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I was delighted to meet Charles Edwards after his superb performance as Bertie (King George VI) in the stage version of The King's Speech at the Nottingham Theatre Royal in February 2012. Charles is a fantastic stage actor, and it was thrill to watch him perform his amazingly difficult role. Easy-going, affable and totally charming, Charles was a joy to meet!
Charles Edwards in Coming Home
The Patient's Eyes
Charles Edwards in Monarch of the Glen
Charles Edwards in The Shell Seekers
Charles Edwards as Paul Malloy in Mistresses
As Ned Fitzroy in Midsomer Murders (2008)
Charles Edwards & Eve Best in
Charles Edwards & Judi Dench in
Charles Edwards, David Ryall & Simon Callow
Edwards with Janie Dee in The Apple Cart
Charles Edwards & Janet McTeer in
Charles Edwards & Geoffrey Church in
Charles Edwards & Leo McKern in
Rumpole of the Bailey
Charles Edwards in Loved Up
The Importance of Being Ernest
Charles Edwards made his professional debut as Charles Condomine in the No
The Duchess of Malfi
His stage career really took off though, when he was cast as Antonio Bologna in the National Theatre's modern-dress production of Webster's Jacobean tragedy The Duches of Malfi in 2003, with Janet McTeer ast
as The Duchess.
in Private Lives
Charles Edwards & Greta Scacchi
in Much Ado About Nothing
Charles Edwards as Don Pedro
In 2005, Edwards was a member of the Peter Hall Company which produced four plays staged that year at the Theatre Royal in Bath. Hew
In 2006, he played Sandy Tyrrell in Hall's production of Hay Fever at
He was cast as Don Pedro in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Victor in Coward's Private Lives, with smaller roles in Beckett's Waiting for Godot and Shaw's You Never Can Tell.
at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, with Judi Dench and Peter Bowles, before landing a role of great significance - that of Richard Hannay in Patrick Barlow's spoof comic adaptation for the stage, of John Buchan's The 39 Steps. This Olivier Award winning production began at the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn before transferring to the Criterion Theatre in the West End. In January 2008, the show made its US Broadway premiere at the American Airlines
Charles Edwards & Kim Medcalf in Hay Fever
Airlines Theatre, and later moving on to the Cort Theatre. Edwards again played Richard Hannay in these productions, the only actor from the UK cast to do so.
Charles Edwards was born in 1969, at Haslemere in Surrey, and lived in Grayshott. He is the youngest of four brothers. He went to Amesbury School in Hindhead, where he became interested in acting after being cast as the King in King Cole and the Birthday Cake! On leaving school, he went to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating from there in 1992.
Although his first role was as a police officer in the TV series Rumpole of the Bailey (1992), and was followed by TV Movies
Movies Loved Up (1995); In Your Dreams (1996) and Coming Home (1998), it was as a stage actor that Charles Edwards went on to build a formidable reputation.
Noel Coward comedy Blithe Spirit in 1993. He later played Algernon Moncrieff in the English Touring Theatre's production of The Importance of Being Ernest in 1995; Fleminghar
Fleming Harvey in Somerset Maugham's satirical comedy Our Betters at the Chichester Festiv
Charles Edwards & Rupert Degas in The 39 Steps
Charles Edwards as Richard Hannay
in The 39 Steps
Charles Edwards & Jennifer Ferrin in
in The 39 Steps
Festival in 1997, and George in Arthur Miller's All My Sons at the National Theatre in 2001.
Charles Edwards' next role was as King Magnus in Shaw's satirical play The Apple Cart, directed by Sir Peter Hall at Bath in 2009. This ran concurrently with the
the Bath production of The Browning Version in which Charles played Frank Hunter. This play also had a short tour to Malvern, Kingston
Less successful was the Hall directed farce Where There's a Will (an adaptation of the French comedy Le Syste
Where There's a Will
Charles Edwards & Sara Stewart in
Systeme Ribadier) at the Rose Theatre, Kingston. Edwards' character Ribadier, is a poitician with an interest in hypnotism!
