Blake Ritson

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Blake Ritson
Born Blake Adam Ritson
January 1978 (1978-01) (age 36)
Occupation actor
Years active 1996-present
Partner(s) Hattie Morahan

Blake Ritson (born January 1978[1]) is an English actor and director.

Early life[edit]

Ritson attended the Dolphin School in Reading, Berkshire until 1993, before going to St Paul's School in West London on an academic scholarship. He then attended Jesus College, Cambridge,[2] where he studied English and Medieval Italian, graduating in 2000.[3][4] While a student he acted on both stage and screen,[5] playing Paul Etheridge in White Chameleon, Fleance in Macbeth, and Augustus in Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia (1996) at the National Theatre in productions directed by Richard Eyre and Trevor Nunn.[3]

Career[edit]

Ritson is best known in recent years for portraying King Edward III in the TV miniseries World Without End (2012), the Duke Of Kent in Upstairs Downstairs (2010-2012), Mr Elton in the BBC 2009 adaptation of Emma and Edmund Bertram in the 2007 ITV adaptation of Mansfield Park,[6] Giles Vicary in the BBC series Red Cap and for playing sidekick Robert Presley in A Touch of Frost.[7] He also played the part of Justin in The League of Gentlemen, Idek in God on Trial, and the comic lead in For Elsie, an Oscar winning short film, which he also co-produced. He also played the main antagonist in David Goyer’s Da Vinci’s Demons (2013).

Ritson writes and directs with his older brother, Dylan Ritson.[8] The Ritson brothers' latest short film, Love Hate, starring Ben Whishaw and Hayley Atwell was completed in May 2009 and was selected for the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Palm Springs Film Festival, London BFI Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Foyle, Omaha, Encounters, Berkshire International Film Festival, Sofia Film Fest (Bulgaria), Tofifest International Film Festival (Poland), West Hollywood International, LA Shorts Fest, Short Shorts Film Festival (Japan). It was the winner of the Jury Award at Palm Springs International Shortsfest and won the Best International Short award at Cinema St. Louis Film Festival. "Crisply shot and superbly acted, it's also a sly comment on repression and everyday insanity. It will be great to see what the Ritsons do next." (Empire)

The brothers first directed the short film Out of Time. Starring Mark Heap and Raquel Cassidy, the film won the Global Audience Award at the first CON-CAN Movie Festival[9] and was runner up at Minimalen and the Berlin Film Festival. It also screened at the London, San Paulo and Dresden film festivals. Their second short film, More More More, starring The League of Gentlemen's Mark Gatiss, was a runner-up in the Turner Classic Movies Competition. Their third film, shot in 2009 with Hayley Atwell as Hate, was entitled Love Hate.[10] The Ritson brothers have also shot a fourth short film, Good Boy, starring Jessica Hynes (née Stevenson), Reece Shearsmith, Nicholas Burns, Joanna Page and Blake Ritson's fiancee Hattie Morahan.[11]

The Ritson Brothers were selected for the front cover of Screen International's Stars Of Tomorrow 2009.

Ritson played the banjolele on Douglas Hodge's 2006 album Cowley Road Songs,[12] which was recorded in four days at the Blue Moon Studios in Banbury. He describes the banjolele as "a hybrid instrument between a ukulele and a banjo; teamed up with the gazoo it’s a winning combination."[3]

Personal life[edit]

Ritson is the brother of Dylan Ritson, with whom he directs and writes. Dylan also attended Cambridge, where he wrote and directed plays for Footlights and the Edinburgh Festival which received numerous awards and excellent reviews in the national press.[5]

Ritson's fiancée is the stage and screen actress Hattie Morahan, who was also the costume designer and script supervisor on one of the films he and his brother directed.[13]

Selected credits[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1996 Breaking the Code Christopher Morcom TV
Different for Girls Young Prentice
1997 Knight School Sir Roger de Courcey TV (2 episodes)
1999 Shooting the Past Nick TV
Titus Mutius
2000 The League of Gentlemen Justin Smart TV (2 episodes)
2001 London's Burning Dermot TV (2 episodes)
Me Without You Tim
Urban Gothic Dave Matthews TV (1 episode: "The End")
Red Cap Lt. Giles Vicary TV
2002 A Box Delivery Boy Short
The Cicerones Guide 1 'Foreign' Short
AKA Alexander Gryffoyn
2003 Adventure Inc. Byron Haycroft TV (1 episode: "Angel of St. Edmunds")
Red Cap Giles Vicary TV (12 episodes)
2004 Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King Angelo Voice
2005 If... Ben Swales TV (1 episode: "If...We Stopped Giving Aid to Africa")
Strauss: The Waltz King Older Johann Strauss II TV
The Bill Gavin Murray TV (1 episode: "374")
2006 The Romantics Percy Bysshe Shelley TV
Casualty Daniel Tasker TV (1 episode: "Worlds Apart")
The Inspector Lynley Mysteries Graham Marshall TV (1 episode: "Chinese Walls")
Killzone: Liberation Colonel Cobar Voice
A Touch of Frost D.C. Robert Presley TV (1 episode: "Endangered Species")
2007 Mansfield Park Edmund Bertram TV
The Commander: The Devil You Know John Littlewood TV
2008 God on Trial Idek TV
RocknRolla Johnny Sloane
2009 Love Hate Rob Short
Emma Mr. Elton TV (4 episodes)
Dead Man Running Jarvis
2010 Upstairs Downstairs The Duke of Kent TV (2 episodes)
2011 The Crimson Petal and the White Bodley TV (3 episodes)
2011 El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron Enoch Voice
2011 For Elsie Glenn Short
2012 Upstairs Downstairs The Duke of Kent TV (6 episodes)
2012 World Without End Edward III TV (8 episodes)
2013 Da Vinci's Demons Girolamo Riario TV (7 episodes)

