Meet the Actors- #6 Robert Powell

Welcome to the final part of our ‘Meet the Actors’ series, in which we introduce the talented actors who voice our lively characters! The Canterbury Tales is soon to be celebrating its 30th birthday, and still uses the incredible voice acting recorded back in the 80s.

Starring as the the Nun’s Priest, Robert Powell helps bring Chaucer’s tales to life!

Robert Powell headshot


Robert Powell is a well-known film and TV actor, born in Lancashire in 1944. An aspiring lawyer, he went to Manchester Grammar school alongside famous actor Ben Kingsley (famous for Gandhi and Schindler’s List), then to Salford’s Royal College of Technical, where he first took up acting, and then to Manchester College of Commerce to study an LLB.

He did not stop acting, however, and was taking small roles in Trevor Nunn’s work while studying his degree. It wasn’t long before Powell began secured a post at a repertory theatre and got his first role in a film, Robbery, a Stanley Baker film about the Great Train Robbery.

Robert Powell as Jesus of Nazareth

Powell as Jesus of Nazareth. Source:

Powell became a household name in 1970 following his appearance in  Doomwatch and his character’s shocking death. He became a television regular, and in 1977 he cemented his reputation with his role as Jesus Christ in Jesus of Nazareth. He was nominated for a BAFTA Award for the performance, which was opposite stars such as Laurence Olivier, Ernest Borgnine and James Mason.


Continuing his foray into both film and television, Powell went on to achieve great success over the years in The Thirty-Nine Steps, Harlequin, The Detectives, Holby City and much more!

Nowadays Powell’s distinctive voice, which we are fortunate enough to feature in The Canterbury Tales, appears frequently as a voice-over or narrator, appearing on television, radio, musical recordings and audio books.

At the University of Salford in 2001, a theatre was opened and named after Powell. He is also now a patron of 24:7 Theatre Festival and we are very proud that he is in our cast of talented voice actors!

The Nun's Priest with a verse from Chaucer's works

The Nun’s Priest’s Tale

Book your tickets now to hear Robert Powell as the Nun’s Priest, plus many other talented stars, at The Canterbury Tales.