Meet our patrons, some of the U.K.’s most talented actors, who support our aim to raise awareness of important environmental and conservation issues through imaginative and creative drama projects.
Anton Lesser was born in Birmingham in 1952. He attended Moseley Grammar School for boys then went on to study Architecture at Liverpool University. While doing year in practice in Nigeria for VSO, he saw a British Council film about the Royal Shakespeare Company and knew acting was the career to pursue. He came back to England and auditioned at RADA. He came out of RADA on 13 April 1977 and started work at Stratford on 14th!
Anton now lives in Warwickshire with his wife, Madeleine (a yoga teacher), daughter Lily (next in the Lesser acting dynasty) and son Harry (at university doing Middle Eastern Studies), 2 cats and 1 dog (called 'Bear').
Dame Harriet Walter
Since training at LAMDA, Harriet has worked extensively in theatre, television, film and radio. Last year she was Livia in Women Beware Women at the National Theatre. Of her many roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she is an Associate Artist, the most recent have been Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing and Lady Macbeth. Harriet won the Evening Standard Award for her role as Elizabeth in Phyllida Lloyd’s production of Schiller’s Mary Stuart and a Tony nomination when the production transferred to Broadway in 2009.
She is best known on TV as Harriet Vane in the Lord Peter Wimsey series, and more recently as D.I. Natalie Chandler in Law and Order: UK.
Harriet most recently appeared in the film The Wedding Video. Her film credits include Young Victoria, Atonement, Babel, Bright Young Things, Sense and Sensibility and Louis Malle’s Milou et Mai. Harriet has also published three books, Other People’s Shoes, Macbeth for the Faber series ‘Actors on Shakespeare’ and this year a photography book Facing It: reflections on images of older women.
Harriet was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Birmingham University (2000) a CBE in 2000, and a DBE in the 2011 New Year’s Honours List.
Sir Derek Jacobi
Called one of the finest actors of his generation, Sir Derek Jacobi has earned a singular place in the affections of theatre goers both in Britain and America, and attracted a far wider audience when he played the Roman emperor Claudius in the BBC’s award winning production of ‘I, Claudius’ in the mid ‘70s.
A Cambridge graduate, he joined the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and was invited by Laurence Olivier to be a founding member of the National Theatre.
He was a celebrated ‘Hamlet’, touring extensively with the play in the wake of his ‘I Claudius’ success, and is also to be frequently found in London’s West End from his debut in “Breaking the Code” and “Becket” up to recent successes, Schiller’s “Don Carlos” and John Mortimer’s “A Voyage Round my Father.”
Film credits include The Day of the Jackal, Henry V, Dead Again, Up at the Villa, Gladiator, Gosford Park and Nanny McPhee.
On television he played Augusto Pinochet in Pinochet in Suburbia, and achieved a career dream playing a villain in Doctor Who, just prior to making an appearance in The Golden Compass.
Sir Mark Rylance
Sir Mark Rylance is an English stage actor. He is also an ambassador of Survival; The Movement for Tribal Peoples, and Peace Direct; working for non-violent resolution of conflict. He was the Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre for 10 years from 1996-2006. During his career, Mark has acted in 48 productions of plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries. His most recent theatre work has been acting at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre as Richard III and The Countess Olivia in Twelfth Night directed by Tim Carroll; Johnny 'Rooster' Byron in Jerusalem directed by Ian Rickson (Royal Court Theatre, West End and Broadway); Valere in La Bête directed by Matthew Warchus (West End and Broadway); Hamm in Endgame directed by Simon McBurney (West End with Complicite); Robert in Boeing Boeing directed by Matthew Warchus (West End and Broadway).
Steven Berkoff was born in Stepney, London. After studying drama and mime in London and Paris, he entered a series of repertory companies and in 1968 formed the London Theatre Group. Their first professional production was In The Penal Colony, adapted from Kafka’s story. East, Steven’s first original stage play, was presented at the Edinburgh Festival in 1975. Other original plays include Messiah: Scenes from a Crucifixion, The Secret Love Life of Ophelia, West, Decadence, Greek, Harry's Christmas, Lunch, Acapulco, Sink the Belgrano!, Massage, Sturm und Drang and Brighton Beach Scumbags. His play 6 Actors in Search of a Director recently entertained audiences at the Charing Cross Theatre, London.
Among the many adaptations Berkoff has created for the stage, directed and toured are The Trial and Metamorphosis (Kafka), Agamemnon (after Aeschylus), and The Fall Of The House Of Usher (Poe). He has also directed and toured productions of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus (also playing the title role), Richard II (for the New York Shakespeare Festival), Hamlet and Macbeth as well as Oscar Wilde’s Salomé. He directed and performed in Massage in Edinburgh and Los Angeles, and has performed One Man and Shakespeare’s Villains at venues all over the world. His production of ‘On the Waterfront’ had a critically acclaimed run in the West-End.
Steven has appeared in many films and television productions. He has also published a variety of books and has completed a variety of voiceover work and books on tape.
Steven has exhibited his photographs of London’s old East End at several galleries in London.