Actor Jos Vantyler, Olivier Awards 2017
20 February 1988 |
County Mayo, Ireland
In 2005 Vantyler won The NYC Star Best Newcomer Award for his portrayal of Rodolfo in Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge at The Tower Theater. In the same year he was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor by The New York City Review, for his portrayal of Oswald in Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen. Vantyler played as Arden in 2007 in Arden of Faversham, as part of the NYC Classic Revival Series for Academy Award winning director Anthony Minghella.
In 2006 he played Anselmus in The Second Maiden's Tragedy at the newly refurbished Hackney Empire for which he received high critical praise. In 2006 he again appeared at The Lincoln Center as Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet directed by Roberto Watton. In 2007 he played King Phillip of France in The Lion in Winter for Fairbanks Theaters with Chicago-based director Don Morrelli. 
In 2008 he played the lead role of Lord Fancourt Babberley in Charley's Aunt at The New Wimbledon Theatre. BAFTA winning director David Giles cast him that year in Underfoot In Show Business, Charles Leipart's comic stage adaptation based on the early life memoir of Helene Hanff, opposite Felicity Dean.
In 2008 Vantyler appeared in the controversial play Prophecy by New York City playwright Karen Malpede. Although certain press branded the play as a disturbing piece, Vantyler's portrayal of a young soldier suffering from extreme PTSD received high acclaim and resulted in Vantyler being nominated for a Critics Choice Award - Best Actor for his performance, the press described Vantyler as "a young exciting actor with distinctive looks and a powerful presence". In preparation for the role Vantyler researched the condition at a military hospital in Scotland. It had transferred from New York to London and later back to Broadway. Vantyler did not resume his role in the new revised Broadway production nor was it well received by the New York critics.
In 2009, he played Billy in the Tom Stoppard play The Real Thing, directed by Hanna Berrigan. Giles cast Vantyler as Pietro in Swimming At The Ritz in 2009, a play about the last day in the life of Pamela Harriman, which starred Felicity Dean.
In 2009, he took the lead opposite Academy Award Nominee Susannah York in The Tennessee Williams Season for The Hampstead New End Theatre. Due to sell-out audiences from its opening night and rave reviews from the press, the show transferred to another sellout run at the Hackney Empire in December 2009. Vantyler and York went on to become close friends.
In 2010 he played Tom Sawyer in the National Tour in James Graham's play Huck, a stage adaptation of the Mark Twain classic, Huckleberry Finn. He garnered critical praise and was named "The Mercurial Jos Vantyler" by Time Out and was nominated for Best Male Performance Award of 2010 by The Offwestend Awards.
After the initial success of Swimming At The Ritz in 2009, in the summer of 2010 it was part of The New Vic's New Writing Festival. Vantyler and Dean resumed their roles, this time under the direction of Roland Jaquarello, a venture that would see all three receiving critical acclaim for this new play by New York City writer Charles Leipart. It ran alongside Reeling, a play by Jeff Thompson based on the disappearance of a 1920s German movie star, in which Vantyler played the lead, opposite Elizabeth Counsell and June Watson.
Harold Brighouse wrote The Game in 1914, and it was performed that same year; it was not performed again until 2010 by Northern Broadsides. Directed by and starring Barrie Rutter. Vantyler played Rutter's son, Leo Whitworth. Both he and the production received high critical praise.
Vantyler and Dean, dubbed as "a hilarious double act" by the press, again resumed their roles as Pietro and Harriman when Swimming At The Ritz toured to great success, nationally in the early and later part 2011.
In 2011, political playwright Shaun McCarthy wrote Circus Britannica, "captivating and unusual, new play creates a disturbing world". The play explored immigration and xenophobia set within the British Circus. Vantyler played Stevie, the young protagonist if the piece. The character Stevie was a trapeze artist, and so Vantyler had special coaching and choreography on trapeze from Britain's oldest professional woman aerialist Helen McCall. Whats On Stage said of Vantyler "Jos was born to play that role" and gives "an outstanding performance".
In 2012 Vantyler played Longaville in William Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost for the 20th Anniversary of the highly acclaimed  Northern Broadsides the production was directed by and featured the Artistic Director and founder of the company, Barrie Rutter. It played various venues such as the West Yorkshire Playhouse and received excellent national reviews. "Hester Arden and Jos Vantyler as Maria and Longeville sizzle with a particularly believable romantic longing and unbridled passion".
