Alex Lawther

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.

Alex Lawther
Lawther at the 58th BFI London Film Festival Awards in 2014
Born
Alexander Jonathan Lawther[1]

(1995-05-04) 4 May 1995
EducationChurcher's College
OccupationActor
Years active2011–present

Early life

Alex Lawther was born in Petersfield, Hampshire.[2] 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.[3] His parents both work in law,[3] while his older brother, Cameron Lawther, is a film producer, and his older sister Ellie Lawther works in public policy.[4] 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.[5][6] Lawther played Ratty in The Wind in the Willows at school.[7] Lawther did not study drama at GCSE or A level.[4] He trained with the National Youth Theatre.

Career

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.[3] He made his feature film debut as the young Alan Turing in the Academy Award-winning film The Imitation Game (2014).[3][8][9][10] The role won him the London Film Critics' Circle Award for "Young British Performer of the Year" in 2015.[11] 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.[12]

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.[13] 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.

Recognition

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".[3] He has been compared to actor Ben Whishaw,[3] whom he cites as an idol of his.[14]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2013 Benjamin Britten: Peace and Conflict Benjamin Britten[15] Docudrama
2014 The Imitation Game Young Alan Turing London Film Critics' Circle Award for "Young British Performer of the Year"[16]
Nominated BFI London Film Festival Award for Best British Newcomer[17]
2014 X+Y Isaac Cooper[15]
2016 Departure Elliot[18]
2017 Freak Show Billy Bloom
2017 Goodbye Christopher Robin Older Christopher Robin Milne
2018 Ghost Stories Simon Rifkind
2018 Old Boys Amberson
TBA The French Dispatch Post-production

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2014 Holby City Fred Bamber 1 episode
2016 Black Mirror Kenny Episode: "Shut Up and Dance"
2017 Carnage Volunteer: Joseph Mockumentary
2017 Howards End Tibby Miniseries
2017–2019 The End of the F***ing World James Main role, 16 episodes

Stage

Year Title Role Venue
2011 South Downs John Blakemore Chichester Festival Theatre[19]
2012 South Downs John Blakemore Harold Pinter Theatre[20]
2013 Fault Lines Ryan Hampstead Theatre[21]
2014 The Glass Supper Jamie Hampstead Theatre[22]
2015 Crushed Shells and Mud Derek Southwark Playhouse[23]
2017-2019 The Jungle Sam Young Vic Theatre & Playhouse Theatre (2018),[24] St. Ann’s Warehouse


Radio

Year Title Role Notes
2013 South Downs John Blakemore
2014 How to Say Goodbye Properly Toby[25]
2014 Rock Me Amadeus Charlie[26] BBC Radio 4[26]
2015 Decline and Fall[27] Peter

References

  1. "FamilySearch".
  2. "London's top 25 under-25s: they're young and successful - deal with it". Evening Standard. 28 March 2013.
  3. Bellotti, Alex. "Teenage prodigy Alex Lawther following footsteps of Ben Whishaw and Benedict Cumberbatch". Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  4. "Actor Profile".
  5. "Bordon Post". Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  6. "Old Churcherian Alex Lawther has continued to enjoy a successful and varied acting career since leaving Churcher's". Churcher's College. Archived from the original on 19 January 2015.
  7. Parkes, Tom (16 February 2015). "New star in the game". Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  8. Bellotti, Alex. "Teenage prodigy Alex Lawther following footsteps of Ben Whishaw and Benedict Cumberbatch". Ham & High. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  9. Zakarin, Jordan. "Meet the Actor Who Plays a Young Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'". Yahoo. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  10. Barnard, Linda. "Alex Lawther's performance as teen Turing gave director goosebumps". The Star. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  11. "'Boyhood' Wins at U.K. Critics' Awards as U.S. Talent Triumphs". Variety.
  12. Harvey, Dennis (18 January 2016). "Film Review: 'Departure'". Variety. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  13. "The Stories For 'Black Mirror' Season 3 Have Been Revealed (Spoiler-Free)". The Verge. 9 September 2016.
  14. "Alex Lawther Tickets - Tour Dates & Artist Information - ATG Tickets". Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  15. "Alex Lawther: Actor". The Stage.
  16. "Alex Lawther: Actor". The Critics Circle. Archived from the original on 18 February 2015.
  17. "Alex Lawther: Actor". British Film Institute.
  18. "Alex Lawther: Actor". Peccadillo Pictures. Archived from the original on 19 August 2018. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  19. "South Downs/The Browning Version, Minerva Theatre, Chichester, review". The Telegraph.
  20. "South Downs/ The Browning Version, Harold Pinter Theatre - review". London Evening Standard.
  21. "Fault Lines Cast and Crew". Hampstead Theatre.
  22. "The Glass Supper, Hampstead Downstairs - theatre review". London Evening Standard.
  23. "Crushed Shells and Mud Official site". Southwark Playhouse.
  24. "The Jungle". Young Vic website.
  25. "Afternoon Drama on BBC R4". BBC Radio 4.
  26. "Rock Me Amadeus". BBC Radio 4.
  27. "BBC Radio 4 - Drama, Evelyn Waugh - Decline and Fall, Episode 1". BBC.
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