Roger Allam

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Roger Allam
Roger Allam La Cage 120909 DSCF1622.JPG
Allam in 2009
Born Roger William Allam
(1953-10-26) 26 October 1953 (age 63)
Bow, London, England, UK
Nationality British
Occupation Actor
Years active 1976–present
Spouse(s) Rebecca Saire
Children 2 sons William Allam and Thomas Allam(

Roger William Allam (born 26 October 1953) is an English actor, known primarily for his stage career, although he has performed in film, television and radio.

He has most famously played Inspector Javert in the original London production of the stage musical Les Misérables, Douglas Richardson in the award-winning radio series Cabin Pressure, and DI Fred Thursday in the TV series Endeavour. He is also known for his roles as Illyrio Mopatis in HBO series Game of Thrones and as Peter Mannion MP in The Thick Of It.

Life and career[edit]

Allam was born in Bow, London, England. He was educated at Christ's Hospital and Manchester University.[1] His father was vicar of St Mary Woolnoth.[2]

He has been nominated four times for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor, winning twice. He has been nominated for, and won, the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor.

He played Mercutio, for the Royal Shakespeare Company, in 1983.[3] He has also appeared in many radio dramas for the BBC. In 2001, he starred in BBC Radio 4's adaptation of Les Misérables, as Valjean. In 2000 he played Hitler at the Royal National Theatre in David Edgar's Speer. He won an Olivier Award as Best Actor 2001, for his role as Captain Terri Denis in a revival of Privates on Parade, opening in December 2001 at the Donmar Warehouse, Covent Garden. In November 2002 at the Comedy Theatre he co-starred with Gillian Anderson in Michael Weller's romantic comedy What the Night Is For.

In 2003, he starred as former West German federal chancellor Willy Brandt in Michael Frayn's play Democracy which opened at the Cottesloe Theatre, in the Royal National Theatre. He stayed with the show for its transfer to the West End. In December 2004 and January 2005, Allam appeared as the villainous Abanazar in a pantomime of Aladdin at the Old Vic theatre, co-starring Ian McKellen, Maureen Lipman and Sam Kelly. He reprised this role at the Old Vic, once again with Ian McKellen and Frances Barber in 2006–07. In August 2005, Allam appeared in Blackbird by David Harrower alongside Jodhi May at the Edinburgh Festival in a production by German star director Peter Stein. The play transferred to the Albery Theatre in London in February 2006. Blackbird subsequently won a best new play award.

He also found time in 2006 to appear in Stephen Frears's film The Queen, starring Oscar-winner Dame Helen Mirren, as the Queen's private secretary. In February 2007, he performed in the 1960s farce Boeing-Boeing at the Comedy Theatre in the West End, co-starring Mark Rylance, Frances de la Tour and Tamzin Outhwaite. In January 2007, he appeared for the first time as Peter Mannion MP in the special episode of the BBC comedy The Thick of It. He went on to reprise his role in the second special aired in July 2007 and in the extra 15-minute episode shown via the BBC red button. He has carried on with this role as a regular character in the subsequent series.

In 2008, Allam played the role of Max Reinhardt, the Salzburg Festival impresario in Michael Frayn's play Afterlife, the production staged by Michael Blakemore on the National Theatre's Lyttelton stage.[4] In 2009, Allam played Albin/Zaza in La Cage aux Folles at the Playhouse in London. Allam played Falstaff in Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2 at Shakespeare's Globe, in the 2010 season.[5] He won the Olivier Award for Best Actor.[6] In October 2010, Allam was reunited with his former cast mates from Les Misérables in the 25th anniversary concert for a performance of "One Day More".

In January 2012, British TV audiences found him in the first series of Endeavour, the prequel to the long-running Inspector Morse, playing the gruff but kind-hearted Detective Inspector Fred Thursday, young Endeavour Morse's mentor in a 1960s Oxford - by 2016 he had portrayed this central character in two additional series. In April 2012 he also starred as Uncle Vanya in the play by Anton Chekhov at the Chichester Festival Theatre.

