Roger Allam

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Roger Allam
Roger Allam La Cage 120909 DSCF1622.JPG
Allam in 2009
Born(1953-10-26) 26 October 1953 (age 61)
Bow, London, England, United Kingdom
Years active1981–present
Spouse(s)Rebecca Saire
Children2 sons
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Roger Allam
Roger Allam La Cage 120909 DSCF1622.JPG
Allam in 2009
Born(1953-10-26) 26 October 1953 (age 61)
Bow, London, England, United Kingdom
Years active1981–present
Spouse(s)Rebecca Saire
Children2 sons

Roger Allam (born 26 October 1953) is an English actor, known primarily for his stage career, although he has performed in film, television and radio. He most famously played Inspector Javert in the original London production of the stage musical Les Misérables and Douglas Richardson in the award-winning radio series Cabin Pressure. Allam plays D.I. Fred Thursday in the television series Endeavour.

Life and career[edit]

Allam was born in Bow, London, England. He was educated at Christ's Hospital and Manchester University.[1] His father was vicar of St Mary Woolnoth.[2]

He has been nominated four times for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor, winning twice. He has also been nominated for, and won, the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor.

He played Mercutio, in the Royal Shakespeare Company, in 1983. He has also appeared in many radio dramas for the BBC. In 2001, he starred in BBC Radio 4's adaptation of Les Misérables, as Valjean. In 2000 he played Hitler at the Royal National Theatre in David Edgar's Speer. He won an Olivier Award as Best Actor 2001, for his role as Captain Terri Denis in a revival of Privates on Parade, opening in December 2001 at the Donmar Warehouse, Covent Garden. In November 2002 at the Comedy Theatre he co-starred with Gillian Anderson in Michael Weller's romantic comedy What the Night Is For.

In 2003, he starred as former West German federal chancellor Willy Brandt in Michael Frayn's play Democracy which opened at the Cottesloe Theatre, in the Royal National Theatre. He stayed with the show for its transfer to the West End. In December 2004 and January 2005, Allam appeared as the villainous Abanazar in a pantomime of Aladdin at the Old Vic theatre, co-starring Ian McKellen, Maureen Lipman and Sam Kelly. He reprised this role at the Old Vic, once again with Ian McKellen and Frances Barber in 2006–07. In August 2005, Allam appeared in Blackbird by David Harrower alongside Jodhi May at the Edinburgh Festival in a production by German star director Peter Stein. The play got a transfer to the Albery Theatre in London in February 2006. Blackbird subsequently won a best new play award.

He also found time in 2006 to appear in Stephen Frears's movie The Queen, starring Oscar-winner Dame Helen Mirren, as the Queen's private secretary. In February 2007, he performed in the 1960s farce Boeing-Boeing at the Comedy Theatre in the West End, co-starring Mark Rylance, Frances de la Tour and Tamzin Outhwaite. In January 2007, he appeared for the first time as Peter Mannion MP in the special episode of the BBC comedy The Thick of It. He went on to reprise his role in the second special aired in July 2007 and in the extra 15-minute episode shown via the BBC red button. He has carried on with this role as a regular character in the subsequent series.

In 2008, Allam played the role of Max Reinhardt, the Salzburg Festival impresario in Michael Frayn's play Afterlife, the production staged by Michael Blakemore on the National Theatre's Lyttelton stage.[3] In 2009, Allam played Albin/Zaza in La Cage aux Folles at the Playhouse in London. Allam played Falstaff in Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2 at Shakespeare's Globe, in the 2010 season.[4] He won the Olivier Award for Best Actor.[5] In October 2010, Allam was reunitied with his former cast mates from Les Misérables in the 25th anniversary concert for a performance of "One Day More".

In April 2012 he starred as Uncle Vanya in the play by Anton Chekhov at the Chichester Festival Theatre. Since April 2013 he is starring as Prospero in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest at Shakespeare's Globe theatre in London[6] alongside Colin Morgan as Ariel. Allam presented Michael Frayn at the 2013 Olivier Awards with a Special Lifetime Award which was aired by ITV1. Allam has also reteamed with Stephen Frears in Tamara Drewe, the film version of Posy Simmond's popular comic strip. He plays the crime novelist Nicholas Hardiment, who is bewitched by London journalist Tamara Drewe, played by Gemma Arterton. In the closing chapter of his Timebends autobiography (1987) Arthur Miller writes of Allam: "To play the 1986 Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Archbishop's Ceiling, Roger Allam gave up the leading role as Javert in the monster hit Les Misérables because he had done it over sixty times and thought my play more challenging for him at that moment of his career. Nor did he consider his decision a particularly courageous one. This is part of what a theatre culture means and it is something few New York actors would have the sense of security even to dream of doing."

