- FULL NAME: Hana Tobias Simpson Menzies
- BIRTHDATE: 07 March, 1974
- BIRTHPLACE: North London, Britain; UK
- BIRTH SIGN: Pisces — The Fish
- CULTURAL BACKGROUND: English,
- HEIGHT: 6’1″
- HAIR: Dark Brown
- EYES: Brown
- FATHER: Peter Menzies, a BBC radio producer.
- MOTHER: Gillian (Nee Simpson), a teacher.
- SIBLINGS: Luke Menzies (Brother) – a solicitor.
- EDUCATION: The Perry Court Rudolf Steiner School, Canterbury. Frensham Heights School. The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) London, England completing his BA.
- FAVOURITE AUTHORS: N/A
- FAVOURITE SINGERS: N/A
- FAVOURITE THINGS: N/A
- He attended Stratford-upon-Avon College’s Year-out drama course in 1993-94.
- He was educated in the Steiner system, which includes movement, singing and musical instruments every day.
- Tobias attended Frensham Heights School.
- Was an expert swordsman.
- Tobias has been a tennis enthusiast since he was a child.
- Has a younger brother named Luke.
- Tobias was born in North London and is the son of a teacher and a BBC producer.
- Tobias was drawn to acting after frequently attending theater productions with his mom as a teen.
- Tobias appeared in Any Human Heart (2010) with future Outlander (2014) co-stars Sam Heughan and Stanley Weber, but he had no screen time with either actor.
- He has worked with Charles Dance in Foyle’s War (2002), Secret State (2012), The Door (2011), Game of Thrones (2011) and Underworld: Blood Wars (2016).
- Tobias Menzies, the self-described dreamy kid who grew up in Canterbury playing tennis, zips through London on a Triumph Bonneville motorcycle. “I had to ride a motorbike as a character for the
- BBC crime drama The Shadow Line (2011). I got the bug and did the full bike test.”.
- One of his first auditions was for the lead role eventually played by Ewan McGregor in Moulin Rouge! (2001).
- Tobias became friends with Sally Hawkins when they were students at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. They performed a comedy skit as Laurel & Hardy. Tobias portrayed Stan Laurel and Sally played Oliver Hardy in a fat suit.
- Both Tobias and his Eternal Law (2012) costar, Samuel West have played the role of William Elliot in different adaptations of Jame Austen’s Persuasion.
- In Casino Royale (2006) he was M’s (Judi Dench’s ) sidekick. He played Hamlet to rave notices in Northampton in 2005 but he only got a three-week run because he had to get back to filming Rome (2005). That series was his big break, but even then he wasn’t its out-and-out star.
- He is a distant relative of botanist Archibald Menzies (1754-1842).
- Tennis, not acting was Tobias’s first love. He wanted to be a professional tennis player, not an actor, and still unwinds with tennis.
- He is a supporter of Arsenal FC.
- Tobias displayed his guitar-playing ability in two films, ten years apart, The Low Down (2000) and Forget Me Not (2010).
- His favorite authors include Karl Ove Knausgard and Alain De Botton.
- Ciarán Hinds, Tobias’s co-star in Rome (2005) and future Game of Thrones (2011), reunites with him in The Terror (2018).
- Tobias and his frequent co-star Charles Dance both portrayed author Ian Fleming in different productions, Dance in Goldeneye (1989), Tobias in Any Human Heart (2010).
- Tobias co-starred in the feature film The Low Down (2000) with future Game of Thrones (2011) co-star Aidan Gillen.
- His mother was a follower of the infamous “love guru,” Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. She took Tobias and his baby brother, Luke, to India where they lived six months at a time in an ashram.
- Tobias’ father, Peter Menzies, was a BBC radio producer. His mother, Gillian (Simpson) Menzies, was an English literature and drama teacher,.
- The name “Menzies” is Scottish and according to Tobias, was originally pronounced “Mingis.”.
- His parents divorced when Tobias was six years old.
- Though he competently portrays Prince Philip (the Duke of Edinburgh) in season three of The Crown (2016), he confesses he has no particular affection for the British monarchy.
TOBIAS MENZIES QUOTES
- On being drawn into acting after frequently attending theater productions with his mother as a teen – The world seemed bigger, richer, watching things unfold in those rooms. In drama, you see other versions of life: ‘Oh, that’s what it would be like to be that!’ Something obviously was stirring in me.
