Rowan David Oakes|
14 October 1983
Fordingbridge, Hampshire, England
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School|
University of Manchester
Early life and education
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.
He played the villainous William Hamleigh in the television miniseries The Pillars of the Earth (2010), produced by Ridley Scott's production company. David was present to accept the Jury Prize at the 2011 Romy Awards in Vienna alongside Donald Sutherland and Natalia Wörner.
The following year, Oakes was cast in the television series The Borgias (2011), airing on Showtime. He played Juan Borgia opposite Jeremy Irons. Whilst shooting the second season, David performed a cameo in the sequel to The Pillars of the Earth, World Without End (2012).
In an attempt to distance himself from his "TV Period Bad Boy" image, in 2013 David played Mr Darcy in an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice at Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park. He said, "I've been playing bad guys back to back, so Darcy's a bit of an antidote!" He followed this by more stage work, appearing in the world premiere of Shakespeare in Love at the Noël Coward Theatre as Christopher Marlowe.
The role of Prince Ernest, brother of Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert, went to Oakes in 2016 in the ITV series Victoria. The role reunited Oakes with his Trinity co-star Tom Hughes, and Pillars of the Earth co-star Rufus Sewell.
Later in 2017, Oakes will be seen in the film adaptation of Albert Sánchez Piñol's novel Cold Skin, directed by Xavier Gens and co-starring Ray Stevenson and Aura Garrido. He will also star as Thomas Novachek in the London West End premiere of David Ives's play Venus in Fur at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. This production is set to be directed by Patrick Marber and stars Natalie Dormer as Vanda.
|2008||Bonekickers||Alfred, Lord Tennyson||Iain B. MacDonald||BBC One||Episode 6 "Follow the Gleam"|
|Walter's War||Oswald Hennessey||Alrick Riley||BBC Four|
|2009||Henry VIII: The Mind of a Tyrant||George Cavendish||Channel 4||Episode 3 "Lover"|
|Trinity||Ross Bonham||Colin Teague||ITV2||Episodes 1, 2, 3|
|2010||The Pillars of the Earth||Lord William Hamleigh||Sergio Mimica-Gezzan||TV miniseries; Appeared in all eight episodes|
|2011–2012||The Borgias||Juan Borgia||Neil Jordan, John Maybury, David Leland, John Amiel, Kari Skogland, Jeremy Podeswa et al.||Season 1 & 2|
|2012||World Without End||Bishop Henri||Michael Caton-Jones||Channel 4||Appears as a cameo alongside Charlotte Riley|
|2013||Ripper Street||Victor Silver||Andy Wilson||Episode 8 What Use Our Work?|
|The White Queen||George, Duke of Clarence||James Kent, Jamie Payne and Colin Teague||Episodes 1 - 7|
|2014||Kim Philby: His Most Intimate Betrayal||Kim Philby||BBC2||Two-part drama documentary by Ben MacIntyre|
|2015||Endeavour||Jocelyn "Joss" Bixby||Sandra Goldbacher||ITV & Mammoth Productions||Season 3: "Ride"|
|The Living and the Dead||William Payne||Sam Donovan||BBC||Episodes 4 - 6|
|2016–2017||Victoria||Ernest II, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha||Tom Vaughan, Sandra Goldbacher, Oliver Blackburn, Lisa James Llarsson, Geoff Saxe, Jim Loach & Daniel O'Hara||ITV & Mammoth Productions||Season 1 and 2|
|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|
|2013||Love By Design||Adrian||Solar Junction||Romantic comedy with Jane Seymour and Olivia Hallinan|
|Goblin?||Harry||Multi Story Film||Short film with Holliday Grainger|
|Who Shall I Play With Now?||Gregory||Dog Ate Cake||UK premiere on 29 June 2013 at the Wimbledon Shorts Festival|
|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|
|2017||Cold Skin||Friend||Xavier Gens||An adaptation of the novel co-starring Ray Stevenson|
|2018||The Garden of Evening Mists||Frederick||Tom Lin||An adaptation of Tan Twan Eng's Booker Prize winning novel|
- Oakes has performed with The Fitzrovia Radio Hour
- 2008: A Dance to the Music of Time as Charles Stringham (BBC Radio 4)
- 2017: Foiled as Richie (BBC Radio Wales)—written by David Charles and Beth Granville, based on the Edinburgh Fringe show of the same name
- 2018: Season two of Foiled
- In 2006, David performed a 90-minute abridged version of Much Ado About Nothing as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company's "Complete Works" festival along with his final year graduates from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He alternated between playing Claudio and Verges alongside fellow graduate Matt Barber.
- Since appearing at Shakespeare's Globe at the outset of his career, David has frequently performed in numerous rehearsed readings as part of their "Read Not Dead" initiative, including their landmark 200th reading of Philip Massinger's A New Way To Pay Old Debts; David played Wellborn alongside a cast including Benjamin Whitrow, Alan Cox, and Nicholas Rowe.
- Other performances between 2008 and 2013 for "Read Not Dead" include an early quarto edition of Henry IV: Part One as Prince Hal opposite Benjamin Whitrow's Falstaff, Calderon's Life is a Dream (La Vida Es Sueno) as Segismundo, Taming Of A Shrew as Aurelias, The Spanish Tragedy as Lorenzo, The Return from Parnassus as Ingenioso, Bassianus as Geta, Gorboduc as a "smooth, almost oily" Arostus, John Lyly's Love's Metamorphosis as Montanus, and Thomas Middleton's Your Five Gallants as Tailby.
