Actor Jos Vantyler, Olivier Awards 2017
|Born||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. In the same year he was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor by The NYC Review, for his portrayal of Oswald in Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen.
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 2007, he played King Phillip of France in The Lion in Winter for Fairbanks Theaters with Chicago 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.
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.
In 2018 he was the first actor ever to play the roles of Don Armado and his page Moth, at the same time, in Shakespeare's Globe production of Love's Labour's Lost at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, directed by Nick Bagnall. Bagnall's idea of having him play both characters resulted in Vantyler playing most of his scenes, by himself to himself. The Independent wrote "Much less conventionally, Vantyler plays both himself and, switching from hissing Hispanic to yapping Northern, his own diminutive page (“my tender juvenile”), Moth. The resulting schizoid conversations and the solicitous care for Moth’s person are a blissfully crackpot fancy" and "Jos Vantyler is inspired as Don Armado, hilariously capturing the mangled verbal extravagance of this Spanish grandee".  That same year he played Gerald in Two Noble Kinsmen also at Shakespeare's Globe, directed by Barrie Rutter. This rarely performed piece was part of Michelle Terry's first season as Artistic Director.
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.
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 "
"There were many outstanding performances including Jos Vantyler who played the comedic role of Abraham Slender and had the audience in fits of laughter with almost every speech he made" and "Poor Slender, for example, beautifully played by Jos Vantyler, captures our hearts" describe his performance as Slender in The Merry Wives of Windsor in Northern Broadsides anniversary production of the play.
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"." 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". 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.
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 said of his performance "Best Actor goes to Jos Vantyler for his versatile performance in Flying into Daylight.". He received The Journal Culture Award for Best Actor.
In 2016, in the Film Short, Tango Down, by Emmy Award winning writer Ron Hutchinson, Vanyler played the lead Tim. The downtrodden finance who turns to murder to save his upcoming wedding.
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".
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (musical) written by Richard and Robert Sherman with book by Jeremy Sams was revived by director James Brining and multi Olivier Award winning choreographer Stephen Mear in 2016, Vantyler took over the role of The Childcatcher to major critical acclaim "the amazingly talented Jos Vantyler". He is one of the youngest actors to ever play the part. The Bristol Post wrote "the scariest villain of all time is The Child Catcher (Jos Vantyler), and he was no less frightening on the stage than he was on the big screen, so be prepared for those fears to be reignited." "the show's limelight is overwhelmingly pilfered by Jos Vantyler's malevolent Childcatcher, performing a less snivelly but equally intimidating interpretation of Robert Helpmann's original villain. Preceeded [sic] onto the stage by his own silhouette, Vantyler's scourge of childhood happiness induces boot quaking from adults and children alike, making his fellow villains seem mildly mediocre by comparison." Edinburgh Guide. "The Childcatcher has to be most people worst nightmares, everyone remembers that character as a child. To bring that to life on stage and be absolutely terrifying is a challenge, one that Jos Vantyler nails. He was the perfect Villain, the children around me (and possibly even myself…) were shivering in their seats whenever he came on. A performance I shall remember for a long time!"
During the 2018-19 season, Vantyler played the part of Ms Gulch/The Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, directed by Liam Steel. The production was the first of its kind, " electrifyingly bold reworking of The Wizard of Oz."  . The Times "Jos Vantyler as the Wicked Witch of the West sports thigh-high patent spike heels and a blood red wig alongside the traditional green visage, and speaks in a genteel drawl...its an enjoyable quirky portrayal: part bitter Tennessee Williams-ish faded belle, part drag queen"The Guardian wrote of Vantyler's performance " Jos Vantyler cackles as a turbaned, cocktail-swigging Wicked Witch of the West. But this performance is played with sincerity and smarts, avoiding easy camp which might have diffused the peril."
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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- Brennan, Clare (8 March 2015). "King Lear review – Jonathan Miller's production is revelatory". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
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- "The Merry Wives". Manchester’s Finest. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
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- "Theatre review: Dead On Her Feet at Arcola Theatre". Britishtheatreguide.info. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
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- "Shaun McCarthy, Playwright and Author". Shaunmccarthy.co.uk. 31 May 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
- Broom, Anne (1 June 2011). "The Stage / Reviews / Circus Britannica". Thestage.co.uk. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
- "Circus Britannica Reviews at The Bike Shed Theatre - Exeter". Whatsonstage.com. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
- "A brilliant cast in immigration play". This is Exeter. 10 June 2011. Archived from the original on 29 March 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 January 2017. Retrieved 19 May 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (2016), Festival Theatre Edinburgh, Review | Edinburgh Guide". Edinburghguide.com. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- Marlowe, Sam "Review: The Wizard of Oz at Birmingham Rep" thetimes.co.uk December 3, 2018, Retrieved 26 October 2019 (subscription required)