David Oakes

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For the David Oakes of the Oakes test, see R. v. Oakes.
David Oakes
ROMY2011 b07 David Oakes.jpg
Born Rowan David Oakes
(1983-10-14) 14 October 1983 (age 31)
Fordingbridge, Hampshire, England
Alma mater  • Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
 • University of Manchester
Occupation Actor
Years active 2008–present

David Oakes (born 14 October 1983) is an English film, television and theatre actor.

Early life and education[edit]

He was born in Fordingbridge,[1] Hampshire, England, the son of a Church of England canon[2] and a professional musician.

Oakes was head boy at Bishop Wordsworth's School, in Salisbury, Wiltshire, where he was also heavily involved with the Salisbury Playhouse and their youth theatre, Stage 65. He graduated with a first in English Literature from the University of Manchester.[2]

He attended the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School from 2005 to 2007.[3]


He played the villainous William Hamleigh in the television miniseries The Pillars of the Earth (2010), produced by Ridley Scott's production company.[4] Subsequently, Oakes was cast in the television miniseries The Borgias (2011), airing on Showtime.[5] He played Juan Borgia opposite Jeremy Irons.

Continuing a career on television playing morally dubious characters, Oakes had a role in The White Queen for BBC One and Starz playing George, Duke of Clarence. It was broadcast in mid-2013.


Year Title Role Channel Notes
2008 Bonekickers Alfred, Lord Tennyson BBC One Episode 6 "Follow the Gleam", dir. Iain B. MacDonald
Walter's War Oswald Hennessey BBC Four dir. Alrick Riley
2009 Henry VIII: The Mind of a Tyrant George Cavendish Channel 4 Episode 3 "Lover"
Trinity Ross Bonham ITV2 Episodes 1, 2, 3 dir. Colin Teague
2010 The Pillars of the Earth Lord William Hamleigh TV miniseries; Appeared in all eight episodes, dir. Sergio Mimica-Gezzan
2011–2012 The Borgias Juan Borgia Season 1 & 2, dir. Neil Jordan, John Maybury, David Leland, John Amiel, Kari Skogland, Jeremy Podeswa et al.
2012 World Without End Bishop Henri Channel 4 dir. Michael Caton-Jones
2013 Ripper Street Victor Silver Episode 8 What Use Our Work?
The White Queen George, Duke of Clarence dir. James Kent, Jamie Payne and Colin Teague
2014 Kim Philby: His Most Intimate Betrayal Kim Philby BBC2 Two part drama documentary by Ben MacIntyre


Year Title Role Producer Notes
2014 Sins of a Father Martin Andrew Piddington A re-shot, re-edited version of the 1991 film Shuttlecock with Alan Bates and Lambert Wilson
2013 Love By Design Adrian Solar Junction Rom Com with Jane Seymour and Olivia Hallinan
Goblin? Harry Multi Story Film Short film with The Borgias co-star Holliday Grainger
Who Shall I Play With Now? Gregory Dog Ate Cake UK premiere on 29 June 2013 at the Wimbledon Shorts Festival
2012 Truth or Die Justin Corona Pictures UK release on 6 August 2012; Called "Truth or Dare" in the UK
100Dniowk@ David Potter Agresywna Banda Polish Feature Film



Year Title Role Theatre Director
2006 Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare Claudio & Verges Royal Shakespeare Company & Bristol Old Vic Theatre School John Hartoch
2007 Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare Dumaine Shakespeare's Globe & International Tour Dominic Dromgoole
We the People (World Premiere) by Eric Schlosser Charles Pinckney & Gunning Bedford Jnr Shakespeare's Globe Charlotte Westenra
2008 Old Vic New Voices: The Twenty-four Hour Plays Davide Old Vic Theatre
Journey's End by R. C. Sherriff Raleigh Mercury Theatre, Colchester Tony Casement
Mary Stuart by Friedrich Schiller Mortimer Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh Aida Karic
2009 All The Little Things We Crushed (World Premiere) by Joel Horwood Hugh Almeida Theatre, London Simon Godwin
2011 Three Farces ("Slasher and Crasher", "A Most Unwarrantable Intrusion" & "Grimshaw, Bagshaw and Bradshaw") by John Maddison Morton Samson Slasher & John Bagshaw Orange Tree Theatre, London Henry Bell
2013 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen adapted by Simon Reade Darcy Open Air Theatre, Regents Park, London Deborah Bruce
2014 Shakespeare In Love (World Premiere) by Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard adapted by Lee Hall Christopher Marlowe Noël Coward Theatre, West End, London Declan Donnellan
  • Oakes set up a theatre company called Dog Ate Cake with a long term theatrical collaborator, Henry Bell[10]

Theatre Direction[edit]

Oakes has directed a number of theatre pieces alongside his acting career. In 2003 he took a stage adaptation of The Wicker Man to the Epping Forest Theatre Festival. Rehearsing in and around his home town of Salisbury, Oakes "got kicked out of the [Cathedral] Close for rehearsing pagan rituals for [his] open-air production of The Wicker Man.”[11]

At University he directed numerous plays including Martin McDonagh's Beauty Queen of Leenane, Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter and Anthony Minghella's Whale Music[12]

Also whilst at University, in 2005 Oakes assisted director Natalie Wilson on a production of "Smilin' Through" which was co-produced by the Truant Company, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Contact Theatre, Manchester Later that year, Oakes once again turning to literary adaptation, took a production of Stephen King's The Boogeyman to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.[12]

With his and Bell's theatre company, Dog Ate Cake, in 2009 Oakes directed a small tour revival of John Maddison Morton's Box and Cox[13]

Oakes frequently directs at Shakespeare's Globe extending their Read Not Dead Series, a study devoted to performing fully staged readings of the entirety of the Early Modern Canon of Drama: Most recently Oakes directed Robert Greene's The Honourable History of Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay[14] and Lewis Theobald's "Happy Ending" version of John Webster's Duchess of Malfi, "The Fatal Secret".[15]

David recently directed an extract of Robert Daborne's A Christian Turn'd Turk as part of a special Read Not Dead event at Shakespeare's Globe. Four directors with four scholars were teamed up with actors and presented their arguments and selected scenes at a special hustings event on Thursday 29 May 2014

Personal life[edit]

Oakes plays both the clarinet and bass clarinet, and is a strong bass singer.[10]

He is an avid follower of folk music, and continues to support the Bristol folk group Sheelanagig.[1]

David has an extensive collection of canoes and is currently developing a comedy pilot based on this interest. His preferred canoe method is kayak but also enjoys Canadian canoeing.

Oakes is an avid fine line sketcher. He is increasingly known for sketching on-set animals upon coloured pages of script reissues and giving them to production members.[16]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]