- When I started acting, I found a place and a release which I didn’t find in my own life.
- Regarding working with Keira Knightley in the play, The Children’s Hour – Being around that level of fame has been quite an eye-opener. We went to a girls’ school during rehearsals to work with a drama group. There were 150 children in the playground and they started screaming. I’m sure it wasn’t me! There was a volume and intensity about it that was so peculiar, it was animal. Keira deals with that pretty well. Would I want that? Absolutely not. Then again, do you want recognition that allows you to do the work you want to do? Of course.
- On the auditioning process – It’s 90 percent humiliation, isn’t it? Just going in and kind of crashing and burning and also doing things that you look back and go, Why on earth was I being seen for that? I was just so wrong. I remember auditioning for Moulin Rouge! (2001), the part that Ewan McGregor played. I was so young, I was literally just out of college. But they were just doing that sort of mass casting, just ring up everyone and put them on tape. And I had to sing and dance and it was just ridiculous. What was I doing in that room? Terrible! I tried so hard, it was so terrible!
- [On his Outlander (2014) rape scene with Sam Heughan] It was about trying to get the tone right. I was keen for it to be as psychological as possible. I just didn’t want it to feel sensational. If you’re going to have Jack rape Jamie, you have to really earn that, really get to a place where that scene is within the realm of the story. Sam and I didn’t talk a lot [while shooting those scenes]. We would sort of kept to ourselves between shots. But again, one of the good things is how we had been working together for a year so we had a fair amount of trust.
- I’ve been really lucky to have had a variety of roles, and I don’t think I’m in danger of being typecast as the romantic lead. I think there’s honor in working as constantly as you can. That isn’t easy. And I’m no matinee idol.
- Comparing the characters he’s portrayed in Rome (2005), Game of Thrones (2011) and Outlander (2014); Brutus was a boy in a man’s world- a study in weakness, moral indecision. Edmure is buffoonish-well-meaning but slightly inept. Frank and Jack are fully capable men but flawed in different ways. They’re both formed by War. Frank has been through the Second World War, and Jack is going through this bloody Jacobite insurgency. One turns to the light, the other turns to the dark.
- I love small theaters because they’re intimate, and you can have a very easy rapport with the audience. Everyone’s in the same room.
- On how the cast of the 2011 production of The Children’s Hour with Keira Knightley and Elizabeth Moss loosened up: The cast plays volleyball in the auditorium. We have a piece of rope lengthwise across the seats. We played all through rehearsal so we’ve just kept it up.
- On the difficulties of portraying the savagery of Black Jack Randall on Outlander (2014) – It would be a lie to say that I go home and shake it off. But it’s what excites me as an actor when I see it and when I manage to do it myself, when there’s lots of shades within the colors of the characters. It’s true to life, isn’t it? Nothing is one thing or the other. Jack is one of life’s interesting contradictions. He does have some personal insight, he gets people and how they work but he chooses to abuse those rather than comfort them or reassure them.
- On playing the romantic lead in Forget Me Not (2010), a romantic comedy with a dark tinge; I’ve not played a romantic lead before and it did feel like uncharted territory, but it’s a very small film so I don’t think this is going to make me a superstar.
- Do I think the West End relies too heavily on star names? Yes, I do, and it can result in miscasting and sub-standard stuff. Not always, but occasionally.
- I’m largely interested in people who are just great actors, and they’re not necessarily hugely famous.
- I live or die by how well I act.
- I love haggis. Haggis, neeps, and tatties.
- I wouldn’t be seen dead in a kilt.
- On filming in Scotland – It is just an incredibly beautiful country. I’ve had the luck through filming to be taken to amazingly beautiful bits of it and allowed to just hang out in those places. The few times that the rain has stopped and the sun does come out, it is God’s own country. That’s been a pleasure. We’ve been basing ourselves in Glasgow, and there are very warm people here and we’ve been very welcomed. It’s been one of the real bonuses of this job to get to hang out here.
- On his Outlander (2014) look as Black Jack Randall – I wear a wig to play Jack, and I remember on my first day of filming him, I spent my whole day trying to blow and push wisps of hair out of my face without ruining takes. Never had long hair before. It seemed like a total nightmare. I could just never get the hair totally out of my face, it was distracting. The 1740s costumes are very constraining. You’re very, very conscious of what you’re wearing at all times compared to how we dress now. Trying to get on and off horses with long swords was also interesting, especially trying to make it look like you’ve done it many times before.
