Bertie Carvel
Robert Hugh Carvel

(1977-09-06) 6 September 1977 (age 46)
Marylebone, London, England
Alma materUniversity of Sussex
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Years active2003–present
Sally Scott
(m. 2019)

Robert Hugh Carvel (born 6 September 1977) is a British film and theatre actor. He has twice won a Laurence Olivier Award: for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his role as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda the Musical, and for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance as Rupert Murdoch in Ink. For the latter role, he won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Play.

On television, Carvel is known for playing Jonathan Strange in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Simon Foster in Doctor Foster, and Adam Dalgliesh in Dalgliesh. He also starred in ITV drama The Sister in 2020.

Early life and education

Carvel was born in Marylebone, London, the son of a psychologist mother and John Carvel, a journalist. Carvel was educated at University College School, Hampstead.[2] He gained a first class honours degree in English at the University of Sussex, going on to win 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),[3] graduating in 2003 after a three-year course.[4]



Carvel has appeared in Revelations at the Hampstead Theatre, in Rose Bernd at the Arcola Theatre, as Alexander Ashbrook in the 2005–2006 and 2006–2007 National Theatre production of Helen Edmundson's Coram Boy[5] and in their productions of The Life of Galileo and The Man of Mode, in Parade at the Donmar Warehouse, and in Matilda the Musical at the Cambridge Theatre, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Carvel was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his performance in Parade in 2008. He won the award in the same category in 2012 for his performance as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda the Musical,[6] 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.[7] He played Enrico in Damned By Despair at the National Theatre.[8]

In March 2013, he reprised his role as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre.[9] This won him a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical and a nomination for Tony Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, one of only a handful of nominations for an actor portraying a character of the opposite sex.[10][11]

From August to October 2015, Carvel played both Pentheus and Agave in Bakkhai at the Almeida Theatre.[12] 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.

In September 2017, Carvel played the role of Rupert Murdoch in the play Ink by James Graham, which debuted at the Almeida Theatre before transferring to the West End.[13] In April 2019 Ink transferred to Broadway, with Carvel reprising his role. This performance won him a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

In 2022 he returned to The Old Vic to play US President Donald Trump in The 47th, a new play by Mike Bartlett.

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 2009, Carvel played Wormwood in Focus on the Family's audio adaptation of The Screwtape Letters, alongside Andy Serkis as Screwtape. This production was a 2010 Audie Award finalist.

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.[14] 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 started filming in September 2016 and started broadcast in September 2017.

Since 2021, Carvel has starred as Adam Dalgliesh in Helen Edmundson's Dalgliesh.[15] He plays former Prime Minister Tony Blair in the fifth and sixth series of The Crown.[16]

Personal life

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.[17] 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.[18]

Carvel is married to actress Sally Scott, whom he wed on 5 January 2019 after dating for ten years. Their first child was born in May 2020.[19]

Acting credits


Year Title Role Notes
2012 Les Misérables Bamatabois
2021 The Tragedy of Macbeth Banquo


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: "Haunted House"
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
2015–2017 Doctor Foster Simon Foster Two series, lead role
2016 Revolting Rhymes Various voices 2 episodes
2017 The Crown Robin Day Episode: "Marionettes"
2018 Big Cats Narrator[20] 3 episodes
2020 The Pale Horse Zachariah Osborne 2 episodes
2020 Baghdad Central Frank Temple 6 episodes
2020 The Sister Robert “Bob” Morrow 4 episodes
2021-present Dalgliesh Adam Dalgliesh Lead role
2022–2023 The Crown Tony Blair Supporting role (Season 5);
Main role (Season 6)


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 [21]
2004 Macbeth Macbeth Union Theatre, London
2005 Faustus Faustus Etcetera Theatre [22]
2005–07 Coram Boy Alexander Ashbrook (adult) / Ensemble National Theatre [5][23]
2005 Professor Bernhardi Dr Kurt Pflugfelder/Professor Filitz Arcola Theatre
2006 The Life of Galileo Ludovico Marsili National Theatre
2007 The Man of Mode Medley 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
2010–13 Matilda the Musical Miss Trunchbull Courtyard Theatre
9 November 2010 – 30 January 2011
Cambridge Theatre
25 October 2011 – July 2012
Shubert Theatre
4 March 2013 – 1 September 2013
2011 Damned By Despair Enrico National Theatre
2015 Bakkhai Pentheus, Agave Almeida Theatre
2015 The Hairy Ape Yank The Old Vic
2016 Splendid's Policeman Trafalgar Studios
Rehearsed reading
2017–19 Ink Rupert Murdoch Almeida Theatre
17 June – 5 August 2017
Duke of York's Theatre
9 September 2017 – 6 January 2018
Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
2 April 2019 – 7 July 2019
2022 The 47th Donald Trump The Old Vic
29 Mar - 28 May 2022
2023 Pygmalion Henry Higgins The Old Vic

