Robert Donat’s real love was the theatre, and it was his son John’s belief that RD earned money making films to lose it in the theatre. With grateful thanks to J. C. Trewin’s biography of RD, ‘Robert Donat’, and Kenneth Barrow’s biography, ‘Mr Chips, The Life of Robert Donat’, here is a listing of RD’s stage roles.

We hope, in time, to expand this area of the blog to provide more information. If you have anything you can contribute, please contact us.


July 1921: Henry Baynton’s Company, Prince of Wales Theatre, Birmingham. Julius Caesar (Lucius); Macbeth (Fleance); Romeo and Juliet (Balthasar); The Merry Wives of Windsor (Robin); The School for Scandal (Black Page).

1924 – 1928: Sir Frank Benson’s Company, on tour. As You Like It (at various times A Lord, Le Beau, William, Adam, Orlando); Hamlet (Bernardo, Second Gravedigger, Marcellus, Guildenstern, Osric, Horatio, Laertes); Julius Caesar (Flavius, Varro, Metellus Cimber, Decius Brutus, Titinius, Trebonius, Pindarus, Julius Caesar, Cassius); King Lear (Gloucester); Macbeth (Messenger, Apparition, Seyton, Ross, Duncan, Malcolm); Merchant of Venice (Salanio, Salarino, Old Gobbo, Gaoler, Tubal, The Duke, Gratiano, Lorenzo, Bassanio); The Merry Wives of Windsor (Rugby, Simple, Master Page); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Snug, Snout, Flute); Monsieur Beaucaire (Rakell); The Rivals (Thomas, Faulkland); The School for Scandal (Sir Harry Bumper, Snake, Rowley, Sir Benjamin Backbite, Sir Oliver Surface); She Stoops to Conquer (Servant, Slang); The Taming of the Shrew (Grumio, Biondello, Baptista); The Tempest (Sebastian, Ferdinand); Twelfth Night (Valentine, Fabian).

20 July 1925: Manchester Winter Gardens, The Odd Trick (Joe) and at the Palace, Oldham, 27 July 1925.

July 1926: Opera House, Wakefield, season with the Venner Repertory Company, The Bat (Brooks); Diplomacy (Julian Beauclerc); Lass O’Laughter (Ronald, Earl Maxwell); The Bad Man (Gilbert Jones).

July – August 1927: Theatre Royal, Huddersfield, Doctor Knock (M. Bernard); The Witch (Martin); The Game As He Played It (Miglioriti).

September 1928-June 1929: Liverpool Playhouse company, Full Circle (Robert Frayn); The Big House (Captain Despard); The Dreamer (Captain Thomas); The Admirable Bashville (Cashel Byron); It’s a Gamble (Harry Crompton); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon); The Good And The Bad (Rod Kentish); This Woman Business (Addleshaw); The Good Die Young (Digby Scott); The Witch (Martin) (2); The Marquise (Miguel); The Unknown Warrior (The French Soldier), see images here, here and here; A Bit O’Love (Jim Bere).

October 1928-March 1930: Festival Theatre, Cambridge, Six Characters In Search Of An Author (Leading Man); Marriage (Ilya Fomich Kochkaryov); All For Love (Dolabella); Rosalind (Charles Roche); Iphigenia In Tauris (Orestes); Dandy Dick (Sir Tristram Mardon, Bart); The Rivals (Jack Absolute); The Machine Wreckers (Jimmy Cobbett); Measure for Measure (Angelo); A Month In The Country (Bielaiev); Lancelot of Denmark (Lancelot); A Pair of Spectacles (Dick); The Medium (directed only); La Malade Imaginaire ( Cléante ), Volpone (Corvino); Naked (Signor Grotti); The Cherry Orchard (Semyonov-Pistchik); The Gentleman Dancing Master (Mr Gerrard); Rosmersholm (John Rosmer); The Unknown Warrior (The French Soldier) (2). Directed only: The Medium, The Kingdom of God.

