Alexander Jonathan Lawther (born 4 May 1995) is an English actor, known for portraying James in the Channel 4 series The End of the F***ing World, and for his acclaimed role as Kenny in the season three episode "Shut Up and Dance" of the Netflix series Black Mirror. He is also known for playing the young Alan Turing in the film The Imitation Game (2014), where he won the London Film Critics' Circle Award for Young British Performer of the Year.
Lawther at the 58th BFI London Film Festival Awards in 2014
4 May 1995
Alex Lawther was born in Petersfield, Hampshire. The youngest of three, he has said that his aspiration to be an actor came from having to make up his own games to entertain himself as a child. His parents both work in law, while his older brother, Cameron Lawther, is a film producer, and his older sister Ellie Lawther works in public policy. In 2010, the brothers worked together on The Fear.
In 2009, Lawther wrote and put together a play as part of his drama club involvement at Churcher's College in Petersfield. Lawther played Ratty in The Wind in the Willows at school. Lawther did not study drama at GCSE or A level. He trained with the National Youth Theatre.
Lawther's professional debut came at the age of 16, when he appeared as John Blakemore in David Hare's South Downs at Chichester Festival Theatre. He made his feature film debut as the young Alan Turing in the Academy Award-winning film The Imitation Game (2014). The role won him the London Film Critics' Circle Award for "Young British Performer of the Year" in 2015. In 2015, he appeared in a supporting role in the critically acclaimed coming-of-age drama film X+Y. In 2016, he gained his first lead role playing Elliot, alongside Juliet Stevenson in the British film, Departure, the debut film of Andrew Steggall.
In 2016, Lawther played the main character Kenny in "Shut Up and Dance", an episode from series three of the British science fiction anthology series Black Mirror. While the episode overall received mixed reviews, Lawther received acclaim and significant recognition for his performance. In 2017, he also starred, alongside Jessica Barden, as James in the television series, The End of the F***ng World. The role also brought Lawther more acclaim from critics.
Lawther has been praised by Dame Maggie Smith for his work, reportedly telling him that "most of us spend our lives trying to do what you've achieved". He has been compared to actor Ben Whishaw, whom he cites as an idol of his.
|2013||Benjamin Britten: Peace and Conflict||Benjamin Britten||Docudrama|
|2014||The Imitation Game||Young Alan Turing||London Film Critics' Circle Award for "Young British Performer of the Year"|
Nominated – BFI London Film Festival Award for Best British Newcomer
|2017||Freak Show||Billy Bloom|
|2017||Goodbye Christopher Robin||Older Christopher Robin Milne|
|2018||Ghost Stories||Simon Rifkind|
|TBA||The French Dispatch||Post-production|
|2014||Holby City||Fred Bamber||1 episode|
|2016||Black Mirror||Kenny||Episode: "Shut Up and Dance"|
|2017–2019||The End of the F***ing World||James||Main role, 16 episodes|
|2011||South Downs||John Blakemore||Chichester Festival Theatre|
|2012||South Downs||John Blakemore||Harold Pinter Theatre|
|2013||Fault Lines||Ryan||Hampstead Theatre|
|2014||The Glass Supper||Jamie||Hampstead Theatre|
|2015||Crushed Shells and Mud||Derek||Southwark Playhouse|
|2017-2019||The Jungle||Sam||Young Vic Theatre & Playhouse Theatre (2018), St. Ann’s Warehouse|
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- Zakarin, Jordan. "Meet the Actor Who Plays a Young Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'". Yahoo. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
- Barnard, Linda. "Alex Lawther's performance as teen Turing gave director goosebumps". The Star. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
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- "South Downs/The Browning Version, Minerva Theatre, Chichester, review". The Telegraph.
- "South Downs/ The Browning Version, Harold Pinter Theatre - review". London Evening Standard.
- "Fault Lines Cast and Crew". Hampstead Theatre.
- "The Glass Supper, Hampstead Downstairs - theatre review". London Evening Standard.
- "Crushed Shells and Mud Official site". Southwark Playhouse.
- "The Jungle". Young Vic website.
- "Afternoon Drama on BBC R4". BBC Radio 4.
- "Rock Me Amadeus". BBC Radio 4.
- "BBC Radio 4 - Drama, Evelyn Waugh - Decline and Fall, Episode 1". BBC.