19 October 1944
Morriston, Swansea, Wales
|Years active||1979 –|
|Awards||Helen Hayes Award
Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Non-Resident Production
1997 A Midsummer Night's Dream – Bottom
For some years he was a regular in repertory at the Grand Theatre, Swansea.
He has also starred in productions of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and has appeared at the Chichester Festival Theatre, and the Royal National Theatre. More recently he appeared in The History Boys at Wyndham's Theatre portraying the general studies teacher, Hector, made famous by Richard Griffiths in the film version.
On 7 July 2008, he took over the role of The Wizard from Nigel Planer in the West End production of Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. Originally set to begin 9 June, his performance had to be postponed to undergo an operation. He played his last performance on 9 May 2009 and was replaced by Sam Kelly. Barrit returned to the role for select performances in July and August 2009 while Kelly was out on medical leave. He shared the part with understudy Sean Needham.
His next stage appearance was in the Glyndebourne Festival Opera production of The Fairy Queen, where he combined the singing role of the drunken poet with the spoken role of Bottom - a part he has also played in its Shakespearian original.
Beginning 12 December 2011, he returned to Wicked, reprising his role of the Wizard, taking over from Clive Carter. He is contracted to end his third return engagement with the show on 7 July 2012 (four years after his debut), to be replaced three weeks later by Keith Bartlett.
Selected theatre credits
The Habit of Art The Fairy Queen (Glyndebourne/Paris/New York); Wicked (West End); The History Boys; Stuff Happens; A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum; Mountain Giants; The Recruiting Officer; The Wind in the Willows; Three Men on a Horse; Jacobowsky and the Colonel; The Magistrate (National Theatre); 'Falstaff' in Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 (Olivier nomination); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Helen Hayes Award); The Comedy of Errors (Olivier Award); King Lear; The Man Who Came to Dinner; The Tempest (Clarence Derwent Award); Twelfth Night; Macbeth; The Constant Couple (RSC); The History Boys; Accidental Death of an Anarchist; Real Inspector Hound/Black Comedy; Dubarry; The Scarlett Pimpernel; Eurydice; Three Men on a Horse; The Lair; A View from the Bridge; This is a Chair; Then Again; The Chinese Wolf; The Three Musketeers; HMS Pinafore; Twelfth Night (London); The Merchant of Venice; On the Razzle; Fortune's Fool (Chichester Festival Theatre); My Fair Lady (Hollywood Bowl); She Stoops to Conquer (Royal Exchange, Manchester) and The Birthday Party (Royal Exchange, Manchester).
Selected television roles
|1979||Follow the Star||Shepherd||First television role|
|1991||Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor||Samuel Naughton|
|1998||Alice Through the Looking-Glass||Humpty Dumpty|
|1999||A Christmas Carol||Ghost of Christmas Present||Television film|
|Oliver Twist||Mr. Flinders||Television mini-series|
|2007||Northanger Abbey||Mr Allen|
- Rees, Jasper (2007-12-31). "The History Boys: The school trip of a lifetime". London: The Telegraph online. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
- "Desmond Barrit to Join Wicked in June". Broadway.com. 2008-03-24. Archived from the original on 2008-04-01. Retrieved 2008-03-25.