... to Jonathan Slinger.com. Jonathan is a successful London-based actor whose career has spanned work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, roles at the National Theatre and in the West End as well as regular film and television work. Here you can find out the latest news about Jonathan, discover more about his career and view images of him in various roles; you can also leave him a message through the guestbook.
Latest news: Jonathan set to star in the West End as Willy Wonka in Sam Mendes' Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!
Jonathan is to become the West End's latest star after being offered the leading role of Willy Wonka in Sam Mendes' hit musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. With five solo songs and numerous dance routines, the part isn't an easy one to master, but Jonathan is enjoying himself as rehearsals are underway and he gets to grips with creating his interpretation of the enigmatic factory owner. Jonathan takes over from Alex Jennings on 04 May 2015 and will continue in the role for at least six months. See the extended trailer for the show here:
You can see an interview with Jon where he talks about the role here:
And finally, you can find out more about the show and book your tickets here!
Contrasting roles for Jonathan in War and Peace and Urinetown
Jon has recently taken on two contrasting projects to keep him busy after his return from Stratford. Earlier this year, he took on the musical theatre role of Officer Lockstock in the quirky musical Urinetown at the St. James Theatre to universally good reviews. Following two months of satirical shenanigans, Jon has now settled down to read the role of Denisov in Tolstoy's War and Peace, which will air on Radio 4 later this year. As well as these very different roles, Jon also acted Admiral Nelson for a television documentary about the relationship between Nelson and his long-standing lover, Emma Hamilton. With Urinetown set to hit the Apollo Theatre on September 29th, Jon will return to reprise his iconic role as the lovably violent hick Officer Lockstock. And if you can't wait that long, Jon's reviews for the original run of Urinetown are below...
"Jonathan Slinger, after many years playing Shakespearean leading roles with the RSC, proves superb as the hard-boiled cop debating the niceties of musical theatre with Karis Jack’s endearing young girl" (Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph)
"The mere presence of RSC star Jonathan Slinger as the buttonholing cop, looking like Richard III in a fascist mac, gives the proceedings an air of menace" (Michael Billington, The Guardian)
"...the real revelation is Slinger. A man so synonymous with the RSC that I thought maybe an Asbo was stopping him leaving Stratford, he’s utterly magnificent as Officer Lockstock, the lovably sadistic policeman with a deliciously fruity Noo Joisey accent whose ongoing dissection of the action provides most of ‘Urinetown’s belly laughs" (Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out)
"Jonathan Slinger - a stalwart of the Royal Shakespeare Company for which he has played Hamlet, Prospero and Richard III - is insinuating and creepy as he makes a powerful musical theatre debut as Officer Lockstock" (Mark Shenton, The Stage)
Hamlet: Reviews are in...
Press night for David Farr's Hamlet was on Tuesday 26 March and despite a mixed review of the production itself, Jonathan comes in for praise from all the critics:
"Slinger makes sense of the play in spades by exploiting the considerable range of his mercurial vocal delivery and
unexpected cadences that rise and fall, before unleashing a
heartbreaking, grief-stricken fury at Ophelia’s graveside... He finds humour in the least expected places and is immensely touching in others. His
treatment of Ophelia in the “Get thee to a nunnery” scene is wildly
abusive, stripping her of most of her clothes before smearing her face
with mud. By the end I felt I had witnessed a fully risen performance" (Neil Norman, Daily Express)
"Slinger is a joy to watch, his performance as unpredictable and strangely shaped and textured as it is emotionally engaging... It’s Slinger’s performance you come away remembering, his antic energy and pallid, ghosted face" (Natasha Tripney, The Stage)
"Jonathan Slinger's riveting protagonist... as always, Slinger is compelling to watch, he mines every phrase, utters heartwrenching cries of desolate grief and, more than any Hamlet I recall, is obsessed by Ophelia" (Michael Billington, The Guardian)
"[Slinger] is an actor of considerable talent and great presence" (Simon Tavener, What's on Stage)
"Jonathan Slinger presents a constantly intelligent reading and his performance gains in depth as the action progresses, taking us confidently through the turbulent thought processes of this would-be hero of a traditional revenge tragedy. It’s touching to see how naturally he continues to interact with his one true friend, Horatio, even in the midst of the escalating mayhem of Act Five." (Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard)
"Jonathan Slinger’s Hamlet is mesmerising as the dry, sarcastic, grief-stricken Danish prince at the centre of this Scandi-drama... he brings a touching vulnerability to this complex role" (Catherine von Ledebur, Coventry Telegraph)
Jon in The Guardian!
Trailer for Hamlet released - SoA run to start on 14 March 2013!
Hamlet is in its final rehearsal phase, and Jonathan is working hard both in and out of the rehearsal room to learn lines and build a nuanced character. Performances begin on 14 March 2013 at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, running until 28 September 2013. You can book tickets here: http://www.rsc.org.uk/buy-tickets/p/hamlet.
Jonathan chosen as Royal Shakespeare Company's next Hamlet!
