Born in County Kerry in Ireland in 1989, Jessie Buckley is an actress and singer, best known for her BAFTA-nominated performance in Wild Rose. She will play Sally Bowles in a site-specific adaptation of Cabaret opposite Eddie Redmayne as the Emcee.
A musical theatre career was somewhat in Buckley’s blood; her mother was a vocal coach. Continuing in the family footsteps, she was interested in the stage, often playing male roles in school productions. In 2008, Buckley auditioned for I’d Do Anything, a BBC reality show that sought an actress to play Nancy in Oliver! at Theatre Royal Drury Lane. She competed against Rachel Tucker, Niamh Perry and Samantha Barks, and came second, losing to Jodie Prenger.
Following the competition, Buckley attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, graduating in 2013. Shortly after, she appeared in The Tempest and Gabriel at Shakespeare’s Globe, before a stint in Henry V at the Noel Coward Theatre. In 2015, she played Perdita in Kenneth Branagh’s West End production of The Winter’s Tale.
More recently, Buckley has starred in musical films, including Wild Rose and Judy. She was set to play Juliet in the National Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet in summer 2020. Even though the production was cancelled, Buckley played Shakespeare’s protagonist in the televised adaptation, which premiered in April 2021. Read more about the National's filmed version of Romeo and Juliet here.
In November 2021, Buckley will play Sally Bowles in a new adaptation of Cabaret alongside Eddie Redmayne. Cabaret will take place at the Kit Kat Club, with Rebecca Frecknall directing.