Born in Accrington, Lancashire, in 1972, Jonathan was involved with drama from an early age and was accepted to train at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1991.
Following his graduation in 1994, Jonathan won the role of Florizel (The Winter's Tale) at the newly-opened Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, going on to work at the National Theatre in productions of The Duchess of Malfi , The Coast of Utopia and Medea at the Queen's Theatre. Between theatrical roles, he also acted in several roles for television, including Cold Feet, Midsomer Murders and Foyle's War. Hollywood finally called in 2001 when he was cast as Peter in A Knight's Tale, acting alongside the late Heath Ledger.
His first work with the Royal Shakespeare Company was as Puck in Gregory Doran's A Midsummer Night's Dream, followed by the role of Dromio of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors. The roles that he is perhaps best-known for, however, are the title roles in Richard II and Richard III, both of which he played in the RSC's Histories Cycle, directed by Michael Boyd. His RSC career continued in early 2010 when he took the role of Richard in The Gods Weep - a re-imagining of King Lear - at London's Hampstead Theatre.
The last two years have seen Jonathan land television roles in the BBC's Hunter and Hustle, plus a romp as a sexually-omnivorous cyclops in the cult TV series Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire. A film - Harmony - is in post-production. Theatre includes The Gods Weep (RSC) and the role of Astrov at the Young Vic's production of Uncle Vanya.
Jonathan's last project before going back to the RSC was to play Bernard in the comedy Yes, Prime Minister, starring alongside Henry Goodman and David Haig at the Gielgud Theatre, following a sell-out run at the Chichester Festival Theatre earlier in 2010.
2011 saw him back at the RSC and tackling one of Shakespeare's most famous roles - Macbeth. Macbeth opened on 16 April 2011 at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre - the first production to be staged in the new theatre - and ran until 06 October 2011. Jonathan also played the role of vicious pimp Lenny in Pinter's dark 1960's masterpiece The Homecoming which was performed in rep with Macbeth at the Swan Theatre.
Jonathan was invited back to the RSC in
2012 to play Prospero in The Tempest and Malvolio in Twelfth Night;
these run in rep from March - October 2012 in Stratford-Upon-Avon and
As well as his successful acting career, Jonathan also mentors final-year students at RADA and is patron and adviser to the fringe theatre company Le Nouveau Guignol.
What the critics say...
"An uncommonly watchable Puck" - Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
"There’s a spectacularly funny turn by Jonathan Slinger as Dromio of
Syracuse" - Maxwell Cooter, What's on Stage
"Slinger's Richard starts out as a camp autocrat in a curly red wig... But what Slinger brings
Richard's secession of power to Bolingbroke through a mixture of guilt,
and frivolity" - Michael Billington, The Guardian
"Slinger is too good to present the king purely as an effeminate
There’s steel behind the make-up" - Maxwell Cooter, What's on Stage
"The virtuosic Jonathan Slinger seizes all his chances... There is no mistaking the charisma of the central performance." - Charles Spencer, The Telegraph
"[Jonathan Slinger is] a creature to haunt one's nightmares" - Charles Spencer, The Telegraph
"Jonathan Slinger was an acerbic, troubled Astrov—the perfect foil for
Stuart McQuarrie’s loveable Vanya" - Mel Cooper, Cooper's London
"Jonathan Slinger's brilliantly febrile Bernard... smooths over the cracks with impenetrable Latin tags" - Michael Coveney, The Independent
"Jonathan Slinger is a nerdish delight as the endlessly harassed, cruelly
put upon private secretary Bernard" - Charles Spencer, The 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
"Jonathan Slinger gives a masterful performance... as the
eerie Lenny" - Pat Ashworth, The Stage