In August 2014, Allam was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.[7]



1979Mary BarnesLecturer/Angie's brotherRoyal Court Theatre
1981Twin RivalsSubtleman/Richmore
1981Two Gentlemen of VeronaOutlaw
1981Titus AndronicusDemetrius
1981, 1983All's Well That Ends WellMorganRoyal Shakespeare Theatre (1981) Martin Beck Theatre (1983)
1982Our Friends in the NorthConrad
1983The Charge of the Light Brigade (RSC Festival)Terence Gawain Hackett
1983Typhoid Mary (RSC Festival)Dr Soper
1984Romeo and JulietMercutio
1984A Midsummer Night's DreamTheseus/Oberon
1984Richard IIIClarence
1984TodayVictor Ellison
1984The PartyFord
1985The Dream PlayThe Officer
1985–1986Les MisérablesJavertBarbican Theatre (1985) Palace Theatre (1986)
1986The Archbishop's CeilingAdrian
1987Measure for MeasureThe Duke Vincentio
1987Twelfth NightSir Toby Belch
1987Julius CaesarBrutus
1989The Fairy QueenOberonAix-en-Provence Festival
1990The SeagullTrigorin
1990Much Ado About NothingBenedick
1991Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeJekyll
1992Madras HousePhilip MadrasLyric Hammersmith
1992Una PookaAngeloTricycle Theatre
1993City of AngelsStonePrince of Wales Theatre
1994ArcadiaBernard NightingaleTheatre Royal Haymarket
1995The Importance of Being EarnestJack WorthingOld Vic Theatre
1995The Way of the WorldMirabellNational Theatre
1997–1998ARTSerge(1997) Marc(1998)Wyndham's Theatre
1996The Learned LadiesTrissotin
1999SummerfolkBassovNational Theatre
1999MoneyHenry GravesNational Theatre
1999Troilus and CressidaUlyssesNational Theatre
2000The Cherry OrchardLopakhinNational Theatre
2000Albert SpeerAdolf HitlerNational Theatre
2001Privates on ParadeTerri DennisDonmar Warehouse
2002What The Night Is ForAdam PenziusComedy Theatre
2003The Woman in WhitePerformerSydmonton Festival
2003DemocracyWilly BrandtNational Theatre
2004, 2005AladdinAbbanazarThe Old Vic
2006BlackbirdRayAlbery Theatre
2006PravdaLambert Le RouxChichester Festival Theatre, Birmingham Repertory Theatre
2007Boeing, BoeingBernardComedy Theatre
2007The GiantLeonardo da VinciHampstead Theatre
2008AfterlifeMax ReinhardtNational Theatre
2009La Cage Aux FollesAlbin/ZazaPlayhouse Theatre
2009God of Carnage (UK Tour)Michel Vallon
2010Henry IV Parts 1 & 2FalstaffShakespeare's Globe
2013The TempestProsperoShakespeare's Globe


2003StrangersEricShort film
2005A Cock and Bull StoryAdrian
2006The Wind That Shakes the BarleySir John Hamilton
2006The QueenRobin Janvrin
2006V for VendettaLewis Prothero
2008Speed RacerE.P. Arnold Royalton
2010Tamara DreweNicholas Hardiment
2011Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger TidesHenry Pelham, Prime Minister of Great Britain
2011The Iron LadyGordon Reece
2012The Woman in BlackMr Bentley[9]
2012The Angels' ShareThaddeus
2013The Book ThiefNarrator/Death
2015Mr. HolmesFilming


1989Ending UpDr. MainwaringMade-for-television film
1989The fairy queenOberonMade-for-television film
1990The Investigation: Inside a Terrorist BombingCharles TremayneMade-for-television film
1992Shakespeare: The Animated TalesDuke Orsino / Narrator (voice)Television mini series; episodes "The Winter's Tale" and "Twelfth Night"
1994Screen TwoStephen SummerchildTelevision series; episode "A Landing on the Sun"
1998HeartbeatGraham HayesTelevision series; episode "Echoes of the Past"
1997Inspector MorseDenis CornfordTelevision series; episode "Death Is Now My Neighbour"
1998The CreativesCharlie BaxterTelevision series
1998Midsomer MurdersAlan HollingsworthTelevision series; episode "Faithful unto Death"
1999RKO 281Walt DisneyMade-for-television film
2002Foyle's WarAlastair GraemeTelevision series; episode "Eagle Day"
2003The Roman Spring of Mrs. StoneChristopherMade-for-television film
2005The Inspector Lynley MysteriesSimon FeatherstonehaughTelevision series; episode "The Seed of Cunning"
2007–2012The Thick of ItPeter MannionTelevision series
2006SpooksPaul MillingtonTelevision series
2008The Curse of SteptoeTom SloaneMade-for-television film
2009The Old GuysNedTelevision series; episode "The Therapist"
2009MargaretJohn WakehamMade-for-television film
2009Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of FireGeneral ArcadiusTelevision series
2009Ashes to AshesDetective Superintendent MackintoshTelevision series
2011Game of ThronesMagister Illyrio MopatisTelevision series
2012–EndeavourDetective Inspector Fred ThursdayTelevision film and series
2012Parade's EndGeneral CampionTelevision series
2013Sarah & DuckNarratorChildren's Television Series
2013The Politician's HusbandMarcus BrockBBC Two Three Part Drama
2014Bad EducationMaurice HewstonBBC Three Comedy



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