fiona shaw

Shakespeare at the Movies- The Harry Potter Series! Part 1

July 31 is a very special day for the Shakespeare in Action team. Around the world, wizards and muggles alike come together to celebrate the birth of one of fiction’s greatest modern heroes, Harry Potter (And his creator, JK Rowling!) With so many of the cast members being seasoned Shakespearean actors, we are going to spend all week celebrating Harry’s birthday with a special 5-part edition of Shakespeare at the Movies! Part 1 will focus on actors who made their debut in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone!


Richard Harris (Albus Dumbledore)

Appeared in:

  • Measure for Measure (Stratford Theatre Festival, 1946)
  • Macbeth (Theatre Royal, 1957) as Ross
  • Julius Caesar: A Work in Progress (University of Scranton, 1988) as Julius Caesar
  • My Kingdom (2001) as Sandeman

*Richard Harris was also a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company from the early 1960’s until the mid 1990’s!


Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall)

Appeared in:

  • Twelfth Night (Oxford University Dramatics Society, 1952) as Viola
  • Othello (1965) as Desdemona
  • Much Ado About Nothing (TV movie, 1967) as Beatrice
  • The Merchant of Venice (BBC Play of the Month, 1972) as Portia
  • Richard III (1995) as Duchess of York
  • Romeo.Juliet (1990) as Rosaline
  • Gnomeo and Juliet (2011) as Lady Blueberry

*Maggie Smith won the Stratford Shakespeare Festivals Legacy Award in 2012, appearing in many roles from 1976- 1980, including Queen Elizabeth in Richard III, Cleopatra, and Lady Macbeth.


Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid)

Appeared in:

  • Henry V (1989) as Sir John Falstaff


Fiona Shaw (Petunia Dursley)

Appeared in:

  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (British National Theatre, 1983)
  • As You Like It (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1985)
  • Hamlet (British National Theatre, 1989)
  • Richard III (Royal National Theatre, 1990)
  • Hamlet (Royal National Theatre, 1990)
  • Shakespeare: The Animated Tales- Twelfth Night (1992) as Viola
  • Macbeth (Royal National Theatre, 1993)
  • Richard II (Royal National Theatre, 1995)
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor (Royal National Theatre, 1995)
  • Richard II (TV movie, 1997) as Richard II
  • Othello (Royal National Theatre, 1998)
  • Measure for Measure (Royal National Theatre, 2002)
  • Midsummer Dream (2005) The Witches
  • Julius Caesar (London’s Barbican Centre, 2005) as Calpurnia


Harry Melling (Dudley Dursley)

Appeared in:

  • King Lear (Chichester Festival Theater, 2014) as The Fool


Richard Griffiths (Vernon Dursley)

Appeared in:

  • Macbeth (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1975) as the English doctor, and murderer
  • Twelfth Night (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1975)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1977)
  • The Comedy of Errors (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1977)
  • The Tempest (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1978)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1978)
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1978)
  • Antony and Cleopatra (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1978)
  • Henry VIII (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1983)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Royal National theatre, 2002)
  • The Winter’s Tale (Royal National theatre, 2002)
  • Hamlet (Royal National theatre, 2002)
  • Hamlet (Royal National theatre, 2002)
  • The Hollow Crown- Henry V (TV mini-series, 2012) as the Duke of Burgundy


Derek Deadman (Tom the Bartender)

Appeared in:

  • The Taming of the Shrew (TV movie, 1980) as Nicholas
  • Timon of Athens (TV movie, 1981) as Second Bandit

John Hurt (Ollivander)

Appeared in:

  • The Tempest (Caedmon Audio presentation, 1965) as Ferdinand
  • Romeo and Juliet (Coventry, 1973) as Romeo
  • King Lear (TV movie, 1983) as The Fool
  • Romeo.Juliet (1990) as La Dame aux Chats and Mercutio
  • The Hollow Crown- Henry V (TV mini-series, 2012) as The Chorus
  • King Lear: scene 133 (Short, 2013) as King Lear


Richard Bremmer (Voldemort)

Appeared in:

  • King John (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1988) as Cardinal Pandulph
  • Richard II (TV movie, 1997) as Henry Bolingbroke
  • The Hollow Crown- Richard II (mini-series, 2012) as Abbot of Westminster
  • King Lear (Royal National Theatre)
  • Richard II (Royal National Theatre)
  • Richard III (Royal National Theatre)
  • Henry VI (Royal Shakespeare Company)
  • Julius Caesar (Shakespeare’s Globe) as Cassius


