Laura Harling (born 21 March 1986) is a British actress, theatre producer and artist, who has played roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company and at the Royal Opera House. She began as a child actor on stage, in films and on television. After post-graduate training at the Drama Studio London, Harling has focused on stage and opera roles and producing. In 2010 she co-founded First Draft Theatre, for which she is also Artistic Director.
Early career and education
In 1995, aged nine, Harling appeared as Anna in Morning and Evening at the Hampstead Theatre, and the same year she played the granddaughter of Belle, Scrooge's former fiancée, in an adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She soon appeared in several television advertisements and next played Young Betsy in Catherine Cookson's film The Girl (1996) and Young Jane in the TV serial Jane Eyre (1997). She then appeared in further television and film roles, including Young Sophia in The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1997), Emily in Invasion: Earth (1998), Meaghan in Lost Souls (1998), Poppy in Casualty (1999) and Little Em'ly in David Copperfield (1999), starring Daniel Radcliffe and Maggie Smith. These were followed by the roles of Ann in There's a Viking in My Bed (2000), Ethel in Gosford Park (2001), Lucy in My Family (2004), and Sylvanna in Silent Witness (2006).
In 2007 Harling earned a BA in Fine Art at Kingston University, and in 2009 she graduated in Post Graduate Acting at the Drama Studio London, where she played major roles in plays by Shakespeare, Alan Ayckbourn, Noël Coward, William Congreve and Anton Chekhov.
In 2010 Harling appeared in London as Claire in The Long Christmas Ride Home by Paula Vogel, as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Rose Theatre, Bankside, as Ascanius in Dido and Aeneas at The Actors Church, Covent Garden, and in the one-woman play A Woman Alone by Dario Fo and Franca Rame at the Brockley Jack Theatre. The following year she appeared in the title role of Woman Bomb at the Edinburgh Festival and at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London; Miriam Gillinson, writing for Time Out, thought she was "cold and steely" in her portrayal of a suicide bomber. Also in 2011, she appeared as Magaret Mee in the premiere of the contemporary opera The Moonflower (2011). In 2012 and 2013 she appeared as Angel Archivist in Written on Skin by George Benjamin, directed by Katie Mitchell, at Aix-en-Provence and other venues, followed by the Royal Opera House. She repeated this in New York City's Lincoln Center in 2015. In 2013, she appeared as Maryas and Henry Henry in Gertrude Stein's Say It With Flowers, also directed by Mitchell, at the Hampstead Theatre Downstairs. In 2015, among other roles, Harling appeared at the Arts Theatre as Joan in Lovesong of the Electric Bear by Snoo Wilson. In 2016 she starred as Anya in Turf at the King's Head Theatre in London.
She is the co-founder and Artistic Director of First Draft Theatre (2010) and in 2012 formed Fringe Factor Radio. She has also worked as a producer for the London Festival Fringe, London Fringe Radio, Theatre28Ensemble and Universal Citizens.
- Laura Harling, Castingcallpro.com. Retrieved 6 September 2016
- Gleadell, Rose (24 August 2011). "TV and film adaptations of Jane Eyre". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
- Harling, Laura. CV, Laura Harling official website. Retrieved 6 September 2016
- Harling's Internet Movie Database entry
- Harling, Saatchi Art. Retrieved 6 September 2016
- "Calendar". The Stage. 21 October 2010. p. 34.
- Gillinson, Miriam (12 May 2011). "Theatre - Woman Bomb". Time Out. p. 116.
- Moravcsik, Andrew. "Written on Skin at Lincoln Center", Opera Today, 28 August 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2016
- Baros, Tim. "Review: Lovesong of the Electric Bear, HITC.com, 11 November 2015
- Bates, Stephen. "Turf – King's Head Theatre, London", TheReviewsHub, 22 July 2016
- Harling on the First Draft Theatre website
- Harling and First Draft Theatre on Female Arts website