Frances J Brookes
13 May 1957
Frances Barber (born Frances Brookes, 13 May 1957) is an English actress. She received Olivier Award nominations for her work in the plays Camille (1985), and Uncle Vanya (1997). Her film appearances include three collaborations with Gary Oldman in Prick Up Your Ears (1987), We Think the World of You (1988) and Dead Fish (2005), as well as Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987), Soft Top Hard Shoulder (1992), and Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (2017). Barber's numerous television credits include The Street (2009), Doctor Who (2011), and Silk (2012–14).
Life and career
Barber was born in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England. Her parents are S.W. Brookes and Gladys Simpson; Barber is the fourth of six children. She attended the Wolverhampton Municipal Grammar School.
She appeared in Pet Shop Boys' musical Closer to Heaven in 2001 as well as guest singer for the song "Friendly Fire" on the Pet Shop Boys' 2006 live concert at the Mermaid Theatre. She also appeared alongside Ian McKellen and Roger Allam in the Old Vic's pantomime production of Aladdin in the 2005–06 Christmas season. She again starred with Ian McKellen in 2007 playing Goneril in Trevor Nunn's production of King Lear and as Arkadina in Chekhov's The Seagull with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon followed by a world tour throughout the year. They again performed the two plays in repertory at the New London Theatre on Drury Lane, opening in November 2007 and closing mid-January 2008.
In 2011, she guest-starred in the Doctor Who episodes "A Good Man Goes to War" and "The Wedding of River Song" (and five other episodes, sometimes uncredited) as Madame Kovarian. She also acted in the television film We'll Take Manhattan as Diana Vreeland.
In May 2017, Barber urged a vote for the Labour Party at the 2017 UK general election. Critical of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, she said "I will vote Labour holding my nose. Urge you too." On 25 September 2017, she announced her resignation from the party, saying: "I can't belong to a party full of misogyny, anti semitism and thuggery".
- Ooh La La (Hull Truck Theatre, 1979)
- Riff Raff Rules (Theatre Royal Stratford East)
- Space Ache (Tricycle Theatre, 1980)
- Emilia in Othello (Oxford Playhouse)
- La Guerra (The Battle), Desperado Corner and Madame Louise (Glasgow Citizens', 1980, and Venice Biennale Festival, 1981)
- The Treat (Institute of Contemporary Arts)
- The Mission (Soho Poly)
- Hard Feelings (Oxford Playhouse and The Bush, 1983)
- Turning Over (The Bush, 1983)
- Marguerite in Camille (Royal Shakespeare Company, The Other Place, 1984, and Comedy Theatre, 1985 – Olivier nomination for Most Promising Newcomer)
- Ophelia in Hamlet (RSC Barbican Theatre, 1985)
- Love's Labour's Lost (RSC The Other Place, Comedy Theatre, 1985)
- The Dead Monkey (RSC The Pit, 1986))
- Summer and Smoke (Haymarket Theatre)
- Viola in Twelfth Night (Renaissance, Riverside Studios, 1987)
- Lady Macbeth in Macbeth (Royal Exchange, Manchester, 1988)
- My Heart's a Suitcase (Royal Court, 1990)
- Over a Barrel (Watford Palace Theatre)
- Imagine Drowning (Hampstead Theatre, 1991)
- Maxine Faulk in The Night of the Iguana (National Theatre, 1992)
- Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion (National Theatre, 1992)
- Insignificance (Donmar Warehouse, 1995)
- Uncle Vanya (Minerva Theatre, Chichester and Albery Theatre, 1996 – TMA Award and Olivier nomination for Best Supporting Actress)
- Closer (Lyric Theatre, National Theatre West End transfer, 1998)
- Closer to Heaven (Arts Theatre, 2001)
- Valerie in Tales from the Vienna Woods (National Theatre, 2003)
- Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Gielgud Theatre, 2004)
- Dim Sum in Aladdin (Old Vic pantomime, 2005)
- The Narrator in Shane Cullinan's The Pieta St Paul's, Covent Garden, 2006)
- Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra (Shakespeare's Globe, London, 2006)