Geraldine Somerville (Lily Potter)

Appeared in:

  • Romeo and Juliet (TV movie, 1994) as Juliet


Julie Walters (Molly Weasley)

Appeared in:

  • The Taming of the Shrew (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1980)
  • Macbeth (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1985)
  • Romeo and Juliet (Royal National Theatre, 2000)
  • Hamlet (Royal National Theatre, 2000)
  • Gnomeo and Juliet (2011) as Miss Montague
  • The Hollow Crown- Henry IV Part 1 (mini-series, 2012) as Mistress Quickly
  • The Hollow Crown- Henry IV Part 2 (mini-series, 2012) as Mistress Quickly
  • The Hollow Crown- Henry V (mini-series, 2012) as Mistress Quickly


Alfie Enoch (Dean Thomas)

Appeared in:

  • Timon of Athens (National Theatre, 2012) as Philotus
  • Coriolanus (National Theatre, 2013) as Titus


Leslie Phillips (The Sorting Hat)

Appeared in:

  • The Merry Wives of Windsor (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1997) as Sir John Falstaff


John Cleese (Nearly Headless Nick)

Appeared in:

  • The Taming of the Shrew (TV movie, 1980) as Petruchio


Terence Bayler (The Bloody Baron)

Appeared in:

  • Hamlet (TV series, 1961) as Player King
  • Macbeth (1971) as Macduff


David Bradley (Argus Filch)

Appeared in:

  • Measure for Measure (National Theatre, 1974)
  • The Tempest (National Theatre, 1974)
  • Romeo and Juliet (National Theatre, 1974)
  • Richard III (Royal National Theatre, 1990)
  • King Lear (Royal National Theatre, 1990)
  • Hamlet (Royal National Theatre, 1990)
  • Richard II (Royal National Theatre, 1995)
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor (Royal National Theatre, 1995)
  • Two Gentlemen of Verona (Royal National Theatre, 1999)
  • The Merchant of Venice (Royal National Theatre, 1999)
  • Troilus and Cressida (Royal National Theatre, 1999)
  • Twelfth Night (Donmar Warehouse, 2002)
  • The Hollow Crown (mini- series, 2012) as The Gardener


Alan Rickman (Severus Snape)

Appeared in:

  • Romeo and Juliet (TV movie, 1978) as Tybalt
  • The Tempest (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1978) as Ferdinand
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1978) as Boyet
  • The WInter’s Tale (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1978) as Father Garnet
  • Antony and Cleopatra (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1979) as Alexas
  • Troilus and Cressida (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1985) as Achilles
  • As You Like It (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1985) as Jaques
  • Antony and Cleopatra (Royal National Theatre, 1998)
  • Reading of Sonnet #12 (2009)


Zoe Wanamaker (Madam Hooch)

Appeared in:

  • The Taming of the Shrew (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, 1975) as Kate
  • The Taming of the Shrew (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1978) as Bianca
  • Richard III (TV movie, 1983) as Lady Anne
  • Twelfth Night (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1983) as Viola
  • The Comedy of Errors (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1983) as Adriana
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (British National Theatre, 1983)
  • Hamlet (British National Theatre, 1986)
  • Antony and Cleopatra (British National Theatre, 1988)
  • Cymbeline (British National Theatre, 1988)
  • The Tempest (British National Theatre, 1988)
  • The Winter’s Tale (British National Theatre, 1988) as Catherine Wintour
  • Othello (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1989) as Emilia
  • Shakespeare- The Animated Tales (1992) as Lady Macbeth
  • Much Ado About Nothing (National Theatre, 2007) as Beatrice

Sean Biggerstaff (Oliver Wood)

Appeared in:

  • Macbeth (Tron Theatre, 1993) as Son of Macduff
  • Macbeth (Scottish Youth Theatre)
  • Much Ado About Nothing (Scottish Youth Theatre)
  • Hamlet (Scottish Youth Theatre)


Adrian Rawlins (James Potter) Appeared in:

  • Tales of the Fourth Dimension- William Shakespeare (Short, 2009)


Elizabeth Spriggs (The Fat Lady)

Appeared in:

