Fenella Woolgar

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Fenella Woolgar
Born (1969-08-04) 4 August 1969 (age 46)
London, England, UK
Alma mater Mayfield Convent
Durham University
Occupation Actress
Years active 1999–present
Known for You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
Cheerful Weather for the Wedding (film)
Television Home Fires
Spies of Warsaw
Spouse(s) Dr. Robert Harland
(m. 2006)
Children 3
Parent(s) Michael Woolgar
Maureen McCann
Relatives Dermot Woolgar (brother)
Claudia Woolgar (sister)

Fenella Woolgar (born 4 August 1969) is an English actress. Woolgar is best known for her role in the 2010 film You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger as Jane. Woolgar is also known for her role in Doctor Who as Agatha Christie.

Woolgar has also appeared in the TV Series Spies of Warsaw based on the book by the same name. Woolgar has also featured as a guest star in a variety of prominent TV shows, the most prominent being the Doctor Who Series 4 episode "The Unicorn and the Wasp" as Agatha Christie, the episode Woolgar starred in rated at 7.7 Million Views. Woolgar is also known for her guest roles in Agatha Christie's Poirot as Ellis and later Elizabeth Whittaker.

Alongside her many appearances in cinema and television, Woolgar has appeared in numerous theatre shows most notably in Circle Mirror Transformation and Handbagged. In Handbagged, Woolgar appears as Margaret Thatcher nicknamed Mags. Woolgar appeared in the production first in 2013 and then for a second time in 2014.

Woolgar has starred on the ITV show Home Fires as Alison Scotlock. Home Fires began in May 2015 and gained successful acclaim from high ratings with an average of 6.2 million views from the first series, the show was renewed for a second series and began on 3 April 2016. The premiere episode gained 5.2 Million views and a 23.7% share.[1]


Early Life[edit]

Woolgar is 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 the Netherlands. Her early years were spent in New Canaan, Connecticut, before the family returned to the United Kingdom 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 Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). At university, she directed Murder in the Cathedral in Durham Cathedral, acted and was a member of the Durham Revue.

1999 - 2013: Theatre and Radio[edit]

She graduated from RADA in 1999 and on leaving did mostly theatre, particularly at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester until she got her break in 2002 playing Agatha in Stephen Fry’s film Bright Young Things. Also in 2002 Woolgar appeared as Helene in the widely known play of A Midsummer Night's Dream. She has subsequently gone on to work with Mike Leigh, Conor McPherson and Woody Allen. During 2006, Woolgar appeared in Mortortown as Helena. 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 2013 and the Sunday Times Culture Award for Stage Performance of the Year 2014. 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 stars in the BBC Radio 4 comedy Dot. She has narrated several audiobooks and was nominated for Audio Book of the Year 2013.[2]

2013 - 2014: Television, Handbagged and Circle Mirror Transformation[edit]

In 2011 Woolgar appeared as Nancy Dakin in Cheerful Weather for the Wedding, the film was released on 20 April 2012 and 7 December 2012. During 2013, Woolgar appeared in the stage show of Circle Mirror Transformation as Theresa. Woolgar appeared as Lady Angela Hope in the TV series The Spies of Warsaw alongside David Tennant. The series premiered on 9 November 2013 in the United Kingdom. The show was also internationally broadcast to countries listing as Poland, Germany and the United Sates. In 2014, Woolgar starred in the theatre production Handbagged as Margaret Thatcher nicknamed Mags for a second time with her time on the production's cast list beginning in 2013.

2015 - Present: War and Peace and Home Fires[edit]

Woolgar appeared in 2015 as the bookkeeper Mrs Alison Scotlock in Home Fires. Woolgar is a main character in the show. In the first series, Scotlock faces troubles when she is cornered and bullied into working for profiteers, alongside this work Woolgar's character must make a difficult decision on whether or not to keep her friend's secrets. The first series premiered in May 2015 and gained a successful ratings chart with an average of 6.2 million viewers; this earned the show a second series with Woolgar reprising her role as Alison Scotlock. In the second series, Scotlock must face the change of war while helping her friends come to terms with much worse changes. The premiere episode gained a successful rating of 5.2 million views with the second gaining 4.7 million views. In 2016, Woolgar also made a guest appearance in the widely acclaimed series of "War and Peace" as Catiche. Also during 2016, Woolgar is set to appear in Swallows and Amazons as Miss Crummock; alongside this film, Woolgar will also feature in Whiskey Galore in which Woolgar will appear as Dolly.

Awards and award nominations[edit]

Stage Performance of the Year – The Sunday Times Culture Awards 2014.[3]

Clarence Derwent Award for Best Supporting Actress in the West End 2013.[4]

Woolgar has been nominated for several awards, including:

  • Best Supporting Actress – What’s On Stage Awards 2013
  • Best Actress – BBC Radio Drama Awards 2013
  • Best Audio Book of the Year (for Life After Life) 2013
  • Best Supporting Actress – British Independent Film Awards 2003
  • Best Supporting Actress – Empire Film Awards 2003
  • Best Supporting Actress – London Critics Circle 2003
  • Best Newcomer – Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2003
  • Best Supporting Actress – Manchester Evening News Awards 2000 and 2001


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 – 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 No. 3 Feature film
2009 St. Trinian's II: The Legend of Fritton's Gold Miss Cleaver Feature film
2010 BioShock 2[6] 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[7]
2014 Mr.Turner Mike Leigh Lady Elizabeth Eastlake Feature film
2015 Home Fires Alison Scotlock TV Series
2016 War and Peace Catiche TV series
2016 Swallows and Amazons Miss Crummock Feature film
2016 Whiskey Galore Gillies MacKinnon Dolly Feature film


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Overnights.tv on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  2. ^ "Fenella Woolgar". Audible.co.uk. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Culture". The Sunday Times. 28 December 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "Fenella Woolgar and Paul Chahidi win Clarence Derwent awards". Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  5. ^ "press releases and press packs". BBC. 19 May 2003. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  6. ^ http://www.2kgames.com/cultofrapture/podcasts
  7. ^ "David Tennet's Blog". 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  8. ^ 'Handbagged' programme. Vaudeville Theatre. 

External links[edit]