Louise Brealey

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Louise Brealey
Loobrealeyheadshot.jpg
Louise Brealey in 2009
Born (1979-03-27) 27 March 1979 (age 35)
Bozeat, Northamptonshire, England
Alma mater Kimbolton School
Cambridge University
Lee Strasberg Institute
Occupation Actress and Journalist
Years active 2001-present

Louise Brealey (born 27 March 1979), also credited as Loo Brealey, is an English actress, writer and journalist. She is best known for playing student nurse Roxanne Bird in Casualty, and Molly Hooper in Sherlock (Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss' adaption of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories.[1])

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Bozeat,[2] Northamptonshire, England. She attended Kimbolton School, proceeding to read History at Cambridge. She then trained at the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York City and with clown teacher Philippe Gaulier.

Writing[edit]

Brealey has written on cinema, art and music since her teens, contributing reviews and features for magazines including Premiere UK, Empire, Radio Times, SKY, The Face, Neon, AnOther and Total Film. She is the editor of Anarchy and Alchemy: The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky (Creation Books, 2007).

Until April 2009, Brealey was the deputy editor of Wonderland, interviewing Liv Tyler for the Feb/March cover.[3] Other features include the Pet Shop Boys[4] and art collective Gelitin.[5] A freelance Associate Producer, she has written documentary pitches for BBC Arts. In 2013 her first play Pope Joan[6] was performed by the National Youth Theatre.

Producing[edit]

In March 2012 Brealey produced, co-wrote and co-starred in The Charles Dickens Show, a children's comedy drama for BBC 2 starring Jeff Rawle, Rupert Graves, Neil Dudgeon, Nathaniel Parker, Lynda Baron, Honeysuckle Weeks, Rupert Young, Adjoa Andoh, Sam Kelly, Geoffrey Streatfeild, Fiona Button and Mariah Gale.

Acting[edit]

Screen[edit]

Brealey made her television debut as Nurse Roxy Bird in two series of BBC drama Casualty. She then played Judy Smallweed in the 2005 BBC adaptation of Bleak House. Terry Wogan took Judy and her snaggle-toothed grandfather Smallweed (Phil Davis) to heart, regaling Radio 2 listeners with regular renditions of Davis' catchphrase "Shake me up, Judy!". Brealey followed Bleak House with a comic turn as Anorak, Alistair MacGowan's black-bobbed sidekick, in the Sunday night comedy-drama Mayo, cancelled by the BBC after just one series. The show fared better on its US release in 2007, with The Hollywood Reporter comparing it to Moonlighting.

She has since appeared in Law and Order UK and the BBC's new 1950's remake of Father Brown with Mark Williams (2013).

Brealey plays pathologist [7] Molly Hooper in all three series of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss's television drama, Sherlock.[8]

Stage[edit]

Brealey made her stage debut in 2001 as 14-year-old Sophie in Max Stafford-Clark's production of Judy Upton's Sliding With Suzanne at London's Royal Court. The Daily Telegraph called her performance "a perfect poignant study of adolescence".

Her portrayal of child prodigy Thomasina in the Bristol Old Vic production of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia in 2005 was described as "excellent" by The Mail on Sunday, with The Daily Telegraph saying that "the evening belongs to Loo Brealey's Thomasina".

Next she starred in Dennis Kelly's award-winning two-hander After The End for Paines Plough, which opened in Russia before a hit Off-Broadway run in July 2006.[9]

Brealey has worked twice with Sir Peter Hall. First in 2007 on Simon Gray's Little Nell, in which she played the title role opposite Michael Pennington and Tim Pigott-Smith. Based on The Invisible Woman, Claire Tomalin's award-winning biography of Charles Dickens's mistress Ellen Ternan, Little Nell followed her story from 17 to 44 years old. Critics described Brealey's performance as "excellent" (The Daily Mail), "impressive" (The Stage), "highly compelling" (The Independent) and "astounding" (British Theatre Guide).

The following year, Hall cast her as Sonya in his critically acclaimed production of Uncle Vanya, which opened London's Rose Theatre. The Telegraph called hers "a name to watch" and The Independent compared her to Joan Fontaine in Rebecca. The Spectator said: "Brealey is the only performer who uncovers the pathetic poetry beneath the indolent superficialities. Her big disadvantage is that she’s too attractive for ‘plain’ Sonya, but she disguises this by suggesting a lack of sexual allure with awkward giggles, squirrelly movements and a stupefied beaming naivety. All brilliantly done..."

In 2011 she was the sex-mad, short-frocked daughter of Julian Barratt and Doon Mackichan at the Young Vic in Richard Jones's box-office smash Government Inspector.