  • Hamlet (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1965) as Gertrude
  • Timon of Athens (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1965)
  • The Comedy of Errors (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1965)
  • All’s Well That Ends Well (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1968) as Widow
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1968)
  • Julius Caesar (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1968)
  • Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1971)
  • Hamlet (National Theatre, 1976)
  • Julius Caesar (National Theatre, 1977)
  • Measure for Measure (National Theatre, 1977)
  • Richard III (National Theatre, 1977)
  • Macbeth (National Theatre, 1978)
  • Julius Caesar (TV movie, 1979) as Calpurnia
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor (TV movie, 1982) as Mistress Quickly


Ray Fearon (Firenze)

Appeared in:

  • Love’s Labour’s Lost (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1992)
  • The Merchant of Venice (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1993) as the Prince of Morocco
  • Troilus and Cressida (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1996) as Paris
  • Hamlet (1996) as Francisco
  • Othello (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1999) as Othello
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Crucible Theatre, 2003) as Oberon
  • Julius Caesar (Royal Shakespeare Company, 2012) as Mark Antony
  • Macbeth (Manchester International Festival, 2013) as Macduff

Check back tomorrow for part 2, where we will focus on the characters from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets!

Shakespeare Was a Muggle

J.K. Rowling is one of the bestselling British authors of all time. Her books are internationally beloved. However, there is another author from England who is equally renowned. That writer is none other than William Shakespeare himself. There may be few apparent connections between the magical world that Harry Potter and his friends live in and Hamlet’s Denmark, Shylock’s Venice, or any of the other characters and settings in Shakespeare’s works. Yet, there is something about the two author’s works that inspire crossovers, if not with plots then with people. The Harry Potter franchise has had some of the world’s best Shakespearian actors and actresses take on the roles of muggles and wizards alike.

Here is a list of some Shakespearian Actors and their connections to Harry Potter:

Kenneth Branagh – Professor Gilderoy Lockhart


Professor Lockhart may not be the most memorable character from the Harry Potter franchise, but when portrayed by Shakespearian heavyweight Kenneth Branagh on screen, it is difficult not to pay attention. Away from Harry Potter, Branagh is known for his abilities to bring the Bard to the big screen. His film adaptations include Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Hamlet, and Love’s Labour’s Lost. He has also appeared onscreen as Iago in Oliver Parker’s Othello. Aside from his films, Branagh has been connected to countless stage productions.

Emma Thompson – Professor Sybill Trelawney

sybill-trelawney emma-thompson

The former wife of Branagh, Thomson has acted in Shakespeare adaptations on and off the screen. She appeared alongside Branagh in Henry V before taking on a lead role in his Much Ado About Nothing. She has also been involved in several stage productions of Shakespeare’s works throughout her acting career. Though her portrayal of sharp-tongued Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing may make her unrecognizable as the helter-skelter Professor Trelawney, Thompson’s acting can be enjoyed in whatever project she’s involved with.

Alan Rickman – Professor Severus Snape


Though often difficult to love in his role as Professor Snape, Alan Rickman is capable of much more than the monotone portions master. He is a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and his formal training has involved him in many Shakespearian productions. Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, and Antony and Cleopatra are only a few of the many projects that Rickman has participated in throughout his acting career.

Maggie Smith – Professor Minerva McGonagall

minerva-mcgonagall maggie-smith

Maggie Smith has had a long acting career spanning across the globe from the London stage to Stratford, Ontario. Her work with the Stratford Festival landed her roles as Lady Macbeth and Cleopatra. She has also starred as Desdemona in the 1965 film adaptation of Othello. At eighty years old, Dame Maggie Smith is still acting and will probably appear on stage again.

Ralph Fiennes – Lord Voldemort

lord-voldemort ralph-fiennes

Another Royal Shakespeare Company alum, Fiennes has taken on roles from Hamlet to the one “who must not be named” himself, Lord Voldemort. Since the mid-eighties, he has played many of the great Shakespearian roles from lovesick Romeo, to aging Prospero. He received a Tony Award for his portrayal of Prince Hamlet on Broadway, and made his debut as a director with his adaptation of Coriolanus. Though his role as Voldemort is finished, Fiennes continues to be heavily involved in Shakespeare productions.

Fiona Shaw – Mrs. Petunia Dursley 

petunia-dursley fiona-shaw

It may not be easy to picture tight-lipped Mrs. Dursley as Richard II, but Fiona Shaw has successfully tackled both roles. She has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her most memorable appearance in a Shakespearian production was in her role as Richard the II in 1997 gender bending rendition of the play. She remains one of the top classical actresses working today.