Jonathan says that he was "overwhelmed" when Michael Boyd and David Farr approached him and asked him to play Hamlet in David's new production for the RSC next year. The role is commonly considered one of the most complex and difficult in the classical repertoire and has sealed the success of many an actor's career. Jonathan has accepted David's offer and will take the role of the Danish prince in the RSC's next Season. No other casting has taken place yet. Jonathan reports that he has always wanted to play the part, but was keen to do it before he tuned 40... so he'll just manage to fulfil both ambitions! Rehearsals are due to begin in January 2013, with the production coming to Stratford-Upon-Avon in the spring of 2013. Watch this space for more!
Twelfth Night and The Tempest open in Stratford Upon Avon... David Farr's production of Twelfth Night has opened in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to standing ovations from the audience. Jonathan plays the pompous Malvolio whose cross-gartered yellow stockings get him into trouble with the object of his affections, the sombre Lady Olivia, with hilarious consequences. You can see pictures, book tickets and watch the trailer here: http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/twelfth-night/. Watch this space for the critics' reaction and don't forget that Jonathan's other two plays The Comedy of Errors and The Tempest open on 16 March and 30 March respectively.
Rehearsals underway for The Tempest & Twelfth Night
Rehearsals have started in the RSC's London space for The Tempest (in which Jonathan plays the exiled Prospero) and Twelfth Night where he will play the completely contrasting role of the pompously ridiculous Malvolio. Describing the rehearsal process, Jonathan said that the cast were trying to find the magic of Propsero's island; "we don't want it to fall into a cliche" he said "we want to find something really unusual and magical about the island". Although no photographs of the rehearsals have been issued yet, the cast were at a very cold stretch of the English coast a few days ago filming the trailer for the three plays which make up What Country Friends, Is This? The Triology of plays open in Stratford-Upon-Avon on 11 March 2012 and transfers to London in June/July 2012.
Jonathan back in The Homecoming!
As some of you already know, Jonathan was knocked off his bike, cycling home after a performance a couple of weeks ago. Although he spent a few days in hospital, he has been discharged and is now recovering with his family in the Cotswolds. The worst injuries that he suffered were two breaks to his arm, but these have been operated on and he's on the mend. This unfortunate accident means that he is no longer able to perform in Macbeth as is it a very physical production and the good news is that Jonathan is back to his role of the smooth-talking pimp Lenny in The Homecoming as of Thursday 15 September until it ends on 15 October! Jonathan would also like to thank everyone who has sent him messages and cards - they're much appreciated!
Exclusive! Jonathan invited back to the Royal Shakespeare Company next year!
You heard it here first! Following his critically-acclaimed performances as Macbeth and the sinister pimp Lenny in The Homecoming, the Royal Shakespeare Company has invited Jonathan back to Stratford-on-Avon for its 2012 season to play two iconic roles - Prospero in Shakespeare's mature masterpiece The Tempest and Malvolio in the ever-popular Twelfth Night. Jonathan is delighted to return for another season in Stratford and is already looking forward to the challenge of these two very different roles.
The Homecoming opens to critical acclaim at the Swan Theatre
The RSC's production of Pinter's 1965 masterpiece The Homecoming has opened to great reviews at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. Jonathan tackles the part of Lenny, a 1960's north London pimp, a role which he says is one of the darkest he's ever played. The entire production has received enthusiastic praise from theatre critics and Jonathan's performance has been particularly endorsed; his Lenny is "a master of the
Pinter piss-take, whose pallid face, dead eyes and sharp little grin put one in mind of a shark circling its prey. Like the drama
he is both hateful and hypnotic... an especially chilling performance" (Charles Spencer, The Telegraph) Michael Billington (The Guardian) writes that "Jonathan Slinger brilliantly shows [his] pimping son, Lenny, to be a
man who believes himself to be a sexually violent cock of the walk, but
who crumbles the moment he encounters a real woman", whilst The Stage's Pat Ashworth credits Jonathan as giving "a masterful performance... as the
eerie Lenny". The Homecoming is on at The Swan Theatre until 15 October 2011; tickets can be bought from http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/homecoming/
Production photographs and a trailer for the production can also be seen on the Homecoming microsite.
Jonathan in rehearsal for Pinter's Homecoming
Macbeth: the reviews are in!
Press Night for Macbeth happened this week at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre; although reviews of the production were mixed, praise for Jonathan's interpretation of the title role was universal. There are some selected highlights below! The image to the left shows Jonathan as Macbeth and Aislin McGuckin as Lady Macbeth, courtesy of the RSC.
"Jonathan Slinger’s peroxide blond Macbeth, with
his leering grin and dead eyes, seems entirely at home... [and] once Slinger gets going with the serial killing he is horribly
as his vaulting ambition gives way first to terror and then to the
desolation of a man who realises that he has turned his existence into
meaningless wasteland." (Charles Spencer, Telegraph)
"Jonathan Slinger is a sly, edgy and psychotic Macbeth" (Michael Coveney, The Stage)
"Slinger... comes into his own when crowned, turning Macbeth into a berserk,
snickering slaughterer who is prey to nightmarish fantasies: most
sensationally when he imagines Banquo's ghost slitting his throat" (Michael Billington, Guardian)
Nouveau Guignol: First show at The Courtyard Theatre, Hoxton!
