Jack Lowden (born 2 June 1990) is a Scottish stage, television, and film actor. He starred as Eric Liddell in the 2012 play Chariots of Fire in London. In 2014 he won an Olivier Award and the Ian Charleson Award for his role as Oswald in Richard Eyre's 2013 adaptation of Ibsen's Ghosts.
Early life and education
Jack Lowden grew up in Oxton in the Scottish Borders. When he was 10, his parents enrolled him in the Scottish Youth Theatre in Edinburgh, and at age 12, he played John in a Peter Pan pantomime at the King's Theatre, Edinburgh.
Lowden attended Earlston High School, where he performed in the school's annual productions, including as Buddy Holly in Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, and he performed in various concerts as well. His conviction to become a professional actor came from seeing Black Watch on its first run in 2007. While in high school, Lowden studied during summer school at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. He also performed regularly at the Galashiels Amateur Operatic Society, where in 2008 he played the lead in The Boy Friend.
In 2009, at the age of 18, Lowden starred in a popular national television advertisement for Irn-Bru, sending up High School Musical. His early screen credits include the character of Nick Fairclough on an episode of Being Victor (2010).
In 2011, Lowden was the lead character, Cammy, in the National Theatre of Scotland's production of the Olivier Award-winning play Black Watch. The play is an incisive and topical look at the harsh reality of war, and depicts soldiers of the legendary historic Scottish Black Watch regiment serving in Iraq. Lowden and the rest of the cast underwent grueling physical training during the rehearsals period to get into military shape.
The Black Watch production toured to London (Barbican), Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Belfast, and in the U.S. to New York City, Washington, Chicago, Austin, and Chapel Hill. UK reviewers deemed Lowden "a clearly hugely promising young actor" "who carries off this amazing start to his career with assurance and maturity". In the U.S., the Washington Post described Lowden as "quietly charismatic" and a "stand-out"; this was echoed by the Chicago Sun-Times, which called him "easily charismatic"; and the Chicago Tribune noted his "rich and finely detailed work".
From 9 May 2012 through 5 January 2013, Lowden starred as Scottish runner and missionary Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire, the stage adaptation of the film of the same name. The Olympic-themed play opened at London's Hampstead Theatre and transferred to the Gielgud Theatre in the West End in June 2012. Lowden's performance was widely praised, including by Libby Purves in The Times, and by Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail.
Onscreen, in 2012 Lowden appeared in the ITV drama Mrs Biggs as Alan Wright, who has an affair with Charmian Biggs and gets her pregnant. He was also in the 2013 fact-based thriller film Uwantme2killhim?. In 2013, he played the lead character's son, Adam, in eight episodes of the television series The Tunnel. The series is a British/French crime-drama co-production, and airs in the UK and in France.
In 2014, Lowden received both the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and also the Ian Charleson Award for his role as Oswald in Richard Eyre's adaptation of Ibsen's Ghosts. The production ran from September 2013 through March 2014, opening at the Almeida Theatre and then transferring in December to the West End at Trafalgar Studios. A performance of the production screened in more than 200 UK and Irish cinemas on 26 June 2014.
Lowden will play Orestes in Electra at the Old Vic in the fall of 2014. The production stars Kristen Scott Thomas as Electra, and Diana Quick plays his mother Clytemnestra. Previews begin 22 September, the official opening is 1 October, and the run continues in a limited engagement through to 20 December 2014.
In BBC television dramas, he will appear as the poet Thomas Wyatt in the 2015 television adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Henry VIII novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies. He will also star in the World War I BBC drama series The Passing Bells.
- Jack Lowden on Facebook.
- "It's Fizzy, It's Ginger, It's a Phenomenal Show". Southern Reporter. 5 May 2009.
- Brown, Alexa. "It's Phenomenal!". Border Telegraph. 6 May 2009.
- "Week Ended 7th March 2008: Jack's Success". Earlston High School News Archive 2008.