Emmy Award winning writer Ron Hutchinson's play, Dead On Her Feet is set in the American Great Depression. The action takes place during a Dance Marathon contest. Vantyler stars as Mel Carney the Dance Marathon promoter, the protagonist of the piece, directed by Barry Kyle, Honorary Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Critics praised Vantyler as a "tour-de-force", Howard Loxton of The British Theatre Guide noted that Vantyler gave a "stunning performance" continuing with "The promoter may be an exploitive conman but the actor is charismatically watchable. He gives the man a capacity to charm as well as making him ruthless, yet his face is a mask, and it is not painted on"."Vantyler gives an energetic and consistently engaging performance as Mel Carney, the ruthlessly sadistic promoter,manipulating his team of dancers for his own benefit. He moves easily between charismatic dream-maker and wildeyed, manic brute by way of tap-dance, aerial gymnastics and song". Bella Todd of Time Out offered that "Jos Vantyler's sensuous-lipped, sinister-eyed Master of Ceremonies ... conjures romance, rivalry and crises from thin air". Other reviews went on to comment that he was "mesmersising", Mel West of WhatsOnStage noted the varying depth of his portrayal "Jos Vantyler appals as Mel Carney, the inexhaustible promoter of questionable morals and even more questionable sanity, veering precipitously from threatening bully to wheedling charmer with extraordinary acuity.". For his portrayal Vantyler received a Best Male Performance of 2012 Nomination by the OffWestEnd Awards and received the Theatre Choice Awards for Outstanding Performance In a New Play.
Bram Stoker wrote Dracula in 1897, in 1985 it was adapted for stage by Liz Lochhead. In the 2013 rival of the piece Vantyler took the title role of Dracula. The actor also portrayed Nurse Grice in the same production, "an utterly brilliant piece of doubling by an outstanding actor, it was not until it was pointed out to me that I even knew it was the same actor" Time Out.
In September 2013 Sir Jonathan Miller directed the Gala Performance of William Shakespeare's King Lear at The Old Vic in London. Vantyler played Oswald opposite, Joss Ackland as King Lear, Michael York, Tony Robinson, Greta Scacchi, Honeysuckle Weeks, John Nettles, Robert Young, Tony Britton, Shaun Dooley, Barrie Rutter and Felicity Dean.
In the summer or 2014 Vantyler played a number of roles in a new adaptation of Lewis Caroll's Through the Looking-Glass, at London's Covent Garden. He received rave reviews from the press being described as "Mesmerising", "positively hilarious" and "a master of comedy timing" with "wonderful physicality". His interpretation of Mr Lion and Tiger Lily was said to deserve their "own show"  and reviewer Paul Vale wrote "wonderful Jos Vantyler shamelessly steals practically every scene he is in, be it as an effete Tiger Lily or as the hammiest Lion in the West End.".
Working again to great success on the world premier of Flying Into Daylight for Belfast writer Ron Hutchinson and Live Theatre Artistic Director, Max Roberts with writer, Hutchinson, making his directorial début. The play was a two hander and told the story of Virginia ( Summer Strallen ) and her journey of self-discovery through finding herself swept up in an obsession with the Tango. Jos played tango teacher Marco as well as all the other male roles in the play. The press highly rated his performance as "a remarkable display of talent" and Entrancing"  The Times, "The scintillating Jos Vantyler. He is one to watch in every sense of the word, morphing smoothly from Marco, the Tango-teaching martinet, to anxious Phil. He also, with great aplomb, takes on all the other male cameos.". Alfred Hickling of The Guardian wrote that the play was "a night of tango nivana" and "Jos Vantyler plays all the male parts but particularly relishes Marco’s preening waspish petulance". The British Theatre Guide said " Ron Hutchinson's writing makes it so clear, helped in no small measure by the versatility of actor Jos Vantyler who plays all the male parts: 17 of them, some just a word or two long, others substantial, such as Marco the dance teacher, Phil the fiancé, Virginia's father and Larry the Tango fanatic. Vantyler dances superbly, embodying the Tango's emotional content as well as the technique, speaking directly to the audience through Amir Giles's intense choreography.".
