The Sister Cast: Russell Tovey and Bertie Carvel’s Best-Known Roles

Written by Luther creator Neil Cross, The Sister stars Russell Tovey and Bertie Carvel as acquaintances connected by a long-buried, dark secret. The four-part paranormal thriller based on Cross’ novel The Burial, sees Nathan Redman (Tovey) and Bob Morrow (Carvel) tussle with their conscience when the past re-emerges and threatens to upend the lives they’ve built. Tovey and Carvel star alongside Amrita Acharia as Nathan’s partner Holly, and Nina Toussaint-White as Holly’s friend and a police officer investigating the disappearance of a young woman (Simone Ashley).

Leads Carvel and Tovey boast a long and healthy back-catalogue of stage and screen parts. See below for five of their most recognisable roles to date. 

Bertie Carvel: Magician, Adulterer, Headmistress, Murdoch, Agatha Christie 

Jonathan Strange – Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Bertie Carvel in Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Carvel was dream-casting for the role of mercurial magician Jonathan Strange in the 2015 BBC One adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s rich period-fantasy Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (a cracker for fans of 19th century lit and astonishingly worthy of its 1000-odd page length). He was paired perfectly with Eddie Marsan as the withdrawn and bookish Mr Norrell, against whom Carvel’s Strange appeared even more, well… strange. Carvel played the character as part Dr Frankenstein, part Lord Byron, with his own sense of mischief and unpredictability. Magic.

Miss Trunchbull – Matilda the Musical

Bertie Carvell Miss Trunchbull Matilda the Musical

Roald Dahl’s villains are legendary, and on stage, Bertie Carvel made the antagonist of Matilda the Musical unforgettable. Plumped out with padding, a hump, warts, a wig and a weightlifter’s belt, he didn’t play the terrifyingly sadistic headmistress for laughs, but got them anyway. Carvel won an Olivier award for the performance, and was nominated for a Tony. In the upcoming film version of the Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin musical, Voldemort himself, aka Ralph Fiennes, is reported to be picking up the Miss Trunchbull role.

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