational and the irrational, man and god.

Bertie lead the cast of The Old Vic’s The Hairy Ape, Eugene O’Neill’s expressionist masterpiece. Directed by Richard Jones, The Hairy Ape is the second production in Matthew Warchus’ tenure as Artistic Director. It tells the story of Yank, a labourer who revels in his status as the strongest stoker on a transatlantic ocean liner. But when Yank is called a ‘filthy beast' by the over-bred daughter of a steel merchant, he experiences an awakening of consciousness that leads him on a journey through the wealthy neighbourhoods and disenfranchised underbelly of New York society.

Other television work includes playing ‘Jonathan Strange’ in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, the highly acclaimed television adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s best-selling novel (BBC1/BBC America). Starring opposite Eddie Marsan as ‘Mr Norrell’, the book was adapted by Peter Harness and directed by Toby Haynes. The year is 1806 and magic is all but faded from the world. Then, with Napoleon at England's doorstep, two very different men rise from obscurity to become the greatest magicians of the age. But as dark secrets are slowly uncovered, the renaissance of English magic reaches its crisis.

In March 2015, in the run-up to the general election, Bertie starred in political drama Coalition, a one-off 90 minute film for Channel 4. Written by James Graham (acclaimed playwright behind political hits Privacy, This House and Tory Boyz) and directed by BAFTA-winning Alex Holmes, Coalition played out the emotionally wrought, politically-charged and often frenzied moments that led to Nick Clegg’s astonishing rise from rank outsider to the man who would decide the fate of the country in 2010. Bertie played Clegg.

Bertie also starred as ‘Finn Kirkwood’ in Babylon (Channel 4/Sundance). Written by Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong (Peepshow, Four Lions), the show looked at the challenges faced by a modern London police force - specifically how it polices its image in an age of 24-hour news, camera phones and social media. James Nesbitt, Paterson Joseph and Nicola Walker lead an ensemble of rising stars. Directors Jon S. Baird (Filth) and Sally El Hosaini (My Brother The Devil) took over the reins from Academy Award-winner Danny Boyle, who co-created the show and helmed the feature-length pilot, broadcast in 2013.

Christmas 2014 we saw Bertie cameo as deranged Neo Nazi, ‘Nathan Cross’ in season two of The Wrong Mans on BBC2. Sam and Phil (played by co-creators Matthew Baynton & James Corden) end up in a maximum security Texan prison where they come face to face with a Great White. Right from the very first glance, it is clear that Nathan is the wrong man to cross.

Previously, Bertie has been best known for creating the role of ‘Miss Trunchbull’ in Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin's Matilda the Musical (RSC, West End, Broadway). His iconic performance won him a raft of awards including the Olivier Award for ‘Best Actor in a Musical’, playing to sell-out houses in Stratford and London, before transferring to Broadway in New York, where he picked up the prestigious Drama Desk Award, a Theatre World Award and a Tony nomination.

Bertie’s performance in another musical, Parade (Donmar), also won him a 'Best Actor in a Musical' Olivier nomination. He first attracted notice in straight (and not-so-straight) plays, cutting his teeth at the National Theatre (The Man of Mode, The Life of Galileo and Coram Boy) and going on to give critically acclaimed performances in The Pride (Royal Court) and Rope (Almeida Theatre): he received long list nominations for 'Best Actor' at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards for three years running (2009-11).

On screen, Bertie has played a procession of colourful characters. Some highlights: Restless - Hidden - Sherlock - Just William - The Crimson Petal and The White - Doctor Who - Hawking: all for the BBC. He has worked twice with Academy Award-winning director Tom Hooper, in the Emmy-winning John Adams and Oscar-winning Les Misérables.

Bertie has recorded over fifty radio plays, as well as the original cast albums for Parade, Matilda and the innovative Rufus Norris / Damon Albarn collaboration Doctor Dee, in which Bertie created the title role. He has narrated audio books and read collections of poetry, and is one of the principal voices in the Star Wars: The Old Republic computer game, which is just one example of how childhood dreams can come to life in the most unexpected ways.

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