British actor David Suchet


“…with the fortune of Poirot, I have still done more theatre…”

— David Suchet for A&E, 2000


Speaking about the beginning of his actor’s career Suchet says: “When I was 16 or 17 I played Macbeth in the school play. I’d done other plays at school but following Macbeth, which was particularly well received, my English teacher, advised that I would maybe enjoy joining a group of young theatre people called the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, which I thought was a great idea. So I went to audition and then joined them and enjoyed acting very much“.

But actually his debut was even earlier — David Suchet was 5 when he played a small role in “Through The Looking-Glass And What Alice Found There“ in the amateur theatre. Neither in childhood nor in adolescence David thought of becoming a professional actor. He was going to follow his father and trained to enter the Medical college. However the exams showed he was not good enough at Math and Chemistry. “I remember the moment I wanted to become an actor. I had just finished the last performance of Bartholomew Fair by Ben Jonson at the Royal Court Theatre in London. I had picked up my make-up bag and went to the stage to watch all the scenery coming down, and as I saw the scenery coming down and the light bars coming down and the empty auditorium and started remembering what it was like being on that stage, I thought the atmosphere was so incredible that, at that moment, standing there, I decided that my life should be in the theatre and in show business“.

In a year David Suchet entered London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). He was 18. In three years he got the degree of the Shakespearean Actor, at the end of 1969 he had a professional debut in the Gateway Theatre (Chester) starring in the play “Under Milk Wood“ by Dylan Thomas. David played his first large roles in plays of the world-known playwrights such as Bernard Show, Arthur Miller, Eduardo de Filippo, Samuel Beckett on the same stage. Here in 1970 the 23-year-old man set a specific theatrical record: he played Shylock in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice“ — probably he was the youngest Shylock in the British history. 10 years later for performing the same role in the production of John Barton in the Aldwych Theatre David was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Awards — the most prestigious national theatrical award. Since 1973 David has been the actor of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He played the best Shakespeare’s repertoire — more than 20 plays on stages of Stratford-upon-Avon, the Royal Court Theatre and the Aldwych Theatre!

In 1999 David Suchet debuted in Broadway. The musical “Amadeus“ based on the popular Peter Shaffer’s play was very successful both with the audience and critics. For performing the role of Antonio Salieri in this play David Suchet was nominated for the highest US theatrical award — the Tony Awards.

