What's next for: Hugh Bonneville

Tea Time Tidbit for the week of April 25, 2016


Heather and Hugh, on the streets
of London a few summers ago

Last week we took a look at what Lady Mary, actress Michelle Dockery, has been up to since Downton Abbey ended. This week, it’s her on-screen dad’s turn.

Hugh Bonneville, who played Lord Grantham in the series that had us glued to our living room couches on wintery Sunday nights for the last six years, has returned to his first love, that of a stage actor. For the first time in a dozen years he’s taken on a stage role, when he appears as the lead character, Dr. Stockmann, in Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People at the Chichester Festival Theatre. The play, which just opened, runs through May 21st and you can see Bonneville talking about the play and his role here:

Bonneville’s acting career began at an early age, when he was a member of the National Youth Theatre. Instead of going to straight to drama school though, he studied Theology at Cambridge. Bonneville then attended Webber Douglas Drama School and got his first professional role in 1986 in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Open Air Theatre, in Regent’s Park. It was a minor role, where he recalls "bashing a cymbal", but he also understudied Ralph Fiennes in the part of Lysander. From there he joined the National Theatre and then fulfilled his boyhood dream by becoming a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. That was in 1991. His last stage appearance was in 2004 in a play at The Old Vic directed by Kevin Spacey.

Bonneville last acted at The Chichester Festival Theatre in 1996, which is something of a surprise, given that it’s located not far from where he lives in West Sussex with his wife Lulu and teenage son Felix.


Viceroy’s House


Later this year we’ll be seeing Bonneville back on our television screens, when he appears in the second Hollow Crown series as Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester in Henry VI: Part 1. Also, look out this year for the film Viceroy’s House. It’s set in 1947 and stars Bonneville as Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy, charged with handing India back to its people. Actress Gillian Anderson plays Lady Mountbatten and the film also stars Simon Callow and Michael Gambon.


Talking of films, there’s no word yet on the rumor that there’ll be a film version of Downton Abbey. Bonneville reportedly says though he doesn’t see why not and that he’d be up for it should the opportunity arise and they could get everyone together. Stay tuned!

To contact Heather:
E-mail: heather@mpt.org
Address: Afternoon Tea
Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Blvd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117

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Afternoon Tea is Maryland Public Television's weekday presentation of British programs.
Our host and Tea Lady is Heather Sanderson.
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