- [on fandom on Outlander (2014) and Game of Thrones (2011)] I think it is essentially a creative and fun dialogue between the fans who feel ownership over this material and the people who are making it. I’m all for that. Personally, I don’t troll through the forums and try to steer clear because there is enough pressure on you already. And I suppose you want to come to it as unaffected as possible. But it is a great benefit to have such a large and rich group of people who are enthusiastic about it and who are looking forward to it. That’s definitely a positive.
- [On a role he’d like to portray in the future] I don’t think the show ever played in America, but there was a famous bandit, a highwayman, in England, called Dick Turpin (1979). When I was a kid there was a show about the adventures of this highwayman. I remember being obsessed by him. So I wouldn’t mind having a go at Dick Turpin.
- [On what meal he’d cook for a romantic dinner] Oooh… I think it might have to be just a very delicious, very classic Italian type of dish – a carbonara. When I was working on the show, Rome (2005) in Rome the main lesson I learned from eating out there is they have very little amounts of sauce – amazing sauce – but they use small quantities, an amazing bottle of wine, and a salad. I’m a bit of a rabbit. I love an amazing salad.
- [On his favorite pastime/hobby] Tennis. Playing tennis. I spent most of my childhood on a tennis court. It was my grand passion.
- [On his favorite TV show] favorite all time is The Wire (2002). It’s a great piece of storytelling in recent times. I’m watching Wolf Hall (2015). I’ve heard tell and have meant to catch up on Transparent (2014).
- [on his favorite song/band] It might have to be Neil Young, “Old Man.”
- [on playing Black Jack Randall on Outlander (2014) ] I never regarded Black Jack as someone who didn’t have tender feelings somewhere.
- [on why he wanted to be part of Outlander (2014)] Because it is incredibly bold, goes to a rich array of places, and the characters are very vivid. There is a strong female audience, but I think it has quite broad appeal. It has everything in it. It has time travel, adventure, history, romance, battles. I imagine if we get it right, it will have something for everyone and be unlike anything else. It is a big genre buster. It crosses a lot of different streams.
- [It seems fitting for the kinds of characters you’re attracted to, in which you take these people and really humanize them, warts and all.] That’s what’s interesting about humans, we’re always a massive contradiction. There’s a lot more to everyone, isn’t there? What I’m interested in doing is making the character more three-dimensional, big or small, because that’s what’s both great and infuriating about people. Everyone has a family. Everyone comes from somewhere. So it’s harder to demonize someone when you see them with their family, as you do with Black Jack in this most recent episode. You have to engage with Jack the sibling, which is always complicated. That’s one of the benefits of doing a television drama over a long period of time -you get to explore these little contradictions. And one of the benefits of doing the TV show from the books is we can fill in the gaps, and color in more of the characters.
- [I heard a story about how you first decided to become an actor, and it involved a trip to the bathroom?] [Laughs.] Yeah, really early on, when I was young, we went and saw a production of The Wind in the Willows in a theater. At the intermission, I went to the toilet, and in the urinal next to me was the actor playing Badger. I didn’t quite know why he was in the urinal meant for the audience, and not backstage, I’m not quite sure about that, but there was something thrilling about seeing someone I had looked up to on the stage, and then seeing him beside me having a piss. There was something really about that which stayed with me. It seemed a little bit of magic in a way, this sort of mythical figure breaking through and just being there. And that was the first time I engaged with the idea of wanting to be an actor, and also being a person.
- [When asked which historical figure’s he like to hook-up with, Tobias Menzies didn’t even think twice before saying Marilyn Monroe] She seemed like the most gorgeous, sex kitten-ish, bundle of joy.
- [Regarding Black Jack Randall’s explosive and controversial anger after the death of his brother on Outlander (2014)] In the script we had the brother die. We have the death scene of the brother, and [writer Ira Steven Behr] had Jack break down. We were working on it and working on it and filming it, but in a way I felt like everyone’s seen that scene, and it felt a little bit clichéd, arguably. We want to see his emotion, but in a way that’s odder, and so we actually ended up shooting a version where the brother dies, and you see that land with Jack and then Jack beats the body of the brother with his fists. He takes out his rage and loss in violence. Right at the end is a very vivid flash of who Jack is, and who we haven’t seen in the episode.
