'Bridgerton' stars who got their start in West End theatre
If you’re anything like us — no matter where you live or what you’re dealing with — Bridgerton on Netflix is exactly the escapism you’ve been looking for. It’s funny and sexy and beautiful and dramatic and most of all, theatrical. Before you jump into your second (or third, there’s no judgement here) rewatch of the romance novel meets Shonda Rhimes masterpiece, take a look at the thespians walking among the ballroom.
Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton in Bridgerton
A standout on the British stage, Luke Thompson has had audiences talking for years, starring as Edgar opposite Ian McKellen’s King Lear and as Laertes opposite Andrew Scott’s Hamlet. He’s also led a totally remiagined adaptation of Oresteia and performed alongside Indira Varma in Tiger Country which unfortunately for everyone involved keeps reminding us of Tiger King every time we think about it. Anyways, he was supposedly great in it! Tiger Country, not Tiger King. Luke Thompson will star in A Little Life in the West End in 2023.
Book A Little Life tickets on London Theatre.
Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in Bridgerton
Before playing Colin, the third Bridgerton brother, Luke Newton charmed audiences in The Book of Mormon. He understudied Elder Price in the original West End cast. After time away from the stage, Newton will now star in Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things.
Book The Shape of Things tickets on London Theatre.
Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury in Bridgerton
Adjoa Andoh is British stage and screen royalty. She’s stood under the spotlights at the National Theatre and has performed in everything from A Streetcar Named Desire to The Vagina Monologues.
If while you were watching Bridgerton you were thinking “I could listen to Lady Danbury read the telephone book” (kids, telephone books are physical books we used to use to find our friend’s phone number) then have we got good news for you: you don’t need to listen to her read the telephone book because we have iPhones now and you can listen to Andoh read audio dramas like Planet B and novels like The Power.
She's set to star and direct Richard III at Rose Theatre Kingston.
Book Richard III tickets on London Theatre.
Ben Miller as Lord Featherington in Bridgerton
Just a quick tip: when you ask yourself “Why do I recognise this man?” and then realise it’s because he’s in the 2004 hit (in your heart) film The Prince and Me, it’s probably time to take a trip to the ol’ Wikipedia. Beyond literally creating his own sketch show called The Armstrong & Miller Show, Ben Miller got his start in a comedy troupe that performed at the Gate Theatre Studio in Notting Hill. He then performed in college — along Rachel Weisz, no big deal — and in 2011, he originated the role of Louis in the West End in the play adaptation of The Ladykillers.
Bessie Carter as Prudence Featherington in Bridgerton
Prudence may not have a lot of suitors, but Bessie Carter has a lot of starring roles. Not sure that made as much sense as intended, but you get what we mean. Since performing in shows at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Carter has been cast in two epic plays with epic casts at The Old Vic: she was in King Lear alongside Glenda Jackson and All My Sons alongside Sally Field.
Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton
Even with her crazy schedule of sitting around and side-eyeing people whilst wearing wigs taller than her actual body, the Queen still has time to be a theatre legend! Okay don’t be silly, let’s not give the credit to the Queen but to Golda Rosheuvel herself. Here’s a few of the shows Rosheuvel has starred in on the West End and beyond: Porgy and Bess, Macbeth, A Christmas Carol, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Angels in America, and as a lesbian Othello in Othello. Bye the real Queen, Rosheuvel is here.
Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton in Bridgerton
If you’re feeling icky about every single part of Anthony Bridgerton, may we suggest you find some joy in every single other performance and interview Jonathan Bailey has ever done. Beyond his roles in shows like Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Crashing and Broadchurch, Bailey is a breath control king with an Olivier Award. In 2018 he starred as Jamie in Company in the West End (hello Olivier); he’s also been another Jamie (we’ll admit, this one’s got some Anthony energy) in The Last Five Years with Samantha Barks. Other roles stage include American Psycho, King Lear, and Gavroche in Les Misérables in 1997 which is such a cute fact and an argument for why time travel needs to be a thing starting now. He then starred in COCK alongside Taron Egerton.
Julie Andrews as Lady Whistledown in Bridgerton
We can’t even make a queen joke because Julie Andrews transcends beyond monarchical verbiage, into a world which only she can enter because she’s the only pure and good thing that exists. Getting to listen to Andrews gossip in her perfect accent while hot people engage in hot behaviour on screen? Bridgerton is a true gift.
If you only know Andrews from her critical hits like The Princess Diaries and The Princess Diaries 2 — that’s okay. But we just need to know that you know that she is the theatre. There’s The Sound of Music, The King & I, and Mary Poppins on screen, and onstage there’s her Broadway debut in 1954, her originating the role of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, as well as lead roles in Camelot and Victor/Victoria. And of course because she’s Julie Andrews, she received Tony Award nominations for all three of those Broadway performances.
Kathryn Drysdale as Genevieve Delacroix in Bridgerton
Like her character Genevieve Delacroix, Kathryn Drysdale is really good at her job and seems to know everyone. Along with the entire starry cast of Bridgerton, she counts James McAvoy (in The Ruling Class on the West End), David Tennant (in Love’s Labour’s Lost at the Royal Shakespeare Company), Tobias Menzies (in The Recruiting Officer at Donmar Warehouse), and more stage and screen faves as her costars.
Martins Imhangbe as Will Mondrich in Bridgerton
Martins Imhange was Happy Loman to Wendall Pierce’s Willy Loman! He was Happy Loman to Sharon D. Clarke’s Linda Loman! For those of you that got to see this Death of a Salesman cast on the West End in 2019: we’ll take care of the time travel if you can take care of securing us some tickets.
Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton
Don’t you wish you could watch Nicola Coughlan in everything forever? At least we’ve got Bridgerton and Derry Girls until we’re able to see her magic onstage. Coughlan’s first big role in a theatre was the result of an open casting call which is like our favorite path to stardom ever; she auditioned for The Old Vic romcom play Jess and Joe Forever and when she took the stage in 2016, her whole life and our lives changed for the better. She’s since made her West End debut in the play The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and even though we don’t know her personally (yet), we’re so proud of her.
Regé-Jean Page as Simon Basset in Bridgerton
We have theatre to thank for Regé-Jean Page making his way into our eyeballs and hearts forever. After attending Drama Centre London, in 2015, he was cast in The Merchant of Venice as Solanio opposite Jonathan Pryce’s Shylock.
Ruth Gemmell as Lady Violet Bridgerton in Bridgerton
Mama Bridgerton! We love her. And we love Ruth Gemmell. Gemmell has spent countless hours onstage in classics like Uncle Vanya, Othello, The Importance of Being Earnest, King Lear, and more. It’s no wonder she fits perfectly into the history and magic of Bridgerton.
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