O. T. Fagbenle
22 January 1981 |
London, England, UK
|Occupation||Actor, Songwriter, Director|
O. T. (Olatunde Olateju Olaolorun) Fagbenle (also known as O-T and OT) is a British actor writer and director. He has appeared in several films, stage and television productions.
Born in London to a Nigerian journalist father and a British mother, Fagbenle moved to Spain as a child and started learning the alto saxophone. Within a year he was playing for the South Coast Jazz Band and toured the Edinburgh Festival. He moved back to England where he continued to perform as a musician in big bands at the Wembley Arena and the Royal Albert Hall. His younger brother is actor Luti Fagbenle 
He started acting at the age of 14 for the Ritual Theatre Arts and was given the lead role in an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, performing at international venues and at central London's Bloomsbury Theatre. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and graduated early to make his graduate debut at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester in Les Blancs in 2001.
Fagbenle continued his Shakespearean roles performing in Romeo and Juliet as Mercutio in a national tour culminating at the Hong Kong Arts Festival 2004 the evening telegraph said of his performance 'O T Fagbenle achieves the impossible by almost overshadowing the young lovers with his inspired performance of Mercutio'.
Fagbenle was soon offered his first all out lead. Outstanding reviews preceded a M.E.N. Theatre award for best actor in a leading role for his portrayal of a man claiming to be Sidney Poitier's son in John Guare's award-winning play Six Degrees of Separation.
Fagbenle played the role of Sportin' Life, in Sir Trevor Nunn's award winning production of Porgy and Bess at the Savoy Theatre in the West End of London (a part played by Cab Calloway in the opera and Sammy Davis Jr. in the feature film). Fagbenle received outstanding reviews across the board, Variety magazine's review remarked 'There are moments everything take wing as a musical, mostly whenever Fagbenle's splendidly serpentine, easeful Sportin' Life is around. Light on his feet, his every moment is poised and polished.'
In 2012, London England, O-T took on the role of Slupianek, (originated by Alan Cumming) in 'The Conquest of the Sout Pole', at the Arcola and Rose Theatres. Again Fagbenle won critical acclaim across the board for his performance, with TimeOut, The British Theatre Guide, Spoonfed, Whatsonstage.com and industry standard 'The Stage' all exclaiming his performance as 'Charismatic'.  Fagbenle went on to be Panel nominated for 'Best Male Performance' at the prestigious Off West End Awards.
Fagbenle starred in a sitcom for the BBC called Grownups and appeared in the British TV series Agatha Christie's Marple. He also played 'Other Dave' in the two part Doctor Who story Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead. He starred in Little Miss Jocelyn as Mrs Owukupopo's dead husband (number 2) and the hilarious YouTube hit 'Postman Black'(2004–06) in Little Miss Jocelyn BBC. Fagbenle starred in two dramas for the BBC, including the role of Walter Tull in Walter's War, a biopic of the first mixed-heritage officer in the British Army in which he again garnered outstanding international reviews
In January 2010 Fagbenle took a leading role as Chris in the BBC One flagship show Material Girl, starring Dervla Kirwan (Doctor Who) and Lenora Crichlow (Being Human, Sugar Rush). Off the back of his performance he went on to be cast in the 2011 American romantic comedy 'Double Wedding'.
Fagbenle had a lead role in the TV series Thorne, which adapted the Mark Billingham novels 'Sleepyhead' and 'Scaredy Cat'. They were directed by 24 producer Stephen Hopkins and the second starred Emmy award winning actress Sandra Oh. Fagbenle also appeared as 'Mark Lightfoot' in episode six of the first season of Death in Paradise in 2011.
In 2012 after taking some time out to 'do some theatre and develop [his] writing projects' O-T accepted a lead role in the BBC comedy 'Quick Cuts' alongside cult comedy actress and star of Smack the Pony Doon Mackichan.
He has performed multiple times for the BBC including the lead role in Six Degrees of Separation, playing Marvin Gaye in a biopic, and two roles in the BBC Radio adaptation of The Color Purple, which went on to win the Sony Radio Academy Awards for Drama in 2009.
In 2008 he authored an article which appeared in a double page spread in the national Nigerian newspaper The Guardian about the life and times of Walter Tull.
In 2011 O-T wrote and directed the cult black comedy 'Kandi and the Jinn' 
In 2012 O-T was commissioned by the BBC to help develop the comedy 'Quick Cuts'. Later that same year O-T was commissioned by the Theatre Royal Stratford East to develop and write his one man play 'Synthesis'.
After a being awarded a fund by the Nigerian high commission/TRSE to write and direct a teaser for his movie idea, O-T was commissioned by Bafta-nominated Lutimedia to develop the as yet 'untitled' teen comedy feature film.
In 2011 O-T Co-wrote the song "Storm" that was released by Tyga on his Black Thoughts Vol. 2 mixtape and received over 8 million hits on worldstarhiphop.com. The song features vocalist Stefano Moses, a long-time musical collaborator with Fagbenle.
Fagbenle has been honoured by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (of which Queen Elizabeth II is patron) by being included in the 100 faces of RADA along with Sir Anthony Hopkins, Clive Owen and Sir John Gielgud.
Fagbenle was awarded Best Actor in a Leading role at the M.E.N. awards for his performance in Six Degrees of Separation.
In 2008 he was the recipient of an Outstanding Achievement Award at the 13th African Film Awards.
- EastEnders (2002), Angels
- 420 Seconds of Love (2002), Ben
- As If (2004) TV drama, Tyler
- Casualty (2004), Terry O'Brien
- Hollyoaks (2004), James Walker
- Doctors Between the Lines (2005), Todd Dexter
- Breaking and Entering (2006), Joe
- Grownups (2006), Dean
- I Could Never Be Your Woman (2006), Sean
- Marple: By the Pricking of My Thumbs (2006), Chris Murphy
- Poppies (2006), Michael
- Doctor Who (2008), Other Dave - "Silence in the Library"
- Radio Cape Cod (2008), Sunday Umankwe
- Walter's War (2008), Walter Tull - first black commissioned officer in the British Army
- Double Wedding (2010), Tate
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