Title Part Theatre Director
The Last Confession by Roger Crane Cardinal Giovanni Benelli Chichester, UK Tour and West End (Royal Haymarket) David Jones
World Tour (Canada, USA, Australia) Jonathan Church
2012 Long Day's Journey Into Night by Eugene O'Neil James Tyrone Apollo Anthony Page
2010 All My Sons by Arthur Miller Joe Keller Apollo Howard Davies
2009 Complicit by Joe Sutton Roger Cowan Old Vic Kevin Spacey
2005 2006 Once in a Lifetime by Moss Hart and George Kaufman Herman Glogauer National Theatre Edward Hall
2004 2005 Man and Boy by Terence Rattigan Gregor Antonescu UK Tour and West End (The Duchess) Maria Aitken
1998 2000 Amadeus by Peter Shaffer Salieri UK Tour, Old Vic and US (Los Angeles and Broadway) Peter Hall
1998 Saturday, Sunday, Monday by Edoardo De Filippo Chichester Jude Kelly
1996 1997 Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee George Almeida and West End (Aldwych) Howard Davies
1994 What a Performance by William Humble Sid Field UK Tour and West End (the Queens) Roger Redfarn
1993 Oleanna by David Mamet John The Royal Court Theatre, Duke of York's Theatre Harold Pinter
1991 Timon of Athens by William Shakespeare Timon Young Vic Trevor Nunn
1987 Separation by Tom Kempinski Joe Green Michael
1985 1986 Othello by William Shakespeare Iago RST (‘85) and The Barbican (’86) Terry Hands
1982 Every Good Boy Deserves Favour by Tom Stoppard Ivanov The Barbican Trevor Nunn
1981 1982 The Swan Down Gloves by Billie Brown and Nigel Hess Mazda RST and Aldwych Terry Hands
1980 1981 Troilus and Cressida by William Shakespeare Achilles RST and Aldwych Terry Hands
1980 1981 The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare Shylock RST and Aldwych John Barton
1980 1981 Richard III by William Shakespeare Edward IV RST (’80) and Aldwych (’81) Terry Hands
1980 1981 Richard II by William Shakespeare Henry Bolingbroke RST (’80) and Aldwych (’81) Terry Hands
1980 The Wedding Feast by Arnold Wesker Birmingham Repertory Theatre Peter Farago
1979 1980 Once in a Lifetime by Moss Hart and George Kaufman Herman Glogauer Aldwych and Piccadilly Trevor Nunn
1979 He That Plays the King by William Shakespeare Gloucester, Henry V,Macbeth, Osric Theatre Royal, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1979 The Loving Voyage by William Shakespeare Benedick Theatre Royal, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1979 The Loving Voyage by William Shakespeare Bassanio Theatre Royal, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1978 1979 Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare Angelo RST (’78) Aldwych (’79) Barry Kyle
1978 1979 Anthony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare Pompey RST (’78) Aldwych (’79) Peter Brook
1978 1979 Love’s Labour’s Lost by William Shakespeare Sir Nathaniel RST (’78) Aldwych (’79) John Barton
1978 1979 Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare Grumio RST (’78) Aldwych (’79) Michael Bogdanov
1978 The Bear by Anton Chekhov Grigory Smirnov Royal Court Theatre
1978 Tempest by William Shakespeare Caliban Royal Court Theatre Clifford Williams
1978 Winter’s Tale by Rosalind Winter Ron Daniels
1978 Laughter! by Peter Barnes Royal Court Theatre
1978 1977 Iniquity (The Kreutzer Sonata) by Leo Tolstoy Pozdnyshev Birmingham Repertory Theatre (’77), Royal Court Theatre (’78) Peter Farago
1976 1977 Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare Lucio Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Edinburgh Festival,
National Theatre (Lyttelton) and European Tour
Stuart Burge
1976 1977 The Devil is an Ass by Ben Jonson Thomas Gilthead Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Edinburgh Festival,
National Theatre (Lyttelton) and European Tour
Stuart Burge
1975 Habeas Corpus by Alan Bennett Arthur Wickstead
1975 Love’s Labour’s Lost by William Shakespeare Ferdinand and Navarre US Tour and Aldwych David Jones
1975 King John by William Shakespeare Hubert Aldwych John Barton,
Barry Kyle
1975 Summerfolk by Maksim Gorkij Nikolai Aldwych and US Tour David Jones
1974 King Lear by William Shakespeare Fool TOP and The Place and US Tour Buzz Goodbody
1974 King John by William Shakespeare Hubert RST John Barton,
Barry Kyle
1974 Comrades by August Strindberg Willmer RST Barry Kyle
1974 Cymbeline by William Shakespeare Pisanio RST and Aldwych John Barton,
Barry Kyle,
Clifford Williams
1973 1974 Richard II by William Shakespeare soldier RST, US Tour, Aldwych John Barton
1973 1974 Toad of Toad Hall by Alan Alexander Milne Mole RST Euan Smith
1973 Love’s Labour’s Lost by William Shakespeare Ferdinand and Navarre RST David Jones
1973 Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare Tranio RST Clifford Williams
1973 As you like it by William Shakespeare Orlando RST Buzz Goodbody
1973 Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Tybalt RST Terry Hands
1972 1973 The Hollow Crown devised by John Barton RSC/US Tour John Barton
1972 1973 Pleasure and Repentance devised by Terry Hands RSC/US Tour Terry Hands
1972 1973 Sherlock Holmes based on Arthur Conan Doyle's stories Moriarty Birmingham Repertory Theatre Peter Farago
1972 1973 The Norman Conquests by Alan Ayckbourn Reg Birmingham Repertory Theatre
1972 Wait until Dark by Frederick Knott Roat Liverpool
1972 A Christmas Carol based on Charles Dickens's story Scrooge Liverpool
1972 Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett Estragon Gateway Theatre (Chester)
1972 Lady Windermere’s Fan by George Bernard Shaw Lord Windermere Gateway Theatre (Chester)
1972 Brief Lives by Patrick Garland Gateway Theatre (Chester)
1971 The Price by Arthur Miller Gregory Solomon Newbury
1971 Summer of the Seventeenth Doll by Ray Lawler Connaught Theatre (Worthing)
1971 Rashomon by Ivor Benjamin bandit Connaught Theatre (Worthing)
1971 Ghosts by Eduardo De Filippo pastor Manders Connaught Theatre (Worthing)
1970 The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare Shylock Gateway Theatre (Chester) Peter McEnery
1970 The Rainmaker by N. Richard Nash Noah Ibiza
1970 The Taming of the Schrew by William Shakespeare Petruchio Exeter
1969 1970 Ring round the Moon by Christopher Fry Messerschmann
1969 1970 Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter Ben
1969 1970 The Fantasticks by Harvey Schmidt Mortimer Gateway Theatre (Chester)
1969 1970 Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw Petkoff Gateway Theatre (Chester)
1969 1970 The Crucible by Arthur Miller Thomas Putnam Gateway Theatre (Chester)
1969 1970 The Adventures of Alice various characters Gateway Theatre (Chester)
1969 Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas Gateway Theatre (Chester)

David Suchet as Macbeth at Wellington School in the 1960s. Image from somersetcountygazette.co.uk

In rehearsal: Patrick Malahide and David Suchet. Image from http://www.bricksite.com/davidsuchet

Martha (Diana Rigg) and George (David Suchet) share a rare tender moment in a 1996 production staged at the Almeida Theatre in London. Image from enotes.com

David Suchet stars as Sid Field in William Humble's production of What a Performance at the Queens Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London in 1996. Image from silversirens.co.uk

Awards and nominations


Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Awards

— nominated in 2012, for “Long Day's Journey Into Night”;

— won in 2011, for “All My Sons”.



TheatrePeople Awards

— nominated in 2012, for “Long Day's Journey Into Night”.




The Laurence Olivier Awards

— nominated in 2011, for “All My Sons”;

— nominated in 1999, for “Amadeus”;

— nominated in 1997, for “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?”;

— nominated in 1994, for “Oleanna”;

— nominated in 1988, for “Separation”;

— nominated in 1981, for “The Merchant of Venice”;

— nominated in 1979, for “Once in a Lifetime”.


Evening Standard Awards

— nominated in 2011, for “All My Sons”;

— nominated in  1991, for “Timon of Athens”.


Variety Club Award

won in 2007, for The Last Confession”;

won in 2000, for Amadeus”;

won in 1994, for Oleanna”.


Tony Awards

— nominated in 2000, for Amadeus”.


London Critic’s Circle Theatre Award

— won in 2010, for “All My Sons”;

won in 1997, for Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?”.


Society of West End Theatres Award

— nominated in 1981, for “The Merchant of Venice”;

— nominated in 1979, for “Once In A Lifetime”.

© 2014. All rights reserved || David-Suchet.ru
© 2012. Design by Daria Pichugina
© 2001—2014. Texts by Daria Pichugina, Adelka
© 2001—2014. Translated by Adelka, Kim Dolce, Elena Ukhina et al.

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