Rory Kinnear


A Line of Hamlets with their Hamlet counterparts

1971 - Ian McKellen (UK/European Tour)
2008 - David Tennant (Royal Shakespeare Company)
2010 - Rory Kinnear (National Theatre)
2015 - Benedict Cumberbatch 
2016 - Paapa Essiedu (Royal Shakespeare Company)


You have to implicate the audience. They’ve got to squirm, not just over what happens, but because they did nothing about it. They had all the knowledge – this guy was not to be trusted – and they just sat there. People have jumped onstage to stop Iago, wrestled him to the ground. One actor in the 19th century was killed in the part, shot by an audience member. I’m glad that didn’t happen. Maybe I just wasn’t good enough.
—  Rory Kinnear on Iago

UK Teaser Trailer for The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch


A Bootable Mind: Benedict Cumberbatch is tortured, code-breaking maths genius Alan Turing in Oscar hopeful The Imitation Game 

“Everybody feels it’s an important story to tell and wants to be part of it. It’s been phenomenal.” For his English-language debut, Norwegian director Morten Tyldum couldn’t really have a higher calibre cast: Benedict Cumberbatch as genius codebreaker Alan Turing, Keira Knightley as his confidante and sometime fiancée, supporting roles filled by the likes of Matthew Goode, Mark Strong and Rory Kinnear. “Anybody you ask, they say ‘Of course I want to do this!’”

Tyldum’s 2011 adaptation of Jo Nesbo’s crime novel Headhunters secured audiences and adoration, yet it hardly suggested him for a period piece about a British mathematician.

But Turing was no ordinary number-cruncher. Best known for his work as a genius codebreaker at Bletchey Park during World War II, he was crucial to the fight against the Nazis. However, he died in disgrace in 1954, after having been convicted of “gross indecency” for a gay relationship. Given how much British society has changed since the 1940s, you could argue that a Scandinavian director is no more a stranger to it than a contemporary UK filmmaker would be. 

“That you could actually, just for being gay, have to choose between chemical castration—having to take hormones that are so heavy, serious, that you cannot function sexually at all—or be sent to jail… It’s incredible,” says Tyldum. “But there’s so much more. It is such a complex story. It was the gay rights element, but also how his ideas were kept secret and how incredibly important his work was during the war, that he was never given credit for it. It’s such a complicated life and that’s why it’s been a privilege to try and make it as many-sided as possible.”

Add the casting of Cumberbatch and this could well crack the Oscar code. “Not all actors can play geniuses and Benedict can do it so well because there’s such an inner life,” says Tyldum. “His portrayal of Turing is beautiful." 

—Empire Magazine, August 2014 issue


John Clare, Penny dreadful S02E09 “And hell itself my only foe”

I lost the love of heaven ~ John Clare (1793 - 1864)

I lost the love of heaven above,

I spurned the lust of earth below,

I felt the sweets of fancied love,

And hell itself my only foe.

I lost earth’s joys, but felt the glow

Of heaven’s flame abound in me,

Till loveliness and I did grow

The bard of immortality.

I loved, but woman fell away;

I hid me from her faded flame.

I snatched the sun’s eternal ray

And wrote till earth was but a name.

In every language upon earth,

On every shore, o'er every sea,

I gave my name immortal birth

And kept my spirit with the free.