I’m sure you’ve noticed over the years we’ve been running these "tidbits" about the wonderful actors you see each and every day on MPT that the large majority only started working in television after attending theatre school. For many actors, it seems the theatre still remains their main love and they take every available opportunity to tread the boards. In fact, Broadway has of late been invaded by an influx of British talent, many of whom I’m sure you’ll recognize...
Cush Jumbo for instance is appearing until February 8th in The River, alongside Hugh Jackman. She appeared as Detective Bethany Whelan in series 2 of the detective series Vera and Jumbo returns to the show in the recently completed series 5, which is due for broadcast later this year.
If you’re a Vera fan, then chances are you also enjoy the Masterpiece Mystery shows, the host of which is Alan Cumming, who currently plays the role of Emcee in Cabaret which was recently extended through March 29th.
Not to be left out, Masterpiece is also represented on Broadway this winter by Ruth Wilson who played the title role in Jane Eyre, Carey Mulligan who was in Bleak House and Worricker’s Bill Nighy. Wilson is in a show called Constellations and Mulligan and Nighy will be in Skylight, which opens March 16th.
Then there’s Ramin Karimloo, who did a magnificent job as Enroljas in Great Performance’s 24th Anniversary Concert of Les Miserables and is now starring as Jean Valjean in the Broadway revival production, which is ongoing.
Avid Downton Abbey fans (and who isn’t!) might recall the character of Mrs. Bartlett in Season 3 of the series: she was the character who played Anna’s friend who helped get Bates released. She was played by Clare Higgins, who is appearing in A Delicate Balance until February 22nd, alongside one of my favorite Scottish actresses, Sandy Duncan.
On 17th February, the Queen herself comes to Broadway, in the form of Helen Mirren, who will be appearing as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience, which runs until June 28th. As if Mirran’s regal presence wasn’t enough, the Royal Shakespeare Company will also be in town March through July when they’ll perform parts 1 and 2 of Wolf Hall.
If you can’t get to New York to see the stage production of Wolf Hall, the BBC 2/Masterpiece co-production of Wolf Hall, starring Damian Lewis as Henry VIII and Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell will air Sundays April 5-May 10. More about that later. In the meantime, if you hop a bus to NYC and catch any of the productions I’ve mentioned, be sure to linger after and let the actors know where you first saw them!
If you've got a favorite actor you'd like to know more about let me know, drop me a line.
To contact Heather:
Address: Afternoon Tea
Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Blvd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117