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Laura Donnelly (born 20 August 1982[1]) is a Northern Irish actress. She made her on-screen debut in 2005 in the Channel 4 drama Sugar Rush, where she featured as a love interest of the female protagonist in two episodes. She is also known for appearing in Casualty, Hex, and as a main character in the Irish film Insatiable (2008). She also starred in Best: His Mother's Son, a BBC drama on the life of George Best, playing Best's sister, Barbara. She starred in Jez Butterworth's play, The River at the Royal Court Theatre, alongside Dominic West and Miranda Raison. She reprised her role in the Broadway production alongside Hugh Jackman.

Laura Donnelly
Born (1982-08-20) 20 August 1982 (age 37)
Years active2005–present

In April 2018 she won the Best Actress award at the Olivier Awards for her performance in Butterworth’s The Ferryman.[2]


Donnelly attended Rathmore Grammar School in Belfast, where she was born and grew up.[3] She then moved to Glasgow to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.[4] After graduating in 2004, she had a series of roles in the theatre in Ireland and Scotland before moving to London, where her career in television began.[5]



Year Title Role Notes
2009 Dread Abby
Right Hand Drive Ashley
2013 Hello Carter Unknown
2014 Heart of Lightness Ellida
2015 The Program Emma O'Reilly
2019 Tolkien Mabel Tolkien


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Sugar Rush Beth 2 episodes
Casualty Fleur Butler 7 episodes
Hex Maya Robertson 4 episodes
2006 The Bill Jody Macmillan 1 episode
2007 Rough Diamond Aoife 1 episode
2009 Occupation Katy Hibbs 2 episodes
Merlin Freya 2 episodes
Best: His Mother's Son Barbara Best TV film
2012 Missing Violet Heath
2013 The Fall Sarah Kay
2014–present Outlander Janet "Jenny" Fraser Murray
2016 Beowulf Elvina TV series
2018 Britannia Hella 2 episodes


  • Romeo and Juliet, Open Air Theatre at Regents Park, June 2008 to August 2008 (playing Juliet)[6]
  • The River, Royal Court Theatre, October - November 2012
  • The River, Circle in the Square, October 2014 - February 2015
  • The Ferryman, Royal Court Theatre, April - May 2017[7]
  • The Ferryman, Gielgud Theatre, June 2017 - October 2017[7]
  • The Ferryman, Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, October 2018 - February 2019


  1. ^ "Laura Donnelly Twitter".
  2. ^ Turner, Lauren (9 April 2018). "Hip hop musical Hamilton sweeps Oliviers" – via
  3. ^ Maureen Coleman (29 June 2005). "Laura couldn't be without her No 1 fan". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 28 April 2008.
  4. ^ Maeve Quigley (31 July 2005). "Being cast as a lesbian is a Laura fan". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 28 April 2008.
  5. ^ "ProfileLaura". Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  6. ^ Elkin, Susan (10 June 2008). "Romeo and Juliet review". The Stage. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Cast and West End transfer confirmed for Sam Mendes' The Ferryman". 8 February 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017.

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