- [on working with the writers on Rome (2005)] I had a lot of involvement with the script process and obviously as an actor I would say I found that beneficial. You know what feels or sounds believable, and that sort of veritas is often missing from TV dramas. Scripts can be slick and structured, but do they always contain the truth?
- [Regarding his costumes for Rome (2005)] I’m not sure that I had the legs for togas. I think James Purefoy had the best legs, good calves. I’m not sure I ever want togas to come back into fashion.
I find life hard. Bruising, curious, disappointing at times, amazing at times. You have more life experience, and you get more beaten up along the way. I find it a bumpy ride. I know lots of other people find it funner than I do.
Hanan Tobias Simpson Menzies (born 7 March 1974) is an English stage, television and film actor. He is best known for his dual roles of Frank and Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall in STARZ’s Outlander, which earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination, in addition to his roles as Brutus in HBO’s Rome and Edmure Tully in HBO’s Game of Thrones. Menzies portrays Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in the third and upcoming fourth season of Netflix’s popular original series The Crown.
Menzies was born in North London, England, the son of Gillian (née Simpson), a teacher, and Peter Menzies, a BBC radio producer. He has one younger brother, Luke, who is a solicitor. Menzies attended the Perry Court Rudolf Steiner School in Canterbury, Kent, where he was trained in the Steiner System, which includes movement, singing and instrumental music. From there he attended the Frensham Heights School, near Farnham in Surrey, at the same time as Hattie Morahan and Jim Sturgess. He went on to attend Deborah Moody’s Year Out Drama Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon, from 1993 to 1994, before enrolling in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, eventually graduating with a BA Degree in Acting (1998). Upon completion of his BA, Menzies participated in improvisation workshops through The Spontaneity Shop, a British improvisation comedy company, as part of a graduate program through RADA.
Menzies’ first professional television role, beginning in 1998, was an eleven episode stint on BBC’s long running medical drama Casualty. From there he featured in director David Attwood’s made for TV film Summer in the Suburbs and a series three episode of ITV’s crime drama Midsomer Murders. In 2002, Menzies portrayed Vince in ITV’s romantic comedy series I Saw You, appeared in three episodes of SAS drama Ultimate Force, and featured in a series one episode of WWII drama Foyle’s War. He also appeared in made for television film A Very Social Secretary, directed by Jon Jones, which launched UK Channel 4’s spin-off station, More4.
From 2005 to 2007, Menzies portrayed Marcus Junius Brutus, Julius Caesar’s friend and later co-assassin, in the HBO/BBC historical drama series Rome (2005–07). He next appeared as William Elliot in ITV’s production of Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion, and Derrick Sington in Channel 4’s feature length drama The Relief of Belsen, which chronicled the British liberation of Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp at the end of WWII. In 2008, Menzies starred in two stylistically different mini-series. The first was BBC’s anthology mini-series Fairy Tales, in an episode entitled The Empress’s New Clothes, where he portrayed Aidee. Second was the series finale of BBC’s Bonekickers, which followed a team of British archaeologists as they investigated mysteries and conspiracy theories surrounding historical artifacts. The next year saw Menzies return to episodic television with roles in ITV’s legal drama Kingdom, alongside Stephen Fry, a special episode of BBC’s comedy Pulling, and several episodes of BBC One’s spy drama Spooks.
The Deep, BBC’s 2010 science fiction-thriller mini-series set on submarines in the deep waters below Arctic ice, saw Menzies co-star alongside Minnie Driver and James Nesbitt. That same year he portrayed real-life Naval Intelligence officer Ian Fleming in PBS’s mini-series Any Human Heart, an adaptation of William Boyd’s 2012 novel which chronicled historical events through fictional protagonist Logan Mountstuart. He would go on to feature in a series four episode of ITV’s Law & Order: UK, a British adaptation of Dick Wolf’s long-running American procedural franchise. In 2011, Menzies featured as tabloid journalist Ross McGovern in BBC Two’s seven part mini-series The Shadow Line, opposite Stephen Rea and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The next year, in ITV’s supernatural courtroom drama Eternal Law, Menzies portrayed a fallen angel who had become a prosecuting attorney in York, England. He would go on to feature in an episode of BBC Two’s political satire The Thick of It, an episode of Channel 4’s political thriller mini-series Secret State, three episodes of BBC’s medical satire Getting On, and two episodes of BBC’s Shakespearean documentary Simon Schama’s Shakespeare.
