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Bertie Carvel

Bertie Carvel

English actor and singer
The basics
Occupation Actor
Country United Kingdom
Date of birth London, Greater London, London, England
Awards Laurence Olivier Award, Theatre World Award
Education University of Sussex, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Authority VIAF id IMDB id
The details

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.



Year Title Role
2012 Les Misérables Bamatabois


Year Title Role Notes
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


Year Title Role Theatre Refs.
2003 Revelations Jack Hampstead Theatre
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 Faustus Faustus Etcetera Theatre
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
Rehearsed reading

Video Games

Year Title Role
2008 Haze Shane Carpenter
2011 Star Wars: The Old Republic Male Imperial Agent
2012 The Secret World The Forest God, Callisto

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
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
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