Hugh Bonneville | From Downton to Darkest Peru

Sat 19 Nov 2022 | 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Hugh Bonneville
Hugh Bonneville
Playing Under the Piano - Hugh Bonneville
Alex Clark

Hugh Bonneville familiar to audiences worldwide for his roles in Notting Hill, Paddington and Downton Abbey will be talking to us about his career.

From getting his big break as Third Shepherd in the school nativity play, to mistaking a Hollywood star for an estate agent, Hugh creates a brilliantly vivid picture of a career on stage and screen. What is it like working with Judi Dench and Julia Roberts, or playing Robert de Niro’s right leg, or not being Gary Oldman, twice? 

A wickedly funny storyteller, Hugh also writes with poignancy about his father’s dementia and of his mother, whose life in the secret service only emerged after her death. Whether telling stories of working with divas, Dames or a bear with a penchant for marmalade, this is a richly entertaining account of his life as an actor.  

In conversation with broadcaster, journalist and festival honorary patron Alex Clark. 


We have a special offer for our audience, discounted books can be purchased with your ticket below. Books can be collected from the Heffers festival bookshop on the day of the event.


Venue: Cambridge Union

Duration: 1hr

Event supported by

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In-person tickets:
Cambridge Union
  Hugh Bonneville - Full price In-person ticket - Full Price £15
  Hugh Bonneville - Concession In-person ticket - Concession
As a charity we are offering concessions to under 25s, unwaged & those feeling the pinch.
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Book price includes £5 discount
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Author Biography

Hugh Bonneville was born in London in 1963. After school in Sherborne, Dorset, and studying Theology at Cambridge, Hugh became a professional actor in 1985. His career has spanned radio, television, film, and stage, including appearances at the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Chichester Festival Theatre and in the West End. He received two Emmy nominations for his performance as Robert Crawley in Downton Abbey, and BAFTA nominations for his roles in Iris, Twenty Twelve and W1A.  

Chair Biography

Alex Clark is a broadcaster and journalist, who writes for the Guardian, the Observer, and the Times Literary Supplement. She is a professional chairperson and has appeared at Cheltenham, Hay and the Southbank Centre, as well as appearing on BBC Radio 4, the Graham Norton Book Club for Audible and the TLS podcast. Alex is a festival honorary patron.