Colin Morgan is a Northern Irish film, television, theater and radio actor who attended Integrated College Dungannon, winning the ‘Denis Rooney Associates Cup’ for best overall student in the third year, before gaining a National Diploma in Performing Arts from the Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education in 2004. He went on to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, where he graduated from in 2007. In November 2010, the Belfast Metropolitan College honored Morgan with an Award of Distinction for his contribution to the Arts. Colin Morgan is best known for playing the title character in the BBC fantasy series Merlin (2008-12), the lead in BBC miniseries The Living and the Dead (2016) as the gentleman farmer Nathan Appleby, the central character of the story; Morgan has appeared in main roles in The Catherine Tate Show (2007), Doctor Who (2008), Quirke (2014), The Fall (2014-2016), and Humans (2015-2016). He is also known for his stage role as Ariel in The Tempest.
Morgan made his professional stage debut in the West End as the titular character Vernon God Little in an adaptation of the dark comedy mounted at the Young Vic in 2007. That same year, he went on to play the role of Esteban, an aspiring teenage writer, in the Old Vic stage adaptation of Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother opposite Dame Diana Rigg, Lesley Manville, and Mark Gatiss. For both of these roles, Morgan was nominated for the 2007 London Newcomer of the Year in the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards. He went on to appear in Thomas Babe’s A Prayer for My Daughter in 2008, Pedro Miguel Rozo’s Our Private Life in 2011, Step in Time at The Old Vic 24 Hour Musicals Celebrity Gala in 2012. He played the fey spirit Ariel opposite Roger Allam’s Prospero in the 2013 Globe Theater production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which was later broadcast to cinemas as part of Globe On Screen in May 2014, with a subsequent DVD release in July 2014. For this role, Morgan sought to imbue his portrayal of Ariel with both ethereal stillness and acrobatic precision. From 2013 to 2014, Morgan appeared as Skinny Luke in Jez Butterworth’s dark comedy Mojo at the Harold Pinter Theater. The ensemble cast included Brendan Coyle, Ben Whishaw, Rupert Grint and Daniel Mays. Mojo received favorable reviews and the London production was extended for two weeks, finishing on 8 February 2014. On 19 April 2015, Morgan appeared at the Old Vic Theater alongside music and stage legends for an exclusive and highly anticipated one-night theater event called A Gala in Honor of Kevin Spacey.
In July 2008, Screen International named Morgan as a “Star of Tomorrow,” alongside actors like Carey Mulligan where he was “hailed as the most exciting drama-school graduate since Ben Whishaw. For his performance in Merlin, Morgan received the 2008 Outstanding Newcomer award from Variety Club Showbiz Awards, and was nominated for Outstanding Actor (Drama) in the Monte Carlo TV Festival Awards in 2009, 2010, and 2011, the Best Actor award in Virgin Media TV Awards in 2012, and the prestigious Best Actor in Drama Performance: Male award in National Television Awards in 2013. In the same year, Morgan won Broadway World West End Awards’ Best Featured Actor in a New Production of a Play for his performance as Ariel in The Tempest.
Morgan’s film roles include Parked (2010), Island (2011), Testament of Youth (2015), Legend (2015), The Laughing King (2016), and The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016). He also starred as the lead character Paul Ashton in Waiting for You (2016), a British coming-of-age feature set in France and England, and will play the role of Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas in the Oscar Wilde biopic The Happy Prince (2017) written and directed by Rupert Everett . Next, he will be portraying the central role of the Irish revolutionary mastermind Seán Mac Diarmada in the Easter Rising centenary commemoration film The Rising (2017).
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