In 2013 he starred as Prospero in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest at Shakespeare's Globe theatre in London[7] alongside Colin Morgan as Ariel. Allam presented Michael Frayn at the 2013 Olivier Awards with a Special Lifetime Award which was aired by ITV1. Allam has also reteamed with Stephen Frears in Tamara Drewe, the film version of Posy Simmond's popular comic strip. He plays the crime novelist Nicholas Hardiment, who is bewitched by London journalist Tamara Drewe, played by Gemma Arterton. In the closing chapter of his Timebends autobiography (1987) Arthur Miller writes of Allam: "To play the 1986 Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Archbishop's Ceiling, Roger Allam gave up the leading role as Javert in the monster hit Les Misérables because he had done it over sixty times and thought my play more challenging for him at that moment of his career. Nor did he consider his decision a particularly courageous one. This is part of what a theatre culture means and it is something few New York actors would have the sense of security even to dream of doing." [8]

In August 2014, Allam was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian expressing their hope that Scotland would vote to remain part of the United Kingdom in September's referendum on that issue.[9]

Allam narrates the Channel 4 series The Auction House.[10]

In October and November 2016 Allam appeared as Brigadier Adrian Stone in the BBC series The Missing.[11]



Year Title Role Theatre
1976 Vinegar Tom Doctor Humberside Theatre, Hull
1979 Mary Barnes Lecturer/Angie's brother Royal Court Theatre
1981 Twin Rivals Subtleman/Richmore
1981 Two Gentlemen of Verona Outlaw
1981 Titus Andronicus Demetrius
1981, 1983 All's Well That Ends Well Morgan Royal Shakespeare Theatre (1981) Martin Beck Theatre (1983)
1982 Our Friends in the North Conrad
1982 Poppy Lin
1983 The Charge of the Light Brigade (RSC Festival) Terence Gawain Hackett
1983 Typhoid Mary (RSC Festival) Dr Soper
1984 Romeo and Juliet Mercutio
1984 A Midsummer Night's Dream Theseus/Oberon
1984 Richard III Clarence
1984 Today Victor Ellison
1984 The Party Ford
1985 The Dream Play The Officer
1985–1986 Les Misérables Javert Barbican Theatre (1985) Palace Theatre (1986)
1986 The Archbishop's Ceiling Adrian
1986 Heresies Pimm
1987 Measure for Measure The Duke Vincentio
1987 Twelfth Night Sir Toby Belch
1987 Julius Caesar Brutus
1989 The Fairy Queen Oberon Aix-en-Provence Festival
1990 The Seagull Trigorin
1990 Much Ado About Nothing Benedick
1991 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Jekyll
1992 Madras House Philip Madras Lyric Hammersmith
1992 Una Pooka Angelo Tricycle Theatre
1993 City of Angels Stone Prince of Wales Theatre
1994 Arcadia Bernard Nightingale Theatre Royal Haymarket
1995 The Importance of Being Earnest Jack Worthing Old Vic Theatre
1995 The Way of the World Mirabell National Theatre
1997–1998 ART Serge(1997) Marc(1998) Wyndham's Theatre
1996 Macbeth Macbeth
1996 The Learned Ladies Trissotin
1999 Summerfolk Bassov National Theatre
1999 Money Henry Graves National Theatre
1999 Troilus and Cressida Ulysses National Theatre
2000 The Cherry Orchard Lopakhin National Theatre
2000 Albert Speer Adolf Hitler National Theatre
2001 Privates on Parade Terri Dennis Donmar Warehouse
2002 What The Night Is For Adam Penzius Comedy Theatre
2003 The Woman in White Performer Sydmonton Festival
2003 Democracy Willy Brandt National Theatre
2004, 2005 Aladdin Abbanazar The Old Vic
2006 Blackbird Ray Albery Theatre
2006 Pravda Lambert Le Roux Chichester Festival Theatre, Birmingham Repertory Theatre
2007 Boeing, Boeing Bernard Comedy Theatre
2007 The Giant Leonardo da Vinci Hampstead Theatre
2008 Afterlife Max Reinhardt National Theatre
2009 La Cage Aux Folles Albin/Zaza Playhouse Theatre
2009 God of Carnage (UK Tour) Michel Vallon
2010 Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 Falstaff Shakespeare's Globe
2013 The Tempest Prospero Shakespeare's Globe
2014 Seminar Leonard Hampstead Theatre
2015 The Moderate Soprano John Christie Hampstead Theatre
2017 Limehouse Roy Jenkins Donmar Warehouse


