Charles’ recent theatre work includes, in 2016, Henry Trebell in Harley Granville Barker’s Waste at the Royal National Theatre in London, directed by Roger Michell. In 2015 his Richard II at Shakespeare’s Globe, directed by Simon Godwin, received much acclaim, and in 2014 Charles led the hugely successful production of Coward’s Blithe Spirit in London and America opposite Dame Angela Lansbury, directed by Michael Blakemore.
He played Bertie in David Seidler’s original stage play The King’s Speech in the West End, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare’s Globe, and for the Royal National Theatre has played Charles Marsden in Eugene O’Neill’s Strange Interlude, Jack Weatherill in James Graham’s This House, and Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night. He was nominated for London Evening Standard Awards for his performances in The King’s Speech, This House and Much Ado About Nothing, and won the Clarence Derwent Award for Strange Interlude. On Broadway he led the Tony-winning production of The 39 Steps, having originated the role of Richard Hannay in London, where it won the Olivier Award for Best Comedy. He was a member of the Peter Hall Company, playing Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream opposite Dame Judi Dench as Titania, and in Coward’s Private Lives played Victor opposite Greta Scacchi.
Charles’ forthcoming television appearances include Lucian in The Halcyon (ITV), Alexander McDonald in The Terror (AMC), King Henry in Henry IX (UKTV) and David Welsborough in the fourth season of Sherlock (BBC). Previous roles have included the elusive Michael Gregson in Downton Abbey (ITV), Woodie in Arthur and George opposite Martin Clunes (ITV), Ripper Street (BBC), Trying Again (Sky), A Young Doctors Notebook (Sky), and Michael Palin in the Monty Python biopic Holy Flying Circus (BBC).
In film, Charles was seen in the critically acclaimed Philomena, directed by Stephen Frears. Other film credits include Batman Begins, Mansfield Park, An Ideal Husband and Longitude.
Charles trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.