In 2013 Menzies first appeared as Edmure Tully, the heir to House Tully of Riverrun, in HBO’s Game of Thrones, which was based upon George R. R. Martin’s fantasy book series. The role was recurring, with Menzies’ final appearance occurring in the 2019 series finale. That same year, Menzies starred in the series two finale of Channel 4’s anthology series Black Mirror, and a two episode stint on BBC’s long-running crime drama Silent Witness. 2014 saw Menzies portray Maggie Gyllenhaal’s bodyguard, Nathaniel Bloom, in the BBC’s Emmy nominated mini-series The Honourable Woman, and Alexander in the series premier of BBC’s dog training comedy Puppy Love. The same year, Menzies first appeared in Starz’s time travel drama series, Outlander, which is based upon author Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling series of novels. He portrayed the recurring dual roles of Frank Randall, a 20th-century historian, and Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall, his brutal 18th-century ancestor. From 2015 to 2019, Menzies appeared in the recurring role of Dr. Harries, OB/GYN to lead character Sharon, in Amazon’s original series Catastrophe.
BBC One’s adaptation of John le Carré’s espionage novel The Night Manager saw Menzies, opposite Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie, in the role of British intelligence director Geoffrey Dromgoole in the spring of 2016. That same year he starred in Channel 4’s series pilot The Circuit, a comedy set at a neighborhood dinner party. In 2017, in his first voice over work on television, Menzies portrayed Mandalorian warrior Tiber Saxon on Disney XD’s animated series Star Wars Rebels. It was announced in 2016 that Menzies had been cast as James Fitzjames, Captain of the Royal Navy vessel Erebus, in AMC’s anthology series The Terror. The series, based upon Dan Simmons’ 2007 novel of the same name, chronicled a fictionalized account of real-life expeditionary ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror during the third Franklin Expedition of the Arctic in 1848. That same year he appeared as the Duke of Cornwall in BBC Two’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear, opposite Anthony Hopkins and Emily Watson.
In March 2018 it was announced that Menzies had been cast to portray Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, in seasons three and four of Netflix’s hit series The Crown, opposite Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II. Menzies was announced, in June of 2019, as a cast member for the Channel 4/Hulu original series This Way Up, a comedy set around the life of an English as a Second/Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) teacher, from actress and writer Aisling Bea.
Menzies’ first professional film role was 2000’s dramatic comedy The Low Down, opposite Aidan Gillen, which premiered at the Locarno Film Festival. His next role, in Miramax’s 2004 biographical drama Finding Neverland, saw Menzies feature opposite Johnny Depp’s J.M. Barrie, the creator of beloved children’s character Peter Pan. The next year, Menzies appeared in the romantic comedy Piccadilly Jim, opposite Sam Rockwell, and director Adrian Shergold’s drama Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman, opposite Timothy Spall. He also featured in Casino Royale, Columbia Pictures’ 2006 reboot of the James Bond film franchise, as personal aide to M, chief of British secret intelligence agency Mi6.
In 2007, Menzies portrayed a Naval officer on the beaches of Normandy, opposite James McAvoy, in the Academy Award nominated adaptation of Ian McEwan’s WWII drama Atonement. The Rose Theatre, an Elizabethan theatre outside London, produced a short video which was shown in 2009, and featured Menzies in the role of Mephistophilis, in Christopher Marlow’s play Doctor Faustus. He would go on to appear in three films in 2010. The first was Independent Pictures’ adaptation of Russian author Anton Chekhov’s The Duel, where he portrayed Von Koren. Second was Swipe Films’ production of Jackboots on Whitehall, an animated film featuring puppets. Menzies, alongside Alan Cumming and Timothy Spall, provided voice work for the comedy spoof, which explored the idea of Nazis invading the United Kingdom at the end of WWII. In his third film of 2010, Menzies starred opposite Genevieve O’Reilly in the drama Forget Me Not, an independent film which premiered at the Culver Plaza Theater in Los Angeles.
Dramatic comedy Hysteria (2011) featured Menzies, opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hugh Dancy, in the story of the creation of the first Victorian era vibrator. That same year he would feature in writer Andrew Steggall’s short film The Door, an official selection at the 28th annual Warsaw International Film Festival, which was based upon the tale The Door in the Wall by H.G. Wells. In 2012, Menzies starred in director Carrie Cracknell’s Nora, a short film inspired by the Young Vic’s theatrical production of Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House. His next film was 2014’s thriller The Birthday Gift, a short film which was screened at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival that year. Menzies would go on to star in the short film/micro-play Groove is in the Heart, a collaboration between the Royal Court Theatre and The Guardian which was screened at the London Film Festival, and submarine action film Black Sea, a modern-day pirate thriller, opposite Jude Law.
2016 saw Menzies feature in three films. First was director Benedict Andrews’ forbidden relationship drama Una, which was based upon the play Blackbird from Scottish playwright David Harrower, followed by filmmaker James Hughes’ experimental film The Velvet Abstract, which saw Menzies provide narration. Last was Underworld: Blood Wars, the fifth installment in the Underworld franchise, with Menzies starring as the main antagonist, Marius, opposite Kate Beckinsale’s Selene.
In August 2017 it was announced that Menzies had been cast in director Emily Harris’ adaptation of Carmilla, a fantasy film based upon the Gothic novella of the same name by Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu.
Menzies’ theatrical debut was in Hristo Boytchev’s comedy The Colonel Bird, which ran at The Gate London in 1999. The next year, he featured in The Royal Exchange’s presentation of The Way of the World, a production of playwright William Cosgreve’s 1700’s grandiloquent play of manners and Complicite theatre company’s Light, an adaptation of author Torgny Lindgren’s novel Ljuset (1987). In late 2001, Menzies appeared in Almeida Theatre’s production of Anton Checkhov’s play Platonov, an adaptation of the early, unnamed play that was Checkhov’s first large scale drama. The next year he portrayed Valentine in the Royal Theatre’s production of Tom Stoppard’s tragic comedy Arcadia.
Between 2003 and 2005, Menzies would co-star in the anti-war drama Serjeant Musgrave’s Dance at the Everyman Theatre, and would portray the young teacher Irwin in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys, which Nicholas Hytner directed at the Royal National Theatre. Of his role in The History Boys, one reviewer wrote:
There is a remarkable performance, too, from Tobias Menzies as the slick supply-teacher historian, who believes academic success is merely a matter of tricks and spin. But Menzies also discovers a surprisingly attractive vulnerability in the character I missed the first time around.
— Charles Spencer, The Telegraph
He would go on to star in Michael Blakemore’s West End production of Three Sisters, for which he was nominated for the Ian Charleson Award, and the title role in Rupert Goold’s production of Hamlet, at the Royal Theatre, Northampton. Of his role in Hamlet, one reviewer wrote:
One of Shakespeare’s greatest innovations was to dramatise people’s thought processes: the articulation of the mind’s search for meaning and identity. This is where Menzies’ performance is most thrilling. He shows how language strives to express the self and to pin down the truth. Who am I? What do I think and feel? Menzies’ delivery of the “To be or not to be…” speech burns with intelligence. This is one of the finest and most exciting Hamlets I’ve seen. Observe his face: it seems to mature, grow softer, more observant and expressive, and his death becomes a fulfilment as well as a failure
— John Peter, The Sunday Times
Menzies took on a supporting role in Playhouse Theatre’s 2006 presentation of Pirandello’s play As You Desire Me. The next year he would feature in two productions. First was the role of Peter Trifimov in Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre, followed by a turn as Harry Bagley in Almeida Theatre’s production of Caryl Churchill’s politically sexual comedy Cloud Nine. Late 2008 saw Menzies portray Edgar opposite Pete Postlethwaite in Liverpool Playhouse’s production of King Lear, which continued with a run at London’s Young Vic Theatre in early 2009.