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


Year Title Role
2009 The Screwtape Letters Wormwood



Year Award Category Work Result Ref
2008 Laurence Olivier Award Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical Parade Nominated [24]
2011 Evening Standard Theatre Award Best Actor Matilda the Musical Nominated [25]
2012 Laurence Olivier Award Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical Won [6]
2013 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Nominated [26]
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical Won [27]
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated [28][29]
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical Nominated [30][31]
2017 Evening Standard Theatre Award Best Actor Ink Nominated [32]
2018 Laurence Olivier Award Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play Won [33]
2019 Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play Won [34]
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role in a Play Nominated [35]


Year Award Category Work Result Ref
2023 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series The Crown Pending [36]

See also


  1. ^ 73rd Tony Awards (Television broadcast). New York City: CBS. 9 June 2019.
  2. ^ Kellaway, Kate (4 December 2011). "Bertie Carvel: 'The Trunch needs to be a tyrant over 5-year-olds'". The Guardian. London, UK.
  3. ^ "Damned by Despair programme", National Theatre, London, UK, October 2012
  4. ^ Profile Archived 5 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 14 September 2014.
  5. ^ a b Taylor, Paul (18 November 2005). "Coram Boy, National Theatre, Olivier, London". The Independent.
  6. ^ a b "Carvel Takes Home Best Actor". Olivier Awards. 15 April 2012. Archived from the original on 4 May 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  7. ^ "Evening Standard Theatre awards". London Evening Standard. 7 November 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Bertie Carvel: My Damned By Despair character is on a bender of violence". Metro. 9 October 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  9. ^ "Olivier Winner Bertie Carvel to Reprise Role as Evil Headmistress Miss Trunchbull in Matilda on Broadway". Broadway World. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  10. ^ "Nominations Announced for 67th Annual Tony Awards" Archived 21 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine,; 30 April 2013.
  11. ^ 2013 Drama Desk Nominations Announced - GIANT & HANDS ON A HARDBODY Lead with 9, Followed by MATILDA, PASSION & DROOD,; 29 April 2013.
  12. ^ Clapp, Susannah (2 August 2015). "Bakkhai review -Ben Whishaw and Bertie Carvel share the honours". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  13. ^ Sulcas, Roslyn (21 September 2017). "Writing Rupert, Playing Murdoch, Making 'Ink'". The New York Times.
  14. ^ "Bertie Carvel and Eddie Marsan to Star in BBC's JONATHAN STRANGE & MR NORRELL". Broadway World. 10 October 2013.
  15. ^ "Dalgliesh's Bertie Carvel says series is "about the first year of grief"".
  16. ^ Baker, Emily (24 November 2021). "Bertie Carvel on joining The Crown season 5: 'I can't tell the whole truth of Tony Blair'". INews. Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  17. ^ "Drama and Me: Bertie Carvel". Teaching Drama Magazine. London, UK. Spring 2011.
  18. ^ Smith, Alistair (15 July 2013). "Bertie Carvel among new faces elected to Equity committees". The Stage. London, UK.
  19. ^ Billen, Andrew (30 January 2020). "From Matilda to Agatha Christie: why Bertie Carvel is the great transformer". The Times. London, UK.
  20. ^ "Big Cats". BBC iPlayer. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Almeida - the Bakkhai - cast bios". Almeida. Archived from the original on 28 September 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  22. ^ Szalwinska, Maxie (20 June 2005). "My Party This Way/Faustus". The Guardian. London, UK.
  23. ^ Taylor, Paul (21 December 2006). "Coram Boy, National Theatre, London". The Independent.
  24. ^ "Olivier Winners 2008". Olivier Awards. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  25. ^ "Evening Standard theatre awards: pair win joint prize for Frankenstein roles". The Guardian. 20 November 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  26. ^ "The 2013 Tony Awards: The Complete Winners List". Vulture. 9 June 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  27. ^ "Matilda & Pippin Top Winners' List at 2013 Drama Desk Awards". Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  28. ^ "Drama League". Archived from the original on 1 November 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  29. ^ Cox, Gordon (23 April 2013). "Drama League Spreads the Wealth With 2013 Nominations". Variety. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  30. ^ Cox, Gordon (22 April 2013). "'Pippin' Hot With Outer Critics Circle Nominators". Variety. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  31. ^ "Pippin, Kinky Boots & Vanya Lead Winners' List for 2013 Outer Critics Circle Awards". Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  32. ^ Thompson, Jessie (4 December 2017). "These are the winners of the 2017 Evening Standard Theatre Awards". Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  33. ^ "Olivier Awards 2018". Olivier Awards. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  34. ^ "Winners". Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  35. ^ "Hadestown Leads Winners of 2019 Outer Critics Circle Awards". Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  36. ^ "Nominations Announced for the 30th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®" (Press release). Screen Actors Guild. 10 January 2024. Retrieved 10 January 2024.