- "Week Ended 26th October 2007: Buddy". Earlston High School News Archive 2006/07.
- "Black Watch: 'One of the Two Great Scottish plays of the Past 500 Years' Returns, But the All-New Cast Are Determined Not to Coast on That Reputation". The Scotsman. 15 September 2010.
- English, Paul. "Cast of Scottish Play Black Watch Set for their Toughest Challenge Yet... Hitting the Stage in Belfast". Daily Record. 16 September 2010.
- Frater, Jill. "A Real Foot-Tapping, Hand-Clapping Show". Border Telegraph. 5 Mar 2008.
- Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama – Class of 2011: BA Acting
- "High School Bru-sical Debut Made". BBC News. 6 May 2009.
- Irn-Bru Musical advert
- Donohue, Graeme. "Irn School Musical". The Sun. 30 April 2009.
- Being Victor – Season 1: Episode 3 of 6
- "Sons of Scotland: A Closer Look at Black Watch". New York Times video. 23 April 2011.
- "All New Cast for Black Watch set to tour UK, U.S.". National Theatre of Scotland. 7 September 2010.
- Scott, Robert Dawson. "Black Watch Returns with New National Theatre of Scotland Cast". STV. 20 September 2010.
- Anderson, Alison. "Review of Black Watch by National Theatre of Scotland". Perthshire Advertiser. 24 September 2010.
- Marks, Peter. "Black Watch Review: Scottish Battalion's Iraq Story Is Authentic, Astonishing". Washington Post. 30 January 2011.
- Weiss, Heidi. "Superb Black Watch Is Riveting 'Theater of War'". Chicago Sun-Times. March 31, 2011.
- Jones, Chris. "Battles Blaze at Armory: National Theatre of Scotland Tells the Story of the Black Watch". Chicago Tribune. 31 March 2011.
- "Jack Fired Up as he Follows in Flying Footsteps of Olympics Legend Liddell". Southern Reporter. 21 May 2012.
- Girvan, Andrew. "Black Watch's Lowden plays Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire". What's On Stage. 9 March 2012.
- "Chariots of Fire to Transfer to West End from June – Starring Jack Lowden as Eric Liddell". BroadwayWorld.com. April 18, 2012.
- Purves, Libby. "Chariots of Fire at the Hampstead Theatre, NW3". The Times. 24 May 2012.
- "4 Stars from The Times for Chariots of Fire". HampsteadTheatre.com. 24 May 2012. (Excerpt of The Times review by Libby Purves, 24 May 2012)
- Letts, Quentin. "Chariots of Fire: Gold Medals All Round for this Adaptation of the Celebrated Film". Daily Mail. 22 May 2012.
- uwantme2killhim? at the Internet Movie Database
- "Oxton actor says Olivier Award win is ‘surreal’". Southern Reporter. 17 April 2014.
- "Jack Lowden Wins Ian Charleson Award". WestEndTheatre.com. 27 April 2014.
- Wise, Louis. "Haunting brilliance". Sunday Times. 4 May 2014.
- Ghosts Screening (clip). Almeida.co.uk.
- Billington, Michael. "Let's stop pretending that theatre can't be captured on screen". The Guardian. 18 June 2014.
- Millward, Tom. "The Old Vic announces further casting for Electra". London Theatre Guide. 24 June 2014.
- Stanbury, Kate. "Jack Lowden Joins Old Vic's Electra". Official London Theatre. 24 June 2014.
- Bamigboye, Baz. "Wolf whistles for the racy Tudors". Daily Mail. 1 May 2014.
- "Rising talent to lead BBC One’s First World War drama Passing Bells". BBC. 8 May 2014.
- Jack Lowden at the Internet Movie Database
- May 1012 BBC Radio 4 interview (2:20 to 13:00)
- 3-minute video segment from 2014 performance in Ibsen's Ghosts
- Ghosts co-star and fellow Olivier winner Lesley Manville on Jack Lowden