They went on the add in the years round up of plays that "Best Actor goes to Jos Vantyler for his versatile performance in Flying into Daylight.". The extreme versatility of his performance was the main focus of his reviews. " Jos Vantyler, achieves a tour-de-force as he assumes – if I counted accurately – 17 different characters throughout the piece. Most of necessity, caricatured cameos, but two major roles performed in counterpoint and displaying a range of gentle sensitivity, requisite comic lightness and when needed, very convincing physicality – most notably as an amoral, macho tango teacher, cynical and inspirational in the same body-movement and then in total contrast, the complete opposite in fiancé Phill . ". Other critics commented that his " animal magnetism " and " mesmerising presence " was a perfect counterpart for the Tango theme. "Vantyler seduces, insinuates and tangoes with playfulness, and personifies the allure and magnetism of the tango which lies at the heart of the play. The play and its performance lives and dies very much on the performance of the two protagonists and they ultimately succeed in persuading us of the emotional and primeval appeal of all things tango.". "Passionate" "Charming" "Seductive" "Mesmerising" were many of the other adjectives used to describe his portrayal.
Sir Jonathan Miller's 2015 "revelatory" 5 star  production of King Lear again saw Vantyler in the role of Oswald for Miller, this time opposite Barrie Rutter as Lear. Vantyler was highly praised for his comedy in the role of Oswald. Georgina Brown of the Mail On Sunday writing "it’s funnier than usual, with Jos Vantyler in particular draining every drop of comedy in hilarious turn". Standard Magazine wrote "Jos Vantyler shimmered and glowered as a camp, dastardly Oswald and his death scene was truly gripping... you could tell he was a Miller choice". Others went on to add "Jos Vantyler gives a scene stealer of a performance as Oswald, up front but perfectly controlled, making a real person of someone who could easily be just a cypher". WhatsOnStage wrote " Jos Vantyler turns Oswald into a classy comic turn " 
Awards and Nominations
- 2005 Won - BEST NEWCOMER AWARD The NYC Star Awards - Rodolfo A View From The Bridge
- 2005 Nomination - BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR NYC Review - Oswald Ghosts
- 2008 Nomination - BEST ACTOR Critics Choice Awards - Jeremy Prophecy
- 2010 Nomination - BEST MALE PERFORMANCE Off West End Awards - Tom Sawyer Huck
- 2012 Nomination - BEST MALE PERFORMANCE Off West End Awards - Mel Carney Dead On Her Feet
- 2012 Won- OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IN A NEW PLAY Theatre Choice Awards - Mel Carney Dead On Her Feet
- 2014/15 BEST ACTOR in PERFORMING ARTIST OF THE YEAR - The Journal Culture Awards - Flying Into Daylight
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- "#1 Site for Broadway Shows, Theatre, Live Entertainment, Tickets & More!". Broadway World.com. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- Stage Voices website
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- Jeremy Austin (2008-09-18). "The Stage / Reviews / Prophecy". Thestage.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "Prophecy - Reviews - Jun 9, 2010". Theatermania.com. 2010-06-09. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- Osip Theatre website
- "Susannah York". London: Telegraph. 2011-01-16. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- What's Onstage website
- Time Out review of Jos Vantyler
- UK National Theatre website
- What's Onstage website
- Jamie Doward and Henry Dearlove (22 August 2010). "Harold Brighouse's The Game: Pampered stars, bankrupt clubs – a tale of football in the 1920s | Stage | The Observer". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- Chris High (2010-09-24). "The Stage / Reviews / The Game". Thestage.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- Michael Billington (26 September 2010). "The Game | Theatre review | Stage". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "Swimming at the Ritz Website". Swimmingattheritz.com. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "Marylebone Journal Feb-Mar 2011". Docstoc.com. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "Shaun McCarthy, Playwright and Author". Shaunmccarthy.co.uk. 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- Anne Broom (2011-06-01). "The Stage / Reviews / Circus Britannica". Thestage.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "Circus Britannica Reviews at The Bike Shed Theatre - Exeter". Whatsonstage.com. 2011-06-01. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "A brilliant cast in immigration play". This is Exeter. 2011-06-10. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "Northern Broadsides". Northern Broadsides. 2012-05-17. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "The Stage / Listings / Love's Labour's Lost". Thestage.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- Cavendish, Dominic (1 February 2012). "Love's Labour's Lost, New Vic Theatre, Newcastle, review". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- Laura Turner (2012-03-20). "Review: Love's Labour's Lost | A Younger Theatre". Ayoungertheatre.com. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "Oxford Theatre Events @ The North Wall". Thenorthwall.org. Retrieved 2012-08-03.