- Arkadina in The Seagull and Goneril in King Lear (RSC, Courtyard Theatre Stratford-upon-Avon, and New London Theatre, 2007)
- Madame de Sade (Donmar West End, Wyndham's Theatre, 2009)
- Afterplay (Edinburgh Festival, then Gate Theatre, Dublin, 2009)
- Julius Caesar (Donmar Theatre, 2012–2013)
- Lady Sneerwell in The School for Scandal (Lucille Lortel Theatre, New York City, 2016)
- Mrs Cheveley in An Ideal Husband (Vaudeville Theatre, London, May 2018)
- A Zed & Two Noughts (1985)
- Castaway (1986)
- Prick Up Your Ears (1987)
- Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987)
- Twelfth Night (TV, 1988)
- We Think the World of You (film) (1988)
- Behaving Badly (TV, 1989)
- Red Dwarf – "Polymorph" (TV, 1989)
- Agatha Christie's Poirot – "The Veiled Lady" (TV, 1990)
- Inspector Morse (TV, 1992)
- Soft Top Hard Shoulder (1992)
- The Leaving of Liverpool (TV, 1992)
- Inspector Alleyn Mysteries ("Scales of Justice", TV, 1993)
- Giorgino (1994)
- Space Precinct (TV, 1995)
- A Royal Scandal (TV, 1996)
- Rhodes (TV, 1996)
- The Ice House (TV, 1997)
- Still Crazy (1998)
- Murder Most Horrid (1998)
- Bremner, Bird and Fortune (TV, 1999)
- Shiner (2000)
- Manchild (TV, 2002)
- Flyfishing (TV, 2002)
- My Family – "Owed to Susan" (TV, 2003)
- Boudica (2003)
- Monkey Dust (voice, TV, 2003)
- Evilenko (2004)
- The IT Crowd – "Aunt Irma Visits" (TV, 2006)
- Agatha Christie's Marple – "A Murder Is Announced" (TV, 2005)
- Funland (TV, 2005)
- New Tricks (TV, 2006) S3:E2 "Dockers"
- Hustle (TV, 2007)
- King Lear (2008)
- Beautiful People (2008)
- The Fattest Man in Britain (2009)
- The Royal (2009)
- Midsomer Murders (2010) Episode: Master Class
- Doctor Who (TV, 2011)
- Great Expectations (TV, 2011)
- Friday Night Dinner (2011)
- We'll Take Manhattan (TV, 2012)
- Silk (TV, 2012–2014)
- Vexed (2012)
- The Life of Rock with Brian Pern (2014)
- Mapp and Lucia (TV, 2014)
- Benidorm (TV, 2016)
- Medici: Masters of Florence (2016)
- Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (2017)
- Father Brown (TV, 2017)
- Midsomer Murders ("Crime and Punishment", TV, 2017)
- The Escape (2017)
- The Queen and I (2018)
- Casualty (TV series) (2019)
- "The International Who's Who of Women 2002". google.co.uk.
- "Wolverhampton Municipal Grammar School". tameclan.me.uk.
- Barnett, Laura (21 April 2009). "Portrait of the artist: Frances Barber, actor". The Guardian. London.
- British Theatre Guide – RSC Double Press Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Britishtheatreguide.info. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- "The British Theatre Guide : Reviews – The Seagull (RSC at the New London Theatre)". Britishtheatreguide.info. 12 January 2008. Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
- "The British Theatre Guide : Reviews – King Lear (RSC at the New London Theatre)". Britishtheatreguide.info. 12 January 2008. Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
- BBC One – Doctor Who, Series 6, A Good Man Goes to War. BBC. (23 August 2011). Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- "Actress Frances Barber receives honorary award". Wlv.ac.uk. 21 August 2006. Archived from the original on 18 February 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
- Adejobi, Alicia (8 June 2017). "Labour vs Conservatives: Who are celebrities voting for in the general election 2017?". International Business Times. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
- Wearmouth, Rachel (26 September 2017). "Labour in Fresh Anti-Semitism Row as Speaker Calls for Free Speech to Cover Holocaust Denial". HuffPost. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
- http://www.bushtheatre.co.uk/productions/hard_feelings.html[permanent dead link]
- http://www.bushtheatre.co.uk/productions/turning_over.html[permanent dead link]
- John Thaxter (6 July 2006). "The Stage / Reviews / Antony and Cleopatra". The Stage. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
- "Off Broadway Reviews – The School For Scandal", The Stage Review, 27 April 2016