In 2011, Menzies featured as Dr. Joseph Cardin, opposite Keira Knightley’s Karen Wright, in Lillian Hellman’s 1934 drama The Children’s Hour, which focuses on the harmful effects of wrongful accusations and rumors. He would go on that same year to star in director Rupert Goold’s Decade, a play presented through a series of short vignettes penned to mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. George Farquhar’s 1706 play The Recruiting Officer, which was based upon the methods used by the British Army to recruit troops during the War of Spanish Succession, saw Menzies star as Captain Plume during the first quarter of 2012. The next year he would feature in director Carey Cracknell’s Rough Cuts: Searched, at the Royal Court Theatre, and star in National Theatre’s experimental play The Hush, which explored the connection between sound and memory.
Wallace Shawn’s monologue play The Fever, which explored the main character’s internal struggle with the morality of a privileged existence, saw Menzies perform to a micro audience at London’s decadent May Fair Hotel in early 2015. Director Robert Icke purposely staged the play, produced by Almeida Theatre, at the May Fair Hotel in order to assist the small audience to better internalize its meaning. That same year he would join an extensive cast for a sixteen hour production of Homer’s The Iliad, performed throughout the day at the British Museum and concluding at the Almeida Theatre, as well as being broadcast live. Working again with director Robert Ickes, 2016 would see Menzies star in a modernized interpretation of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya prior to performing dramatic readings of selected sonnets by Shakespeare in Middle Temple Hall’s choral programme The Dark Lady and the Tender Churl. Two years later, Menzies would return to the Almeida in their digital theatre production Figures of Speech, which highlighted performances of well known historical speeches. He appeared in series three of the project, which has featured artists such as Ian McKellan, Fiona Shaw, and Andrew Scott.
Early 2019 saw Menzies appear in the Gate Theatre’s production of Sarah Ruhl’s Dear, Elizabeth. The play, which dramatized letters between American poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, featured two different actors each night of the show’s run. Later that year, Menzies starred in Almeida Theatre’s production of The Hunt, which was set in Denmark and adapted from 2012’s thriller film Jagten (The Hunt). The production ran from mid June to early August 2019. His performance garnered positive reviews, with one saying:
Tobias Menzies’s performance as Lucas is finely controlled — a quietly devastating portrait of a man whose lonely fight to preserve his dignity takes him to the brink of madness.
— Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard
Menzies’ first professional radio performance was 2010’s drama A Nice Little Holiday, the story of British playwright John Osborne’s 1961 besieged holiday in the South of France, which aired on BBC Radio 4 in September of that year. The next year he would read an abridgement of Matthew Hollis’ biography of poet and literary critic Edward Thomas, best known for his poem Adelstrop, on BBC Radio 4’s series Book of the Week. In his third collaboration with BBC Radio 4, Menzies was the voice of John Charrington’s Wedding (2012), the second episode of a five-part series titled Ghost Stories of E Nesbit. 2013’s three-part radio drama, commissioned by BBC Radio 4, saw Menzies portray British writer and National Trust supporter James Lees-Milne, opposite Victoria Hamilton as novelist Nancy Mitford. The series consisted of three interconnected plays, based upon his WWII era journals, cataloging the decline of the English country house and titled Sometimes into the Arms of God, The Unending Battle, and What England Owes. That same year he would star in BBC Radio 3’s drama Serious Money, adapted for radio by Emma Harding from Caryl Churchill’s play of the same name, and BBC Radio 4’s political drama Every Duchess In England, based upon Parliament’s response to England’s financial crisis of 1931.
In 2014, Menzies featured in a five-part series for BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week where he read Laurie Lee’s As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, an account of her travels in 1930’s Spain, in sections released over a five day period. He would go on the next year to star as Andy Warhol in Sarah Wooley’s BBC Radio 4 drama Fifteen Minutes, opposite Adrian Rawlins, and a second five-part Book of the Week series where he, along with the author, would read british travel writer Robert Macfarlane’s celebration of language, Landmarks. 2016 would see Menzies in another series which combined literary readings and music in an episode of BBC Radio 3’s Words and Music series entitled Trapped. The episode explored both physical and mental entrapment with readings, including authors such as George Orwell and Charlotte Bronte, by both Menzies and Kate Phillips. He would also feature in BBC Radio 4’s Comment Is Free, a political and social commentary focusing on a wife, portrayed by Rachael Stirling, who is forced to watch both the public and media eviscerate her husband’s story.
Once again reading for BBC radio 4’s series Book of the Week, Menzies narrated author Philip Hoare’s exploration of our fascination with water and the sea in 2017’s five-part RISING TIDE FALLING STAR.