Stage[edit]

  • Rope - Brandon (Almeida, dir. Roger Michell)
  • Tender - (Donmar Warehouse, dir. Seth Sklar-Heyn)
  • Violet - Mio (Royal Court, dir. Indu Rubasingham)
  • Love Is Blind - Manolito Trevelez (Royal Court, dir. Nathalie Abrahami)
  • The Importance of Being Earnest - Jack Worthing (ADC Theatre, 1999, dir. Phillip Breen)
  • Arcadia - Septimus (Bristol Old Vic, dir. Rachel Kavanaugh)
  • HappyTime Park - Xavier (Riverside Studios, devised and dir. Dylan Ritson)
  • In Praise of Love - Joey (Theatre Royal Bath, dir. Deborah Bruce)
  • Arcadia - Augustus (Theatre Royal Haymarket, - National Theatre/Michael Codron - dir. Trevor Nunn)
  • Macbeth - Fleance (National Theatre, Olivier, dir. Richard Eyre)
  • White Chameleon - Paul Etheridge (National Theatre, Cottesloe, dir. Richard Eyre)
  • The Luke Files - Bartholomew (RT Productions, dir. Paul McKusker)
  • Romeo and Juliet - Benvolio (Immersive, dir. Mark Rosenblatt)

Radio and Voice Over Work[edit]

  • Publish and be Damn'd - Argyle (BBC Radio 4, Ellen Dryden)
  • The Go-Between - Hugh Trimingham (BBC Radio 3, Matt Thompson)
  • Gods And Monsters - Hurmzid (Big Finish, Ken Bentley)
  • The Diary of Samuel Pepys - Edward Montagu (BBC Radio 4, Kate McAll)
  • Doctor Who - Foe from the Future - Shibac (Big Finish, Ken Bentley)
  • Freud: The Case Histories: The Wolf Man - Sergei Pankejeff (BBC Radio 4, Nadia Molinari)
  • Richard II - Henry Bolingbroke (BBC Radio 4, Jessica Dromgoole and Jeremy Mortimer)
  • Money - Evelyn (BBC Radio 3, Samuel West)
  • The American Senator - John Morton (BBC Radio 4, Tracey Neale)
  • Poetry Please - Various Roles (BBC Radio 4, Christine Hall)
  • Death in Genoa - Dr. Carlo Bazzani (Independent Drama, written Thomas Wright)
  • The Absolutist - Reader (BBC Book at Bedtime, dir. Heather Larmour)
  • Saint Joan - Charles (BBC Radio 3, dir. Jonquil Panting)
  • Sunk - Bert Selphin (BBC Radio 4, dir. Gemma McMullan)
  • Leverage - David (BBC Radio 4, dir. Sasha Yevtushenko)
  • A Month in the Country - Moon (BBC Radio 4, dir. David Hunter)
  • The Far Pavilions - Ash (BBC Radio 4, dir. Jessica Dromgoole and Marc Beeby)
  • With Great Pleasure - Reader (BBC Radio 4, dir. Christine Hall)
  • Two on a Tower - Swithin St.Cleeve (BBC Radio 4, dir. Stefan Escreet)
  • Vincent Price and the Horror of the English Blood Beast - (BBC Radio 4, dir. Sam Hoyle)
  • The Wings of the Dove - (BBC Radio 4, dir. Nadia Molinari)
  • The Killing - (BBC Radio 4, dir. Sasha Yevtushenko)
  • The Man Who Shot the 60s - (BBC4, dir. Linda Brusasco)
  • Six Windows of the Muslim World - (Crescent Films, dir. Ned Williams)
  • Dragon Quest VIII - Journey of the Cursed King - Video game
  • Xenoblade Chronicles - Video game (Alvis)
  • The Last Story - Video game (Jirall)
  • Killzone: Liberation - Video game
  • Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire - Video game
  • Babel - Video game
  • Dark Souls - Video game (Griggs of Vinheim)
  • The Divine Comedy - Dante the Poet (BBC Radio 4, dir. Stephen Wyatt)

References[edit]

External links[edit]