Claire is known for a string of recent critically acclaimed film, TV and stage productions. Recently she starred in ‘Ali and Ava’ which was nominated for two BAFTA Awards including Outstanding British Film of the Year. She played the title role of Ava opposite Adeel Akhtar who starred as Ali, with one critic saying “Rushbrook lights up the screen”. The film also won two BIFA Awards and Claire was nominated for a Best Actress BIFA for her performance.
She also starred in the BAFTA and RTS nominated BBC crime drama series ‘Sherwood’ opposite David Morrissey. The series was given a 5-star review by the Guardian who described it as “the cleverest, most compelling show I’ve seen in years”. She played Cathy Rowley, sister-in-law to one of the murder victims.
In 2023 she played Caryl, mother to Jenna Coleman's character, in the Prime Video thriller series 'Wilderness', a twisted story of revenge set in the American wilderness. She had a cameo role in feature film 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry', playing a farmer's wife who meets Jim Broadbent's character, Harold, a pensioner who decides to walk the length of England to see an old friend who is in a cancer hospice in Northumberland. Also in 2023 she starred in an episode of the BAFTA winning anthology series 'Inside Number 9'.
She has recently been cast as Lady Monica Baddingham in the new Disney+ adaptation of Jilly Cooper's Rivals, alongside a line-up of top British talent. Her character is the dependable, upper crust wife of TV boss Lord Tony Baddingham (played by David Tennant), who has absolutely no interest in her husband's empire.
Also in 2022 she starred opposite Daniel Ryan in David Eldridge’s play ‘Middle’ at the National Theatre. She played Maggie, one half of a middle aged couple who have reached a crossroads in their marriage. The Evening Standard described the play as “an emotional workout with heartfelt, nuanced performances”.
She starred as Katie Wiliams in Britbox’s 2022 adaptation of Anthony Horowitz’s bestselling murder mystery ‘Magpie Murders’ which also starred Lesley Manville. The crime series was then transferred to BBC One in 2023. In 2020 she starred as Mrs Lane in the award-winning Netflix hit film ‘Enola Holmes’, about Sherlock Holmes’s teenage sister. In 2019 she played Janice in the Marvel blockbuster ‘Spiderman: Far From Home’.
Over the last few years she has starred in a number of hit TV shows including Sky One’s award winning crime thriller series ‘Temple’, BBC Two’s comedy series ‘Don’t Forget the Driver’ in which she played Fran opposite Toby Jones, series 3 of Channel 4’s police drama ‘No Offence, written by Paul Abbott and the BBC One supernatural crime thriller series ‘Requiem’.
She had a major role in ‘Kiri’, the 2018 BAFTA nominated Channel 4 drama series about an abducted black girl which starred Sarah Lancashire. She played Albert Einstein’s mother Pauline in the Emmy nominated series ‘Genius’ which told his life story.
In 2016 she was nominated as Best Actress at the RTS Awards for her portrayal of Pat Simms in the ITV period drama series ‘Home Fires’ which told the story of a group of women from the WI, set during World War II. In 2014 she was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Rae’s mum in the E4 comedy drama ‘My Mad Fat Diary’. She starred alongside Sharon Rooney who played her troubled daughter as well as Jodie Comer who played Rae’s best friend.
From 2009-2013 she starred as Dr Caroline Llewellyn opposite Rupert Penry-Jones in all 3 series of the ITV crime drama ‘Whitechapel’ about a modern day Jack the Ripper.
Other major credits include - ITV’s BAFTA winning, Emmy nominated ‘Mrs Biggs’, about the wife of the Great Train robber Ronnie; the EMMY, BAFTA and RTS winning 2011 BBC adaptation of ‘Great Expectations’, in which she played Pip’s sister Mrs Joe; ‘The Fades’ which won the 2012 BAFTA for ‘Best Drama Series’; Anthony Horowitz’s ‘Collision’ for ITV about a group of people involved in a major car crash; and the BBC comedy drama ‘Mutual Friends’ in which she played Leigh Cato alongside Marc Warren, Alexander Armstrong, Alistair Petrie and Keeley Hawes. She also starred as Carrie in the BBC sitcom ‘Carrie and Barry’ opposite Neil Morrissey.
She has had a long and varied stage career, starring in shows including Market Boy at the National, Hang at the Royal Court and Festen for the Almeida and West End. She has also worked extensively in radio drama for BBC Radio 4, including performing the title role in Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Black Dog, King David and the long running series Home Front.
Claire is from Hertfordshire and has a neutral accent. She can also sound a little Estuary at times and is well known for using Northern accents regularly in her work on shows such as Sherwood, Ali and Ava and Home Fires.
Wilderness (TV, 2023) – 'Caryl', Prime Video
Inside No 9 (TV, 2023) – 'Vicky', BBC Two, Series 8
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Film, 2023) – 'Farmer's Wife', eOne Entertainment
Magpie Murders (TV, 2022-2023) – 'Katie Williams', Britbox/BBC One
Sherwood (TV, 2022) – 'Cathy Rowley', BBC One
Middle (National Theatre, 2022) (Theatre, 2022) – 'Maggie', National Theatre
Ali & Ava (Film, 2022) – 'Ava', BBC Films/BFI/Altitude Films
Temple (TV, 2019-2021) – 'Gloria Wilson', Sky One
Enola Holmes (TV, 2020) – 'Mrs Lane', Netflix
Spiderman: Far From Home (Film, 2019) – 'Janice', Marvel Studios
Don't Forget the Driver (TV, 2019) – 'Fran', BBC Two
Requiem (TV, 2018) – 'Rose Morgan', BBC One/Netflix
The Split (TV, 2018) – 'Emma Graham', BBC One, Series One
Kiri (TV, 2018) – 'Julie', Channel 4
Black Mirror (TV, 2017) – 'Police Detective', Netflix, Series 4 Episode 3 'Crocodile'
Genius (TV, 2017) – 'Pauline Einstein', National Geographic
Home Fires (TV, 2015-2016) – 'Pat Simms', ITV
No Offence (TV, 2015) – 'DCI Marilyn Marchant', Channel 4
Hang (Royal Court Theatre, 2015) (Theatre, 2015) – 'One', Royal Court Theatre
My Mad Fat Diary (TV, 2013-2015) – 'Linda Earl-Bouchtat', E4
The Mill (TV, 2013) – 'Mrs Timperley', Channel 4, Series 1
Whitechapel (TV, 2009-2013) – 'Dr Caroline Llewellyn', ITV/BBC Studios
Mrs Biggs (TV, 2012) – 'Ruby Wright', ITV
Great Expectations (TV, 2011) – 'Mrs Joe', BBC One
The Fades (TV, 2011) – 'Meg', BBC Three/BBC HD
Collision (TV, 2009) – 'Karen Donnelly', ITV
Market Boy (The National Theatre, 2006) (Theatre, 2008) – 'Mum', The National Theatre
Mutual Friends (TV, 2007) – 'Leigh Cato', BBC One
Carrie & Barry (TV, 2004-2005) – 'Carrie', BBC One
Festen (Almeida & Lyric, West End, 2004) (Theatre, 2004) – 'Helene', Almeida and Lyric Theatres
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