- Oakes set up a theatre company called Dog Ate Cake with a long-term theatrical collaborator, Henry Bell
- David was nominated for both WhatsOnStage and Broadway World awards for his performance in Shakespeare in Love in 2015. The production was also nominated for an Olivier Award.
- In 2015 David starred as Banquo in a charity fundraiser for the Shakespeare Schools Festival. The event was largely improvised by the actors and lawyers involved, but based on a framework written by Jonathan Myerson. The cast also included Christopher Ecclestone as Macbeth, Haydn Gwynne as Lady Macbeth, Patterson Joseph as MacDuff, and Pippa Bennett-Warner as one of the Weird Sisters. The event interrupted the events of the original play following the death of Duncan, placing Macbeth on trial for murder. David, Patterson, and Haydn appeared as witnesses for the prosecution and Christopher and Pippa as witnesses for the defence. The event was overseen by High Court Judge, Sir Michael Burton; the QCs were John Kelsey-Fry, Jonathan Laidlaw, Dinah Rose, and Ian Winter, and the foreman of the jury was Jeremy Paxman.
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 hometown of Salisbury, Oakes "got kicked out of the [Cathedral] Close for rehearsing pagan rituals for [his] open-air production of The Wicker Man."
Also whilst at University in 2005, Oakes assisted director Natalie Wilson on a production of Smilin' Through that was co-produced by the Truant Company, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, and Contact Theatre, Manchester. Later that year, Oakes once again turned to literary adaptation, taking a production of Stephen King's The Boogeyman to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
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 and Lewis Theobald's "Happy Ending" version of John Webster's Duchess of Malfi, "The Fatal Secret".
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.
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. In May 2015 he exhibited as part of the Dulwich Artists Open House Festival alongside artist and designer Sarah Hamilton. He has also contributed a chapter on Charity Cards for Ms Hamilton's book, House of Cards.
David, following his infant niece being diagnosed with a lung condition, has been heavily involved with raising awareness for and fundraising on behalf of the British Lung Foundation.
In 2013, Oakes collaborated with his Borgias castmate Holliday Grainger to make the short comedy film "Goblin". Directed by Christian James, the film was screened at the 2014 Film 4 Fright Fest in their Shorts Showcase, and all profits from the sale of this film were donated to the British Lung Foundation.
Later in 2014, Oakes ran the length of the country to raise awareness for infant lung diseases for both the British Lung Foundation and ChILD Lung Foundation UK. More recently he joined with the BLF to promote their new Children's Hub to provide families with information and support. Alongside this, in 2016, 2017 & 2018 he created the charity's Christmas card.
Since 2014, Oakes has also been a patron of Anno's Africa, an arts-based charity working with Kenyan orphans and slum children, and has supported the UK based Shakespeare Schools Festival, most notably with and surrounding their "Trial of Macbeth".
- "Q&A with actor David Oakes". Salisbury Journal. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
- "Interview for Emma Hartley entitled "Desert Island Folk Discs"". Retrieved 2 Dec 2012.
- "Interview for 1883 Magazine from 2011". Retrieved 2 Dec 2012.
- "List of graduates from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School since 1984". Archived from the original on 8 May 2010. Retrieved 5 June 2010.
- Press release (n.d.). "Ian McShane, Donald Sutherland, Rufus Sewell, Matthew Macfadyen, Sarah Parish, Hayley Atwell, Eddie Redmayne and Gordon Pinsent Headline Star-Studded Cast for Screen Adaptation of Ken Follett's Bestselling Masterpiece The Pillars of the Earth". Tandem Communications. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
- Vlessing, Etan (10 June 2010). "David Oakes, Holliday Grainger join 'Borgias'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 13 June 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
- "Brief Encounter with David Oakes". Whats On Stage. 24 June 2013. Retrieved 3 Feb 2017.
- "Natalie Dormer will star in erotically charged West End production of Venus in Fur" by Alistair Foster, The Evening Standard, 12 May 2017
- "UK Theatre Database: RSC's Much Ado About Nothing". Retrieved 24 Mar 2013.
- "The 200th Read Not Dead". Retrieved 24 Mar 2013.
- "The Marlowe Society Research Journal - Volume 05 - 2008" (PDF). Retrieved 24 Mar 2013.
- "David Oakes' Spotlight CV". Retrieved 24 Mar 2013.
- "Interview for Fault Magazine 2011". Retrieved 2 Dec 2012.
- "The Trial of Macbeth: Photos". Retrieved 21 Feb 2016.
- "Guardian - Trial of Macbeth". Retrieved 21 Feb 2016.
- "Interview for Wiltshire Life 2010" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 March 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
- "Theatre Credits Prior To Drama School". Retrieved 11 June 2013.
- "Dog Ate Cake". Retrieved 11 June 2013.
- "Bacon and Bungay Review". Retrieved 11 June 2013.
- "Globe Read Not Dead 2014". Retrieved 19 January 2014.
- "David Oakes Prints". Retrieved 5 June 2015.
- "Dulwich Open House". Retrieved 3 October 2015.
- "Goblin Film Four Fright Fest Review". Retrieved 25 Jan 2017.
- "BLF Patrons". Retrieved 25 Jan 2017.
- "David Oakes Runs for Charity". Retrieved 25 Jan 2017.
- "Josie was the Strongest". Retrieved 25 Jan 2017.
- "Anno's Africa Patrons". Retrieved 25 Jan 2017.
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