In 2010, Edwards appeared again at the Rose Theatre in another play directed
by Hall. This time, in complet
contrast, he played Oberon alongside Judi Dench's Titania, in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Next came the one-act sexy comedy Wanderlust at the Royal Court Theatre. Charles Edwards is cast as Stephen Moore
Moore who visits an 'old flame', GP Joy Richards (Pippa Heywood) as he has 'a private problem'! With Joy's whole family having their sexual problems as well, the plot becomes extremely full of complications!
in Twelfth Night
Charles Edwards & Pippa Heywood
Much Ado About Nothing
There were two important Shakespearian roles for Charles
Charles Edwards in 2011. In Twelfth Night at the National Theatre he excelled as the foppish Sir Andrew Aguecheek, opposite Simon Callow as Sir Toby Belch, and Sir Peter Hall's daughter Rebecca, as Viola. Then in Much Ado About Nothing at the Globe Theatre, he gave another superb performance as Benedick (alongside Eve Best as Beatrice) in a production directed by Jeremy Herrin. This ran at the same time as David Tennant and Catherine Tate appeared in the same play at Wyndhams Theatre and brought the inevitable comparisons from the critics. The Globe's more traditional version received 'rave reviews' whilst the Wyndham's more up-to-date populist version was not to everybody's taste.
In 2012, Charles Edwards played Bertie (King George VI) in David Seidler's stage version of the multi-award winning film The King's Speech. I saw his amazing performance when the play came to Nottingham as part of its tour, before it is staged at the Wyndham's Theatre in London's West End during the Jubilee year. The wonderful cast included Jonathan Hyde, Ian McNeice, Emma Fielding and Joss Ackland.
Charles Edwards & Jonathan Hyde in The King's Speech
Charles signed this photo to me when I met him after his
performance in The King's Speech
Peter Bowles & Charles Edwards in
The Browning Version
Away from the theatre, Charles Edwards has had roles in several films including Yates in Jane Austin's Mansfield Park (1999); Phillip Bateman-Tobias in the Noel Coward comedy Relative Values (2000); an Executive for Wayne Enterprises in Batman Begins (2005) and Marcus Craigie-Halkett in the comedy drama The All Together (2007).
The All Together (2007)
Batman Begins (2005)
Mansfield Park (1999)
His TV work has been much more substantial, particularly in the series Murder Rooms: Mysteries of the Real Sherlock Holmes (2001). Starring as Arthur Conan Doyle oppositethelate
opposite the late Ian Richardson, Charles Edwards appeared in four of the series' five episodes. He has also made several guest appearances in other long-running
Charles Edwards as Conan Doyle in
The White Knight Strategem
Charles Edwards as Conan Doyle in
long-running TV series including Monarch of the Glen (2002); Mistresses (2008); Midsomer Murders (2008) and Waking the Dead (2011).
Bertie and Elizabeth (2002)
In 2002, Charles played David
David (King Edward VIII) in the TV movie Bertie and Elizabeth, a forerunner to The King's Speech in which he played Bertie in the stage produvtion. In other feature length TV movies, he was an MI9 Officer in Colditz (2005) and the ruthless and selfish Noel Keeling in the romantic drama The Shell Seekers (2006).
Charles Edwards' latest TV venture saw him cast asm
as Michael Palin ("the nicest man in Britain") in the TV movie Holy Flying Circus (2011). This recreates the problems faced in 1979 by the Monty Python comedy team
team after their film Monty Python's Life of Brian had offended Christians in America andt
and the UK, who called for it to be banned. Palin and John Cleese were persuaded to defend the film on a chat show where they win the argument against the Bishop of Southwark and Malcolm Muggeridge.
As Michael Palin in Holy Flying Circus
I look forward to seeing more performances from this fine British actor who (as this reviewer agrees) deserves to be much better known by a much wider audience:
My programme for The King's Speech has been
signed by Charles Edwards
"The fact that the always exceptional Charles Edwards is so woefully unknown should change henceforth thanks to his outstanding performance as Bertie, an often amusing, sometimes heartbreaking, constantly engaging king in the making, a man of rare high morals and decency. If film and theatre directors and producers are not queuing at his door to offer the finest of roles after this, then I shall personally be launching a strongly-worded letter-writing campaign!"
(from a review of The King's Speech in the Sussex Express)