Le Nouveau Guignol, the fringe theatre company of which Jonathan is patron, performed their first show at The Courtyard Theatre, Hoxton, on 27 June 2011. History was made in the Courtyard's Studio space as Nouveau Guignol performed two plays which haven't been seen on the British stage since London's original Grand-Guignol theatre closed its doors in the 1920's! As usual, the audience were treated to a tense blend of vintage Guignol plays and some brand-new horror writing. LNG are also to be involved in the first ever London Horror Festival which will take place around Hallowe'en, when they will perform the UK premiere of the 1958 French Guignol classic The Orgy in the Lighthouse. More details to come soon!
Macbeth now open!
Michael Boyd's new production of Macbeth, starring Jonathan as the tragic thane, has opened in Stratford-upon-Avon in the newly rebuilt Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Although it's too early for the critics to have given their opinion, theatregoers have been describing the production as "intelligent", "interesting" and "fabulous". Make your own mind up! See Jonathan as Macbeth until 06 October 2011 at the RST. Book your tickets here: http://www.rsc.org.uk/buy-tickets/
The RSC at 50 - Jonathan on Radio Four...
Radio Four celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Royal Shakespeare Company with a three-part series about the history of the company and its work today. James Naughtie talks to various members of the company, including Jonathan, as he prepares to bring a new interpretation of one of Shakespeare's most memorable characters to the stage. The first programme also includes contributions from Judi Dench, Greg Doran and David Tennant, plus members of the backstage team. Listen to it here:
Macbeth rehearsal photographs and trailer released!
The RSC has released a few photographs of Macbeth in rehearsal, including some lovely shots of Jonathan looking every inch the tortured nobleman. Have a peek at:
The trailer for Macbeth has also been released and is on the RSC website; although there is no footage of Jonathan in the video, he speaks some of Shakespeare's most beautiful and well-known lines in voiceover. See it here! http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/macbeth/
Nouveau Guignol: May show announced...
After a sold-out success with their February and March productions, Le Nouveau Guignol return to their home theatre - The Old Red Lion - to stage another evening of classic Grand-Guignol and new writing on 23 May 2011. Entitled "A Few Of Our Favourite Things", the evening will consist of a classic Guignol plays - The Final Kiss and two new pieces by Guignol writer Ed Allenby, whose previous work left one well-known theatrical agent hiding her face in her cardigan! Tickets available from http://www.redliontheatres.co.uk/monday-nights.htm (scroll down past the comedy!) or from the Old Red Lion Box Office on 020 7837 7816.
Dates and more casting for Macbeth announced!
The actress who will star opposite Jonathan as the ambitious Lady Macbeth will be Aislin McGuckin. An experienced classical actress, Aisline played Olivia with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2005, and last year played the title role in Webster's dark drama, The Duchess of Malfi at the Greenwich Theatre. Further casting is yet to be announced.
Dates for the Royal Shakespeare Company's Macbeth - in which Jonathan stars as the eponymous anti-hero - have been announced. The play will open in Stratford-Upon Avon on Saturday 16 April 2011 and will run until 06 October. Public booking opens on 28 January 2011 - to book tickets or for for information, go to: www.rsc.org.uk
UPDATE: Tickets now on sale for first date! Le Nouveau Guignol set to commence residency
Tickets are now on sale for Le Nouveau Guignol's first residency performance at the Old Red Lion Theatre. Entitled "Strange Love... Romance, the Guignol way", the company present an evening of three short Guignol plays on the theme of "love". Book your tickets at:http://www.redliontheatres.co.uk/monday-nights.htmor at the box office on: 020 7837 7816.
The boutique theatre company of which Jonathan is patron are set to commence a monthly residency at The Old Red Lion Theatre. Le Nouveau Guignol are committed to restaging the classic plays of the Parisian Theatre du Grand Guignol and encouraging new writing in the same genre; a sell-out performance at the ORL in October won them a monthly residency which is due to start on 21 February 2011, with a programme including the classic The Final Kiss and two new works. They will then present an evening of Grand Guignol theatre on the third Monday evening of each month. For more details, check their website at: www.nouveauguignol.co.uk
Jonathan to play Macbeth with Royal Shakespeare Company!
The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced the exciting news that Jonathan has accepted an invitation to play the title role in a new production of Macbeth next year. Rehearsals start in mid-January 2011 and will then transfer to Stratford for the summer months; the company's year will then finish with their usual London season. No more casting details have been announced as yet, but fans of Jonathan's work will undoubtedly look forward to seeing his interpretation of the classic Shakespearean anti-hero. Watch this space for more news!
Yes, Prime Minister
Yes, Prime Minister is now over, after a very successful run, but you can still see the trailer below: