Brealey in 2009
27 March 1979|
Bozeat, Northamptonshire, England
|Occupation||Actress, writer, journalist|
In 2015 she won best supporting actress in a feature TV show (Containment), at the Southampton international film festival.
Early life and education
Born in Bozeat, Northamptonshire, England, she attended Kimbolton School, proceeding to read History at Cambridge. She then trained at the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York City with clown teacher Philippe Gaulier.
Brealey has written on cinema, art and music since her teens, contributing reviews and features for magazines including Premiere UK, Empire, Radio Times, SKY, The Face, Neon, AnOther and Total Film. She is the editor of Anarchy and Alchemy: The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky (Creation Books, 2007).
Until April 2009, Brealey was the deputy editor of Wonderland, interviewing Liv Tyler for the February/March cover. Other features include the Pet Shop Boys and art collective Gelitin. A freelance Associate Producer, she has written documentary pitches for BBC Arts. In 2013 her first play Pope Joan was performed by the National Youth Theatre.
In March 2012 Brealey produced, co-wrote and co-starred in The Charles Dickens Show, a children's comedy drama for BBC 2 starring Jeff Rawle, Rupert Graves, Neil Dudgeon, Nathaniel Parker, Lynda Baron, Honeysuckle Weeks, Rupert Young, Adjoa Andoh, Sam Kelly, Geoffrey Streatfeild, Fiona Button and Mariah Gale.
Brealey made her television debut as Nurse Roxy Bird in two series of BBC drama Casualty. She then played Judy Smallweed in the 2005 BBC adaptation of Bleak House. Terry Wogan took Judy and her snaggle-toothed grandfather Smallweed (Phil Davis) to heart, regaling Radio 2 listeners with regular renditions of Davis' catchphrase "Shake me up, Judy!". Brealey followed Bleak House with a comic turn as Anorak, Alistair MacGowan's black-bobbed sidekick, in the Sunday night comedy-drama Mayo, cancelled by the BBC after just one series. The show fared better on its US release in 2007, with The Hollywood Reporter comparing it to Moonlighting. She auditioned for the role of Rose Tyler in Doctor Who.
She has since appeared in Law and Order UK and the BBC's new 1950's remake of Father Brown with Mark Williams (2013).
Brealey made her stage debut in 2001 as 14-year-old Sophie in Max Stafford-Clark's production of Judy Upton's Sliding With Suzanne at London's Royal Court. The Daily Telegraph called her performance "a perfect poignant study of adolescence".
Her portrayal of child prodigy Thomasina in the Bristol Old Vic production of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia in 2005 was described as "excellent" by The Mail on Sunday, with The Daily Telegraph saying that "the evening belongs to Loo Brealey's Thomasina".
Brealey has worked twice with Sir Peter Hall. First in 2007 on Simon Gray's Little Nell, in which she played the title role opposite Michael Pennington and Tim Pigott-Smith. Based on The Invisible Woman, Claire Tomalin's award-winning biography of Charles Dickens's mistress Ellen Ternan, Little Nell followed her story from 17 to 44 years old. Critics described Brealey's performance as "excellent" (The Daily Mail), "impressive" (The Stage), "highly compelling" (The Independent) and "astounding" (British Theatre Guide).
The following year, Hall cast her as Sonya in his critically acclaimed production of Uncle Vanya, which opened London's Rose Theatre. The Telegraph called hers "a name to watch" and The Independent compared her to Joan Fontaine in Rebecca. The Spectator said: "Brealey is the only performer who uncovers the pathetic poetry beneath the indolent superficialities. Her big disadvantage is that she’s too attractive for ‘plain’ Sonya, but she disguises this by suggesting a lack of sexual allure with awkward giggles, squirrelly movements and a stupefied beaming naivety. All brilliantly done..."
Last year she appeared with Stephen Mangan in Joe Penhall's Birthday at the Royal Court, directed by Roger Michell; and played three lead roles – Cassandra, Andromache and Helen of Troy – in Caroline Bird's sold-out production of The Trojan Women at London's Gate Theatre. The Times called her performances "electrifying" and The Guardian said she "pulled off a remarkable treble".
In February 2014 Brealey starred in August Strindberg's Miss Julie at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow. The play ran from the 6–15th of the month, was directed by Dominic Hill and adapted by Zinnie Harris. Harris moved the play to the 1920s, 40 years from Strindberg's original and set in the Highlands of Scotland. Brealey performed opposite Keith Fleming as John (Jean), with Jessica Hardwick as Christine, the only other characters to appear onstage.
Brealey played the role of Anna in Ed Harris' radio play The Wall, broadcast in February 2011.
On 9 December 2014 Brealey played 'Zinevra' in a Radio 3 adaptation of 'The Wager' by Giovanni Boccaccio, presented by Terry Jones as a part of the 'Decameron Nights: Ten Italian Indelicacies Remixed from Boccaccio’.
TV and film credits
|2002–2004||Casualty||Roxanne Bird||TV series (95 episodes)|
|2003||The Tooth Faerie||Short film|
|2004||I Want You||Short film|
|2005||Bleak House||Judy Smallweed||TV series (8 episodes)|
|2005||The English Harem||Suzy||TV film|
|2006||Mayo||Harriet 'Anorak' Tate||TV series (8 episodes); credited as Loo Brealey|
|2007||Green||Abi||TV film; credited as Loo Brealey|
|2008||Hotel Babylon||Chloe||TV series (Episode: "Episode #3.7")|
|2010–present||Sherlock||Molly Hooper||TV series (12 episodes)|
|2010||Reuniting the Rubins||Miri Rubins|
|2011||Law & Order: UK||Joanne Vickery||TV series (Episode: "Tick Tock")|
|2011||The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel||Hairdresser||Credited as Loo Brealey|
|2012||The Charles Dickens Show||Nelly Trent/Scrooge/Tiny Tim||TV series|
|2013||Father Brown||Eleanor Knight||TV series (Episode: "The Mayor and the Magician")|
|2014||Ripper Street||Dr Amelia Frayn||TV Series, appeared in 7 of 8 episodes of the 3rd Series|
|2015||Victor Frankenstein||Sexy Society Girl|
|2015||Inspector George Gently||Jo Parker||TV series (Episode: "Gently Among Friends")|
|2018||A Discovery of Witches||Gillian Chamberlain|
|2001||Sliding with Suzanne||Sophie||Max Stafford-Clark||Royal Court Theatre|
|2005||Arcadia||Thomasina||Rachel Kavanaugh||Bristol Old Vic|
|2006||After the End||Louise||Roxana Silbert||US and Russian tour, Off-Broadway|
|2007||Little Nell||Nell||Peter Hall||Theatre Royal, Bath|
|2008||Uncle Vanya||Sonya||Peter Hall||Rose Theatre, Kingston|
|2008||Pornography||Actor 7||Sean Holmes||Traverse Theatre|
|2009||The Stone||Hannah||Ramin Gray||Royal Court Theatre|
|2009||The Ones That Flutter||Julie Ray||Abbey Wright||Theatre 503|
|2010||Country Music||Lynsey||Lisa Blair & Eleanor While||West Yorkshire Playhouse|
|2011||Government Inspector||Mayor's daughter||Richard Jones||Young Vic|
|2012||The Trojan Women||Cassandra/Andromache/Helen of Troy||Christopher Haydon||Gate Theatre (London)|
|2013||The Herd||Claire||Howard Davies||Bush Theatre|
|2014||Miss Julie||Miss Julie||Dominic Hill||Citizens Theatre|
|2014||Letters Live||Hay Festival, Wales|
|2015||Letters Live||Freemasons' Hall|
|Husbands & Sons||Lizzie Holroyd||Marianne Elliott||Co-production between National Theatre,London and Royal Exchange, Manchester|
- Day, Elizabeth (22 January 2012). "Louise Brealey: 'I don't think Molly is really Sherlock's type'". The Observer. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
- "Loo Brealey". Holby.tv. Retrieved 16 August 2008.
- "LivTyler". Louisebrealey.com. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- "Gelitin". louisebrealey.com. 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
- "Gelitin". Louisebrealey.com. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Andrew Dickson. "From Sherlock to Pope Joan: actor Louise Brealey on writing her first play | Stage". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Bannister, Rosie. "20 Questions: Louise Brealey". WhatsOnStage.com. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- "BBC One – Sherlock – Molly Hooper". BBC. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Urwin, Rosamund (7 November 2012). "Sherlock's Molly: the original Cumberbitch". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
- In Brits Off Broadway's 'After the End,' Abuse in a Fallout Shelter
- "Sherlock's Molly: the original Cumberbitch – London Life – Life & Style". London Evening Standard. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Louise Brealey (11 December 2012). "Louise Brealey: how it feels to be naked on stage". The Times. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- "On Yellow Paper – What Molly Did Next". Onyellowpaper.tumblr.com. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- "Classic Serial". The Ring and The Book. BBC. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
- "BBC Radio 3 – The Wire, The Wall". BBC. 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
- Jones, Paul (5 September 2014). "Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens to be adapted for Radio 4". Radio Times. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- "Meet the Cast: The girls from Paula Hawkins' THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (Exclusive Audio Clips) | Books on Tape". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
- "The Year's Best Audiobooks: 2016 Audie Award Winners". The Booklist Reader. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
- "Letters Live: Epistolary Joy At Freemasons' Hall". Londonist.
- "BBC Sherlock star, X Files actor and a host of other celebrities perform at charity event for the Reading Agency". The Guardian.
- "Letters Live at Hay Festival". The Telegraph.