As well as his recent highly regarded solo performances of Inside Wagner’s Head, A Christmas Carol and Being Shakespeare, theatrical credits include: The Man Jesus at the Lyric Belfast, Waiting for Godot (Tour and Ambassadors), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Royal Shakespeare Company), Present Laughter (national tour), Aladdin (Richmond), The Woman in White (Palace), The Holy Terror (Duke of York’s) and The Mystery of Charles Dickens (Two seasons in the West End – Comedy, Albery; two national tours; Ireland, Australia, Chicago and Broadway).
He starred in and co-directed Alan Bennett’s Single Spies (NT, Queens) and played the role of Beefy in J.P. Donleavy’s The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar (Duke of York’s). His credits with the National Theatre include the title role in the world premiere of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus, Orlando in As You Like It, Sisterly Feelings and Galileo. While still at the National Theatre Simon gave a one-man performance of all of Shakespeare’s sonnets, a show that subsequently he has toured internationally.
His first West End appearance was in 1975 as Max in The Plumber’s Progress starring Harry Secombe (Prince of Wales Theatre).
Simon’s numerous film roles include Schikaneder in Amadeus, Reverend Mr Beebe in A Room with a View, Mr Ducie in Maurice, Gareth in Four Weddings and a Funeral, Edmund Tilney in Shakespeare in Love, Simon in Mike Nichols’s Postcards from the Edge, Gilles André in The Phantom of the Opera, Mr Butler in Bob the Butler (with Brooke Shields) and Father Henry in Arn. Simon directed the film of The Ballad of Sad Café starring Vanessa Redgrave, Keith Carradine and Rod Steiger.
On television Simon has appeared in the critically acclaimed HBO mini-series Angels in America directed by Mike Nichols, and played the title role in the Emmy-award winning drama-documentary Galileo’s Daughter. He has also appeared in numerous TV dramas including Miss Marple, Midsomer Murders and Poirot. As well as several one-man shows he has appeared in The Mystery of Charles Dickens, and played Dickens himself in BBC TV’s 21st century revival of the Dr Who series.
Simon’s credits as a director include Jus’ Like That (Garrick Theatre), Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine (West End and Broadway), Simon’s own translations of Jean Cocteau’s The Infernal Machine with Maggie Smith, Milan Kundera’s Jacques and his Master (Los Angeles) and Les Enfants du Paradis (Royal Shakespeare Company), Carmen Jones (Old Vic), My Fair Lady (national tour) and The Pajama Game (Victoria Palace).
Simon has directed the operas Cosi Fan Tutte (Luzern), Die Fledermaus (Scottish Opera), Il Trittico and Il Turco in Italia (Broomhill), La Calisto (Glimmerglass), The Consul (Holland Park Opera) and Le Roi Malgré Lui in Simon’s own translation at Grange Park Opera.
He is an author whose published work includes many books on actors and acting as well as highly acclaimed biographies of Charles Laughton and Orson Welles, and the memoirs Love is Where it Falls and My Life in Pieces. His biography Charles Dickens and The Great Theatre of The World was published in 2012
Simon was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1999.
Simon is an experienced host of awards ceremonies, a lively and amusing after dinner speaker and brilliant presenter so if you are interested in Simon appearing at your Conference, Dinner or Event, please contact a Prime Performers Booking Agent on 020 7251 8222 to discuss your requirements.
- Presenter of Springwatch, Autumnwatch, Animal Park and Rough Science
- Qualified GP and international stand up comic and a Chaser on the quiz show The Chase.
- Dame Esther is one of the UK's best-loved broadcasters and journalists, an ideal choice for After Dinner Speaking, Awards Hosting and Facilitating.
Dame Esther Rantzen