Last year she appeared with Stephen Mangan in Joe Penhall's Birthday at the Royal Court, directed by Roger Michell; and played three lead roles - Cassandra, Andromache and Helen of Troy - in Caroline Bird's sold-out production of The Trojan Women at London's Gate Theatre.[8] The Times called her performances "electrifying" and The Guardian said she "pulled off a remarkable treble".

Brealey talked about the roles in the Evening Standard [10] and wrote a piece for The Times about the experience of going naked on stage.[11][12]

In February 2014 Brealey starred in August Strindberg's Miss Julie at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow. The play ran from the 6-15th of the month, was directed by Dominic Hill and adapted by Zinnie Harris. Harris moved the play to the 1920s, 40 years from Stindberg's original and set in the Highlands of Scotland. Brealey performed opposite Keith Fleming as John (Jean), with Jessica Hardwick as Christine, the only other characters to appear onstage.

Radio[edit]

Brealey played the role of Anna in Ed Harris' radio play The Wall, broadcast in Feb 2011.[13]

TV and film credits[edit]

List of roles in television and film
Year Title Role Notes
2002–2004 Casualty Roxanne Bird TV series (95 episodes)
2003 Tooth Faerie, TheThe Tooth Faerie Short film
2004 I Want You Short film
2005 Bleak House Judy Smallweed TV series (8 episodes)
2005 The English Harem Suzy TV film
2006 Mayo Harriet 'Anorak' Tate TV series (8 episodes); credited as Loo Brealey
2007 Green Abi TV film; credited as Loo Brealey
2008 Hotel Babylon Chloe TV series (Episode: "Episode #3.7")
2010–present Sherlock Molly Hooper TV series (9 episodes)
2010 Reuniting the Rubins Miri Rubins
2011 Law & Order: UK Joanne Vickery TV series (Episode: "Tick Tock")
2011 Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, TheThe Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Hairdresser Credited as Loo Brealey
2012 The Charles Dickens Show Nelly Trent/Scrooge/Tiny Tim TV series
2013 Father Brown Eleanor Knight TV series (Episode: "The Mayor and the Magician")
2014 Delicious Stella
2015 Frankenstein TBA

Theatre credits[edit]

List of roles in theatre
Year Title Role Director Theatre
2001 Sliding with Suzanne Sophie Max Stafford-Clark Royal Court Theatre
2005 Arcadia Thomasina Rachel Kavanaugh Bristol Old Vic
2006 After the End Louise Roxana Silbert US and Russian tour, Off-Broadway
2007 Little Nell Nell Peter Hall Theatre Royal, Bath
2008 Uncle Vanya Sonya Peter Hall Rose Theatre, Kingston
2008 Pornography Actor 7 Sean Holmes Traverse Theatre
2009 Stone, TheThe Stone Hannah Ramin Gray Royal Court Theatre
2009 Ones That Flutter, TheThe Ones That Flutter Julie Ray Abbey Wright Theatre 503
2010 Country Music Lynsey Lisa Blair & Eleanor While West Yorkshire Playhouse
2011 Government Inspector Mayor's daughter Richard Jones Young Vic
2012 Trojan Women, TheThe Trojan Women Cassandra/Andromache/Helen of Troy Christopher Haydon Gate Theatre (London)
2013 The Herd Claire Howard Davies Bush Theatre
2014 Miss Julie Miss Julie Dominic Hill Citizens Theatre

References[edit]

  1. ^ Day, Elizabeth (22 January 2012). "Louise Brealey: 'I don't think Molly is really Sherlock's type'". The Observer. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Loo Brealey". Holby.tv. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  3. ^ "LivTyler". Louisebrealey.com. Retrieved 2014-01-23. 
  4. ^ "Gelitin". louisebrealey.com. 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "Gelitin". Louisebrealey.com. Retrieved 2014-01-23. 
  6. ^ Andrew Dickson. "From Sherlock to Pope Joan: actor Louise Brealey on writing her first play | Stage". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-01-23. 
  7. ^ "BBC One - Sherlock - Molly Hooper". Bbc.co.uk. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2014-01-23. 
  8. ^ a b Urwin, Rosamund (7 November 2012). "Sherlock's Molly: the original Cumberbitch". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  9. ^ In Brits Off Broadway's 'After the End,' Abuse in a Fallout Shelter
  10. ^ "Sherlock's Molly: the original Cumberbitch - London Life - Life & Style - London Evening Standard". Standard.co.uk. 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2014-01-23. 
  11. ^ Louise Brealey Published at 12:01AM, December 11 2012 (2012-12-11). "Louise Brealey: how it feels to be naked on stage". The Times. Retrieved 2014-01-23. 
  12. ^ "On Yellow Paper - What Molly Did Next". Onyellowpaper.tumblr.com. 2012-12-11. Retrieved 2014-01-23. 
  13. ^ "BBC Radio 3 - The Wire, The Wall". bbc.co.uk. 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 

External links[edit]