Robert Hugh "Bertie" Carvel (born 6 September 1977) is an Olivier Award-winning English actor, best known for his work in the realm of musical theatre.
Carvel was born in Marylebone, London, the son of a psychologist mother and John Carvel, a journalist. Carvel was educated at University College School. He gained a first class honours degree in English at the University of Sussex, then won a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (his acting training was paid for via scholarships from The Wall Trust and the Sir John Cass Foundation), graduating in 2003 after a three-year course.
Carvel is a Patron of the Globe Theatre's education department's 'Playing Shakespeare' programme, which provides free educational resources and free theatre tickets to secondary school students. In 2013 he ran for and was elected to Equity's 11-person Stage Committee. He was re-elected for a further two-year term in 2015.
Carvel has appeared in Revelations at the Hampstead Theatre, Rose Bernd at the Arcola Theatre, as Alexander Ashbrook in the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 Royal National Theatre productions of Helen Edmundson's Coram Boy, in The Life of Galileo at the National Theatre, The Man of Mode at the National Theatre, Parade at the Donmar Warehouse and Matilda the Musical at the Cambridge Theatre, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Carvel was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in Parade in 2008. He won the award in 2012 for his performance as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda the Musical, a production that won six other Oliviers. Carvel also won the UK's TMA Award for Best Performance in a Musical and was similarly nominated for the London's Evening Standard Award. He played Enrico in Damned By Despair at the National Theatre.
In March 2013, he reprised his role as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre. This won him a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical and a nomination for Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, one of only a handful of nominations for an actor portraying a character of the opposite sex.
From August to October 2015, Carvel played both Pentheus and Agave in Bakkhai at the Almeida Theatre. Carvel also performed as Yank in the play The Hairy Ape at the Old Vic in November of the same year.
In February 2016, Carvel announced his directorial debut. He directed the play Strife at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester, which opened in August 2016.
Roles in other media
Carvel has appeared in several other film, TV and theatre roles, including The Wrong Mans, Babylon, Doctor Who (episode "The Lazarus Experiment"), Sherlock (episode "The Blind Banker"), Bombshell, Hawking, The Crimson Petal and the White, Money and Midsomer Murders (episode "The Great and the Good"). He played Lord Carmarthen in John Adams. In the television film Agatha Christie: A Life in Pictures, he played Christie's second husband Max Mallowan. Carvel appeared as Bamatabois in the film Les Misérables, based on the musical of the same name. Carvel is also the voice of the male Imperial Agent in the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic.
In 2015, Carvel starred as Jonathan Strange in the BBC One adaptation of Susanna Clarke's novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, opposite Eddie Marsan as Gilbert Norrell. He played Nick Clegg in the Channel 4 drama Coalition and in September appeared as the unfaithful husband of Suranne Jones's title character in the BBC One thriller series Doctor Foster. The second series of Doctor Foster starts filming in September 2016.
In 2016 he narrated the BBC documentary Koko:The Gorilla Who Talks To People, which was directed and filmed by Jonathan Taylor.
|2004||Hawking||George Ellis||Television film|
|2004||Agatha Christie: A Life in Pictures||Max Mallowan||Television film|
|2005||Beethoven||Ferdinand Ries||2 episodes|
|2006||Bombshell||Lieutenant Roddy Frost||7 episodes|
|2006||Holby City||Martin Phillips||Episode: "Looking After Number One"|
|2007||Doctor Who||Mysterious Man||Episode: "The Lazarus Experiment"|
|2008||John Adams||Lord Carmarthen||Episode: "Reunion"|
|2009||Primeval||Ryan Mason||Episode 3, Season 2|
|2009||Waking the Dead||Dr Dench||2 episodes|
|2009||Midsomer Murders||Justin Hooper||Episode: "The Great and the Good"|
|2010||Sherlock||Sebastian Wilkes||Episode: "The Blind Banker"|
|2010||Just William||Uncle Neville||Episode: "Parrots for Ethel"|
|2011||The Crimson Petal and the White||Ashwell||3 episodes|
|2011||Hidden||Alexander Wentworth||4 episodes|
|2012||Restless||Mason Harding||Episode: Part Two|
|2014||Babylon||Finn Kirkwood||7 episodes|
|2014||The Wrong Mans||Nathan Cross||Episode: "White Mans"|
|2015||Coalition||Nick Clegg||Television film|
|2015||Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell||Jonathan Strange||7 episodes|
|2015||Doctor Foster||Simon Foster||5 episodes|
|2016||Revolting Rhymes||Various voices||2 Episodes|
|2004||Victory? A Musical Drama For Peace||Uri||Donmar Warehouse|
|2005||Rose Bernd||Heinzel/Policeman||Oxford Stage Company/Arcola Theatre/Dumbfounded Theatre|
|2004||Macbeth||Macbeth||Union Theatre, London|
|2005-7||Coram Boy||Alexander Ashbrook (adult) / Ensemble||National Theatre|
|2005||Professor Bernhardi||Dr Kurt Pflugfelder/Professor Filitz||Arcola Theatre|
|2006||The Life of Galileo||Ludovico Marsili||Royal National Theatre|
|2007||The Man of Mode||Medley||Royal National Theatre|
|2008||The Pride||Oliver||Royal Court Theatre|
|2008||Parade||Leo Frank||Donmar Warehouse|
|2008||The Circle||Edward Luton||Chichester/Tour|
|2009||Rope||Rupert Cadell||Almeida Theatre|
|2011||Dr Dee||Dr Dee||Palace Theatre, Manchester|
|2011||Matilda the Musical||Miss Trunchbull||Courtyard Theatre |
9 November 2010 – 30 January 2011
|Cambridge Theatre |
25 October 2011 – July 2012
|Schubert Theatre |
4 March 2013 – 1 September 2013
|2011||Damned By Despair||Enrico||Royal National Theatre|
|2015||Bakkhai||Pentheus, Agave||Almeida Theatre|
|2015||The Hairy Ape||Yank||The Old Vic|
|2016||Splendid's||Policeman||Trafalgar Studios |
|2011||Star Wars: The Old Republic||Male Imperial Agent|
|2012||The Secret World||The Forest God, Callisto|
Awards and nominations
|2008||Laurence Olivier Award||Best Actor in a Musical||Parade||Nominated|
|2012||Evening Standard Award||Best Actor||Matilda The Musical||Nominated|
|Laurence Olivier Award||Best Actor in a Musical||Won|
|TMA Award||Best Performance in a Musical||Won|
|2013||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical||Won|
|Tony Award||Best Actor in a Musical||Nominated|