Fenella Woolgar

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Fenella Woolgar is a British actress.

Life and career[edit]

The youngest daughter of Maureen (née McCann) and Michael Woolgar, her brother Dermot is a barrister and her sister Claudia works in the arts in Ireland. Her early years were spent in New Canaan, Connecticut, USA before the family returned to the UK in 1976. Her father worked as an economist for many years and the family travelled to Kuwait and Sharjah. Her mother is of Irish heritage. She was educated at Mayfield Convent, Durham University and then RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art). At University she directed Murder in the Cathedral in Durham Cathedral, acted and was a member of the Durham Revue.

She graduated from RADA in 1999 and on leaving did mostly theatre, particularly at the Royal Exchange, Manchester until she got her break in 2002 playing Agatha in Stephen Fry’s film Bright Young Things. She has subsequently gone on to work with Mike Leigh, Conor McPherson and Woody Allen. She played Agatha Christie in Doctor Who in 2008. She has recently worked in theatre at the National Theatre and The Old Vic. She won the Clarence Derwent Award for Best Supporting Actress in the West End in 2012. She is regularly heard on the radio and was nominated for Best Actress on the radio in 2013 for An American Rose in which she played Rosemary Kennedy. She played the title role in Mrs Dalloway for BBC Radio 4 and Edith Wharton in both The Jinx Element and Ethan Frome. She has narrated several audiobooks.[1]

She married Dr Robert Harland in 2006 and they have three children, Kit, born 2007; and Tristan and Gabriel, born 2009. She paints and speaks Italian.

Award nominations and Awards[edit]

She has been nominated for several awards including:

  • Best Supporting Actress Manchester Evening News Awards 2000 and 2001
  • Best Newcomer Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2003
  • Best Supporting Actress London Critics Circle 2003
  • Best Supporting Actress Empire Film Awards 2003
  • Best Supporting Actress British Independent Film Awards 2003
  • Best Actress BBC Radio Drama Awards 2013
  • Best Supporting Actress What’s on stage awards 2013
  • Best audio book of the year 2013 for Life After Life

She won the Clarence Derwent Award for Best Supporting Actress in the West End 2012


Year Title Director Character Format Notes
2000 Agatha Christie's Poirot Ellis TV series Episode: "Lord Edgware Dies"
2001 The Way We Live Now Lady Julia Monogram TV serial Episodes: 1 and 2
2002 AKA Sarah Feature film
2003 Bright Young Things Stephen Fry Hon. Agatha Runcible Feature film Nominated - British Independent Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer
Nominated - Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated - Empire Award for Best Newcomer
Nominated - London Film Critics Circle Award for British Supporting Actress of the Year
Eroica Princess Lobkowitz TV film
2004 He Knew He Was Right Arabella French TV mini-series
Stage Beauty Richard Eyre Lady Meresvale Feature film
Vera Drake Mike Leigh Susan's Confidante Feature film
2005 Wah-Wah Richard E Grant June Broughton Feature film
2006 Scoop Woody Allen Jane Cook Feature film
2007 Jekyll Min TV series
St. Trinian's Miss Cleaver Feature film
2008 Doctor Who Agatha Christie TV series Episode: "The Unicorn and the Wasp"
How to Lose Friends & Alienate People Bob Weide Post Modern Review Staff #3 Feature film
2009 St. Trinian's II: The Legend of Fritton's Gold Miss Cleaver Feature film
2010 BioShock 2[2] Sofia Lamb Video game Voice only
2010 Agatha Christie's Poirot Elizabeth Whittaker TV series Episode: "Hallowe'en Party
2010 You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Woody Allen Jane Feature film
2011 Case Histories Amelia Land TV series Episode: 1.1
2011 Cheerful Weather for the Wedding Donald Rice Nancy Dakin Feature film
2013 Spies of Warsaw Coky Giedroyc Lady Angela Hope TV Mini-series[3]
2013 Untitled 13 Mike Leigh Lady Elizabeth Eastlake Feature film


  • 2013 Margaret Thatcher (Mags) in Handbagged by Moira Buffini, Tricycle Theatre, London
  • 2013 Theresa in Circle Mirror Transformation, Royal Court Local Theatre, Rose Lipman Building, Haggerston, London
  • 2012 Thea Elvsted in Brian Friel's adaptation of Hedda Gabler, Old Vic, London
  • 2011 Madeleine, The Veil by Conor McPherson, National Theatre, London, directed by Conor McPherson
  • 2010 Charlotte, The Real Thing at the Old Vic, London
  • 2009 Madge, Time and the Conways, National Theatre, London directed by Rupert Goold
  • 2006 Helen, Motortown, Royal Court, London
  • 2005 Charlotte Brontë, Bronte, Shared Experience Theatre Company
  • 2004 Adela, Passage to India, Shared Experience Theatre Company
  • 2002 Helena, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Royal Exchange Manchester
  • 2002 Emma, Way Upstream, Derby Playhouse
  • 2001 Teresa How the Other Half Loves, Watford Palace Theatre
  • 2001 Eleanor, The Miser, Salisbury Playhouse
  • 2000 Celia, As You Like It, Royal Exchange Manchester
  • 2000 Kitty Verdun, Charley's Aunt, Sheffield Crucible
  • 2000 Lucy, Bring Me Sunshine, Royal Exchange Manchester
  • 1999 Varya, The Cherry Orchard, York Theatre Royal
  • 1994 Nelly, Playboy of the Western World, Bristol Old Vic

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fenella Woolgar". Audible.co.uk. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  2. ^ http://www.2kgames.com/cultofrapture/podcasts
  3. ^ "David Tennet's Blog". 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 

External links[edit]