Former Student Lands Lead Role in BBC’s The Musketeers

Former student Howard Charles Former student Howard Charles

Howard Charles, a former student on both the National Diploma and BA Drama courses at Kingston College, is playing a lead role in the new BBC series, The Musketeers. Howard plays the role of Porthos in what has been tipped as oone of the year’s biggest productions, stretching across ten episodes, and broadcast this month.

Howard has appeared in stage productions of The Cherry Orchard and Enron. He starred in the Royal Shakespeare Company productions of The Merchant of Venice and Macbeth, and most recently Blackta at The Young Vic. Television work includes Beautiful People, Candy Chops and Switch. Howard most recently appeared in the feature film &Me.

Having appeared in the multi-award winning Enron at Chichester, the Royal Court and then the West End, he went on to play Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice at the newly-opened Royal Shakespeare Company’s theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. Most recently he appeared in Blackta at The Young Vic. He also has a string of television appearances to his credit including Beautiful People, Candy Chops and Switch. Howard most recently appeared in the feature film &Me.

He has previously spoken about how Kingston College launched him on his acting career, and said: “Potential is nothing unless you learn how to harness and channel it into something creative, making IT (whatever IT is) happen – and it was Kingston that made me realise that.”

In a BBC interview, Howard said the writing of the show attracted him to the role. “It was the best thing that I personally had read in some time. The character Porthos was amazing. I spoke to Adrian Hodges (the creator and executive producer) and he mentioned that he wanted to pay homage to Alexandre Dumas Senior, the father of the novelist of the original, by using strong elements of the book, but also from Alexandre Dumas Senior’s history. He was a General, when I guess there weren’t many brown people around in uniform, so I was really attracted to that element. Instead of the fat, drunk gambler, he wanted to make Porthos the warrior in the group, paying homage to Alexandre Dumas Senior. So that was hugely attractive to me. But Porthos is someone who enjoys life and knows the value it, so therefore enjoys it because he knows it’s not going to last forever. I always read the source material and I love what Adrian added to that, and actually the way that he made it his own.”

He added: “I hope the audience gain an insight into the wars we’ve tried to create for them and take a lot from that. There are a lot of core values and huge themes that we use. The themes of betrayal and honour, heroism and love.”

Howard attended Kingston College between 2000 and 2005, initially on the equivalent of the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing Arts (Acting) then returning to start the BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Media.

Carlos Santos, Howard’s Film and TV Lecturer at the college says: “Howard turned his life around when he came to Kingston College and moved to Surrey. He was always a hard-working and very positive student but also had a good balance between life and work. With a good sense of humour Howard enjoyed the good times as well as studying hard and I am looking forward to seeing him as Porthos in this fantastic new role.”

Peter Mayhew-Smith, Principal of Kingston College, said: “We’re enormously proud to see a talented and able young actor like Howard Charles progress from Kingston College and into a major role such as this. It’s a tribute both to Howard’s great skill as an actor and to the high quality drama training delivered by the Performing Arts team. I love the story of the Musketeers and I can’t wait to see what Howard’s done with the part.”

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