Suranne Jones is the stage name of Sarah Anne Akers (née Jones; born August 27, 1978), an English actress and executive producer.
From her breakout role as Karen McDonald in the hit TV series “Coronation Street” (2000 through 2004) to her recent starring role in the critically acclaimed series “Gentleman Jack,” Surrane Jones has proven to be a talented and versatile performer.
Suranne Jones received greater notice for her appearances on stage in productions of A Few Good Men (2005), Blithe Spirit (2009), Top Girls (2011), Beautiful Thing (2013), and Orlando as well as her parts in Single Parent, Five Days (both 2010), and The Crimson Field (2014).
She earned recognition for how she portrayed murderer Ruth Slater in her first role in the 2009 miniseries Unforgiven.
Jones received numerous awards for her performance of Gemma Foster in Doctor Foster (2015–2017), a successful family doctor who encounters personal betrayal.
These included a Broadcasting Press Guild award and the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress in 2016. As Doctor Foster finished up, Surrane Jones went back to the stage and starred in a performance of Frozen, for which she garnered positive reviews.
In this article, we will take a closer look at Surrane Jones’ career insights in the industry, including her early beginnings, rise to fame, and future endeavors.
1. The Early Life of Surrane Jones
Surrane Jones was born and raised in a small town in England. Jones was born Sarah Anne Jones in August 27, 1978, in Chadderton, Greater Manchester. She has an older brother named Gary.
Jones was raised a Catholic; her priest advised her father to have Sarah Anne baptized rather than Suranne, her great-grandmother’s name, as Suranne was not “a proper name“.
She stated that one of her earliest memories is of “cows peering through the window as we ate our tea” and that she grew up in a home on Foxdenton Lane, where two farms and their fields surrounded.
She later stated that as a little child, her priest used to ask her to concentrate a little bit more because she was so talkative.
2. Career of Surrane Jones
2.1 Early Career Of Surrane Jones
She developed a love for acting at a young age and was involved in several local theatre productions throughout her childhood. After completing her studies, Surrane Jones moved to London to pursue a career in acting.
She landed her first professional role in the stage play “The Snow Queen,” which was performed at the National Theatre.
Andrew Billen of The Times stated that she “went to the stage at 8,” even though her professional career began when she was 16 years old.
She recalled that at 8, she played Gloria in the film Wait Until Dark. Since her birth name was already taken, she chose the stage name “Suranne” when she joined the trade union Equity because it required that each union member have a separate name. She signed up with an agency at age 15 and started performing in plays.
Her television career began in 1997 with a minor role in Coronation Street as Mandy Phillips, Chris Collins’ girlfriend (Matthew Marsden).
She then appeared in a Malteser television commercial as a guest star on episodes of shows like City Central and played a supporting role in the film My Wonderful Life. She appeared in the last four actresses to be considered for the role of Charity Dingle on the soap opera Emmerdale, though Emma Atkins ultimately won the position.
She also went through the audition process for the character of Geena Gregory on Coronation Street, even though she had a gut feeling Jennifer James would be chosen for the part—which she was.
2.2 Rise To Fame
Surrane’s big break came when she was cast as Karen McDonald in the long-running British soap opera “Coronation Street.“
Her portrayal of the feisty and outspoken Karen McDonald earned her critical acclaim and loyal following fans. After leaving “Coronation Street,” she went on to appear in several other TV shows and films, including “Five Days,” “Doctor Foster,” and “The A Word.”
Later that same year, in May, she began shooting the BBC and HBO co-production Gentleman Jack, which Sally Wainwright wrote, produced, and directed. She agreed to portray the lead role of Anne Lister, a lesbian Yorkshire industrialist, in the 1830s when she signed on in July 2017.
The series marks Jones’s fourth time working with Wainwright, who The Independent calls “a fundamental member of Wainwright’s unofficial repertory company.”
Jones’s performance is a marvel, emanating vibrancy, charisma, and sexual confidence, according to James Poniewozik of The New York Times, who covered the US and UK premieres this weekend.
But she also imparts empathy, sympathy, and flashes of fragility to Anne, elevating her above the status of the perfect Regency Mary Sue. Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe also lauded her performance: “She is a gale force wind on the show, propelling it ahead with her assurance and composure.”
In a time of bigotry and ignorance, she provides us with a strong female character who is attracted to women and lives out gender fluidity. When she sincerely and unafraid pursues her passions, Anne defies societal convention—and has the resources to do so.
Jones does, however, introduce a covert vulnerability that can be devastating. Yet few seem to be aware of it, as it is the year’s best and most varied performance. On April 10, 2022, BBC One premiered the second season of Gentleman Jack.
She got the script for Save Me Too, the second season of the Save Me television series, in July 2019. Production on the 14-week season was also started. The third season of Rescue Me Too is expected to premiere in 2022. It was published in April 1, 2020.
She played the parents of a missing teen in the Sky Atlantic thriller Save Me, which aired in February 2018. The Guardian’s Rebecca Nicholson wrote of Jones’ portrayal, “You get the idea that she could mimic grief in her sleep, yet she is remarkably subtle here,” in praise of it.
From February to May 2018, Surrane Jones made a comeback to the West End in the Theatre Royal Haymarket’s production of Bryony Lavery’s play Frozen. In contrast to Jason Watkins, she played the small role of Nancy, the distraught mother of a kidnapped child.
In 2019, Surrane Jones landed the lead role in the HBO/BBC series “Gentleman Jack,” which tells the story of the 19th-century landowner and industrialist Anne Lister. Her performance as Anne Lister was widely praised by critics and audiences alike, and the show was renewed for a second season.
In “I Am Victoria,” the first of a second series of one-off plays by BAFTA winner Dominic Savage that focuses on various female rights and, in this case, mental health difficulties, Jones made her acting debut in August 5, 2021.
Jones then secured the lead part of DI Amy Silva in the six-episode BBC drama “Vigil,” which began airing in the UK on Monday, August 29, 2021, and began airing in the US on Wednesday, December 23, 2021.
In four years, the BBC’s most popular drama garnered an initial viewership of 13.4 million people for the submarine thriller with a subtextual lesbian love tale.
2.3 Future Endeavors Of Surrane Jones
With her impressive body of work and natural talent, Surrane Jones will surely have a bright future in the entertainment industry.
Surrane Jones has already been cast in several upcoming projects, including the film “I Am Maria,” which tells the story of a woman who is wrongly accused of a crime and must fight to clear her name. Surrane Jones has also expressed interest in taking on more challenging and complex roles in the future.
3. The Personal Life of Surrane Jones
Along with her husband Laurence Akers, a freelance scriptwriter and former magazine editor, Jones resides in the London neighborhood of Muswell Hill.
The two first came into contact at the 2013 nuptials of Jones’ lifelong friend, actress Sally Lindsay, to musician Steve White. The couple wed in 2014. In a Vogue interview, Jones revealed that she had changed her legal name to Sarah Anne Akers. In March 2016, she gave birth to a boy.
Jones has worked with several nonprofit organizations. Jenny had a breast cancer diagnosis while she was a teenager. According to Jones: “We participated in a breast cancer campaign at the time. I still participate in several charity runs.”
As part of his work with Christian Aid, Jones has also been to Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to assist with projects addressing HIV, women’s rights, and child soldiers.
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