March 1930: Liverpool Playhouse, Mary Rose (Simon/Harry Blake).

1 October 1930: Ambassadors’ Theatre, London, Knave and Quean (Cartwright).

As Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing

October 1930-February 1931: Embassy Theatre, The Liar (Ottavio); The Witch (Martin) (3); Precious Bane (Gideon Sarn); Lady-In-Waiting (King Yovan).

6 April 1931: His Majesty’s Theatre, Saint Joan (Dunois).

27 April 1931: New Theatre, Dark Hester (directed only).

1 June 1931: Kingsway Theatre, The Heir (Jack Baron).

August 1931: Malvern Festival Theatre, Hick Scorner (Imagination); A Woman Killed With Kindness (Master Wendoll); A Trip to Scarborough (Loveless).

14 September 1931: St James’ Theatre, London, A Trip to Scarborough (Loveless) (2).

5 October 1931: Savoy Theatre, Salomé (The Young Syrian).

3 November 1931: St Martin’s Theatre, Lady-In-Waiting (King Yovan) (2).

8, 9 November 1931: for the Stage Society, Duchess Theatre,  Bluestone Quarry (Malion Rafaële).

1 December 1931: Embassy Theatre, Mary Broome (Leonard Timbrell).

31 March 1932: St Martin’s Theatre, Precious Bane (Gideon Sarn) (2).

16 May 1932: Memorial Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, Merchant of Venice (Lorenzo) (Old Bensonians’ matinee with Sir Frank).

RD as Old Croaker with Stewart Granger and Constance Cummings

July 1932: Barn Theatre, Smallhythe, Kent, Twelfth Night (Valentine) (fourth Ellen Terry Anniversary Performance).

27 March – April 1933: Tour, When Ladies Meet (Roger Woodruf).

July – August 1933: Malvern Festival, The Conversion of St Paul (Saul); A Sleeping Clergyman (Charles Cameron, First and Second).

19 September 1933: Piccadilly Theatre, London, A Sleeping Clergyman (Charles Cameron, First and Second) (2).

21 November 1934: His Majesty’s Theatre,  Mary Read: Dragoon and Pirate (Edmond Earle).

28 May 1935: Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Little Catherine (Peter) (Marie Tempest Jubilee Matinee).

16 March 1936: Queen’s Theatre, London (under RD’s own management), Red Night (Pte John Hardcastle).

August-September 1939: Opera House, Buxton, Buxton Festival with the Old Vic company,  Romeo and Juliet (Romeo); The Devil’s Disciple (Dick Dudgeon); The Good-Natured Man (Croaker).

April 1940: Began tour with The Devil’s Disciple (2).

RD in The Devil's Disciple

24 July 1940: Piccadilly Theatre, London, The Devil’s Disciple (Dick Dudgeon) (3).

June 1942: Prince of Wales Theatre, Cardiff, and later on tour, To Dream Again (William Shakespeare, Mr Hansel).

21 March 1943: Cambridge Theatre, London, Heartbreak House (Captain Shotover).

November 1943 – July 1945: RD managed the Westminster Theatre, London, An Ideal Husband (produced only); It Depends What You Mean (co-presented); Yellow Sands (presented).

December 1944 – March 1945: St James’ Theatre, The Glass Slipper (produced and co-directed); Emma (produced only).

12 July 1945: Westminster Theatre,  The Cure For Love (Jack Hardacre).

December 1945: St James’ Theatre,  The Glass Slipper (produced only) (2).

September 1946: Opera House, Manchester (under RD’s own management),  Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick), The Man Behind The Statue (Bolivar).

16 October 1946: Aldwych Theatre, London, Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick) (2).

19 June 1947: Criterion Theatre, A Sleeping Clergyman (Camerons, First and Second) (3).

6 November 1950: Vanbrugh Theatre,  His House In Order (Footman) (Irene Vanbrugh Memorial Fund Matinee).

31 March 1953: Old Vic, Murder In The Cathedral (Becket).

RD as Becket with William Squire, Old Vic 1953

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