Open main menu

Allan Corduner (born 2 April 1950) is an English actor born in Stockholm to a German mother and a Russo-Finnish father. He grew up in a secular Jewish home in London. After earning a BA (Hons) in English and Drama at Bristol University he trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He has worked extensively on stage, TV, and film, both in the UK and in the United States. His voice is familiar from many BBC radio plays, audio books and TV documentaries.

Allan Corduner
Allan Corduner publicity photo
Born (1950-04-02) 2 April 1950 (age 69)
Stockholm, Sweden
Years active1973–present
Juha Sorola (m. 2013)

Corduner made his feature film debut in Yentl, with Barbra Streisand. Of his 44 films he is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Sir Arthur Sullivan in Mike Leigh's Topsy-Turvy. He is married to Finnish actor and writer Juha Sorola (né Juha Leppäjärvi).[1]


Early lifeEdit

Corduner grew up in a secular Jewish home in North London with his parents and younger brother.[2]

His mother had escaped to Great Britain from Nazi Germany with her family in 1938. His father was born in Helsinki, Finland, of a Finnish-born mother and a Ukrainian-born father. Corduner's parents first settled in Stockholm, where he was born, but the family moved to London when he was one year old.[citation needed]

Interest in arts and music was always encouraged at home, and Corduner's early ambition was to become either an orchestra conductor or a concert pianist. He attended University College School in Hampstead, London. Although Corduner developed into a skilled jazz and classical pianist, musical aspirations had taken second place by the time he went to study at Bristol University and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.[citation needed]

Acting careerEdit

Corduner has worked extensively in theatre in London's West End and on Broadway, television as well as in film. He has also appeared in several BBC Radio plays including The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Insignificance, and Fanny and Alexander.

His voice is familiar to listeners of audio books including The Book Thief. TV appearances include Exile, ITV's Midsomer Murders, Stephen Poliakoff's Dancing on the Edge, and as Andrea Verrocchio in seasons 1 and 2 of the Starz original series Da Vinci's Demons. He appears on seasons 5 and 6 of the Showtime TV series Homeland.

After drama school, Corduner's first two years as a professional actor were spent playing a wide variety of parts at Newcastle Repertory Theatre. Spells at the Birmingham Rep and the Actors' Company followed, until Corduner returned to London to make his West End debut in Mary O'Malley's Once a Catholic at the Wyndham's Theatre. Corduner has appeared several times at the Royal Court Theatre, in plays such as Three Birds Alighting on a Field, Fucking Games, Ice Cream, and most notably Caryl Churchill's satirical Serious Money, which subsequently transferred to London's West End and Broadway in New York.

He garnered acclaim on Broadway for the role of Etches in the musical Titanic. In February 2014, he played Etches again in a one-off concert version of Titanic at Avery Fisher Hall (now David Geffen Hall) in New York, re-uniting him with the original cast of the musical. He played Fritz Litten in Mark Hayhurst's Taken At Midnight, first at Chichester Festival Theatre, and subsequently at Theatre Royal Haymarket in West End.

One of his first film roles was in Yentl in 1982, with Barbra Streisand. He is probably best known for his portrayal of Sir Arthur Sullivan in Mike Leigh's Topsy-Turvy (1999), his first leading role in a feature film. Corduner's film work spans a variety of genres, such as action-adventure film Defiance, horror comedy film Burke and Hare,[3] and western Medicine Men. Recent films include Woman in Gold (2015) and Florence Foster Jenkins (2016), which starred Meryl Streep.

In 2009 Corduner made his directing debut with a short film An Act of Valour. The film, written by his partner Juha Sorola, premiered at the 24th BFI London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival in March 2010. In 2010, he directed one half of an August Strindberg double bill at the Arcola Theatre in London. The two plays were Pariah, directed by Corduner, and The Stronger, directed by Jane Bertish, both in a new translation by Sorola.

Voice actingEdit

Corduner's voice is familiar to listeners of BBC radio plays such as Insignificance, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui and Fanny and Alexander. He was also the subject of BBC Radio 3 Private Passions.[4]

Corduner has provided voices for various video game characters, notably the first, second, third and fifth Harry Potter video games (namely as, among others, Severus Snape, Lucius Malfoy, Fillius Flitwick and Argus Filch). He also voiced Apus, the pet parrot belonging to Queen Cassiopeia, the primary antagonist, for the English version of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White White which released in February 2013. In 2015, Corduner voiced Old Hunter Gehrman in Bloodborne.[5]

Audiobooks and narrationEdit

Corduner is also known for solo narration of TV documentaries such as Fish Warrior for the National Geographic Channel, and various audiobooks for Simply Audiobooks, notably The Book Thief and Inkdeath.[6] He also narrated Magyk written by Angie Sage and produced by Harper Audio. He has received two Earphones Awards by AudioFile.

Corduner with husband Juha Sorola (left) at the Woman in Gold, New York premiere April 2015

Personal lifeEdit

Corduner's mother was from Berlin, Germany, and his father was of Finnish-Ukrainian ancestry. He was born in Stockholm but grew up in London.

Corduner and his partner, Finnish actor and writer Juha Sorola (né Juha Leppäjärvi), met in 2006 in London, formed their civil partnership in December 2009, and married in New York City in August 2013. Corduner is a trustee of the children's arts charity Anno's Africa.




(* London's West End)


Video gamesEdit


  1. ^ Juha Sorola profile,; accessed 26 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 November 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Barton, Steve (15 July 2010). "Burke and Hare - John Landis Talks Horror; New Image". Dread Central. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Allan Corduner, Private Passions - BBC Radio 3". BBC.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 September 2015. Retrieved 7 September 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Episode 1.5 - The Day Simon Felt The Family Was Ready To Be Healed". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 7 September 2010.
  8. ^ "Samantha Spiro". Official London Theatre. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  9. ^ "The Playgoer: REVIEW: The Birthday Party". 22 September 2006. Retrieved 15 June 2017.

External linksEdit