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Wilt Davz
2003 Strangers Eric Short film
2005 A Cock and Bull Story Adrian
2006 The Wind That Shakes the Barley Sir John Hamilton
2006 The Queen Robin Janvrin
2006 V for Vendetta Lewis Prothero
2008 Speed Racer E.P. Arnold Royalton
2010 Tamara Drewe Nicholas Hardiment
2011 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Henry Pelham, Prime Minister of Great Britain
2011 The Iron Lady Gordon Reece
2012 The Woman in Black Mr Bentley [13]
2012 The Angels' Share Thaddeus
2013 The Book Thief Narrator/Death
2015 Mr. Holmes Dr. Barrie
2015 A Royal Night Out Stan
2015 The Lady in the Van Rufus
2016 The Hippopotamus Ted Wallace Post-Production
2016 The Truth Commissioner Henry Stanfield


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Ending Up Dr. Mainwaring Made-for-television film
1989 The Fairy Queen Oberon Made-for-television film
1990 The Investigation: Inside a Terrorist Bombing Charles Tremayne Made-for-television film
1992 Shakespeare: The Animated Tales Duke Orsino / Narrator (voice) Television mini series; episodes "The Winter's Tale" and "Twelfth Night"
1994 Screen Two Stephen Summerchild Television series; episode "A Landing on the Sun"
1998 Heartbeat Graham Hayes Television series; episode "Echoes of the Past"
1997 Inspector Morse Denis Cornford Television series; episode "Death Is Now My Neighbour"
1998–2000 The Creatives Charlie Baxter Television series
1998 Midsomer Murders Alan Hollingsworth Television series; episode "Faithful unto Death"
1999 RKO 281 Walt Disney Made-for-television film
2002 Foyle's War Alastair Graeme Television series; episode "Eagle Day"
2002 Waking the Dead Benjamin Gold Television series; episode "Thin Air"
2003 The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone Christopher Made-for-television film
2005 The Inspector Lynley Mysteries Simon Featherstonehaugh Television series; episode "The Seed of Cunning"
2006 Spooks Paul Millington Television series
2007–2012 The Thick of It Peter Mannion Television series
2008 The Curse of Steptoe Tom Sloane Made-for-television film
2009 The Old Guys Ned Television series; episode "The Therapist"
2009 Margaret John Wakeham Made-for-television film
2009 Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire General Arcadius Television series
2009 Ashes to Ashes Detective Superintendent Mackintosh Television series
2011 Game of Thrones Magister Illyrio Mopatis Television series; Episodes: "Winter is Coming" and "The Wolf and the Lion"
2012– Endeavour Detective Inspector Fred Thursday Television series
2012 Parade's End General Campion Television series
2013-2016 Sarah & Duck Narrator Children's Television Series
2013 The Politician's Husband Marcus Brock BBC Two Three Part Drama
2014 Bad Education Maurice Hewston BBC Three Comedy
2016 The Missing Adrian Stone BBC One Drama



Allam has read several audiobooks, including Solar by Ian McEwan.


  1. ^ "Biography". Official Roger Allam Fan Site. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Gore-Langton, Robert (25 November 2002). "Acting? This is the real thing". The Times. 
  3. ^ "Roger Allam on Mercutio from 'Romeo and Juliet'". Official Website of Roger Allam. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "Productions : Afterlife". National Theatre. 
  5. ^ Smith, Alistair (23 April 2010). "Roger Allam to play Falstaff at Globe". The Stage. 
  6. ^ "Roger Allam Wins Best Actor". Olivier Awards. 13 March 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Mesure, Susie (6 April 2013). "Roger Allam: Lear in waiting". The Independent. 
  8. ^ "Stage". Official Website of Roger Allam. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories". The Guardian. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  10. ^ Wollaston, Sam (18 June 2014). "The Auction House - TV review". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  11. ^ Gill, James (26 October 2016). "The Missing series 2 episode 2: what is Roger Allam's character Brigadier Stone up to?". Radio Times. 
  12. ^ "Stage". Official Roger Allam Fan Site. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "The Woman in Black (2011) – Cast". Hammer Films. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  14. ^ "The King's General". BBC. 
  15. ^ "The Man In The Elephant Mask". 
  16. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Classic Serial, The Ring and the Book, Episode 1". BBC. 
  17. ^ "BBC Radio 4 – Cabin Pressure". BBC. 
  18. ^ "BBC Radio 4 – Will Smith's Midlife Crisis Management". BBC. 
  19. ^ "BBC Radio 4 – War and Peace, Episode 10". BBC. 

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