Simon Russell Beale

Simon Russell Beale CBE was born in Penang, British Malaya in 1961. After graduating with a first in English at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, he later studied at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Russell Beale started his London theatre career at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) where he performed in such plays as The Man of Mode by George Etherege and Restoration by Edward Bond. In 1990, Russell Beale received commendation at the first Ian Charleson Awards for his performances in The Seagull, Troilus and Cressida and title role of Edward II, all of which were at the RSC. Later, Russell Beale performed in The Duchess of Malfi (1995), as Ariel in The Tempest (1994), as Iago in Othello (1997) at the Royal National Theatre, as Malvolio in Twelfth Night (2002) at the Donmar Warehouse and as title role in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, alongside Helen McCrory and Mark Strong. This performance earned him the Laurence Olivier Award. Other National Theatre appearances include Volpone, Jumpers and the lead role in Humble Boy which was written especially for him. He also appeared as Joseph Stalin in Collaborators at the National in 2011 alongside Alex Jennings.

In 2005 Russell Beale appeared as Cassius in Julius Caesar opposite Ralph Fiennes at the Barbican, later that year he played the title role of Macbeth at the Almeida Theatre, following which he played King Arthur in Monty Python’s Spamalot at the Palace Theatre. It was his performance in Candide in 1999 that won him the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. In 2013 Russell Beale appeared in Harold Pinter’s The Hothouse at the Trafalgar Studios, alongside John Smith and directed by Jamie Lloyd.

Outside the theatre Russell Beale has appeared in many television and film roles, namely as Baker’s Father in Into the Woods (2014), Mr Frum in The Legend of Tarzan (2016) as Falstaff in BBC’s Henry IV, Part I and Part II for which he won the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor. In 2014, Russell Beale was honoured as the Cameron Mackintosh Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford University.

In 2015 Russell Beale returns to stage playing title character Samuel Foote in Mr Foote’s Other Leg at the Hampstead Theatre that later transferred to the Theatre Royal Haymarket. This performance received much acclaim and five star reviews. Following this he will perform as Prospero in The Tempest with the Royal Shakespeare Company in November 2016.  

Selected London & West End Stage Appearances

Show Role Theatre Year Link
The Tempest Prospero   2016  
Mr Foote's Other Leg Samuel Foote Theatre Royal Haymarket 2015 Review
The Hothouse Roote Trafalgar Studios One 2013 Review
Collaborators Joseph Stalin Olivier 2012 Review
Deathtrap Sidney Bruhl Noel Coward 2010 Review
Bridge Project- Cherry Orchard/ Winter's Tale Lopakhin / Leontes Old Vic 2009  
Alchemist Face Olivier 2006  
Julius Caesar Cassius Barbican 2005 Review
Uncle Vanya Uncle Vanya Donmar Warehouse 2002 Review
Twelfth Night Malvolio Donmar Warehouse 2002 Review
Humble Boy Felix Humble Cottesloe 2001 Review
Candide Voltaire/ Pangloss Olivier 1999 Review
Duchess of Malfi Ferdinand Wydham's 1995  


Shows Featuring Simon Russell Beale

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