Daniel Evans (actor)

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Daniel Evans
Daniel Evans.jpg
Evans outside Wyndham's Theatre in the West End, after performing Sunday in the Park with George.
BornDaniel Gwyn Evans
(1973-07-31) July 31, 1973 (age 40)
Rhondda, Wales, United Kingdom
OccupationActor, Director
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Daniel Evans
Daniel Evans.jpg
Evans outside Wyndham's Theatre in the West End, after performing Sunday in the Park with George.
BornDaniel Gwyn Evans
(1973-07-31) July 31, 1973 (age 40)
Rhondda, Wales, United Kingdom
OccupationActor, Director

Daniel Gwyn Evans (born 31 July 1973) is a British actor and director.


Evans started acting early in life, going to the Urdd Eisteddfod, and beginning to compete there from the age of 5 or 6, as well as going to many amateur productions.[1] He realised it was what he wanted to do aged 8,[2] and aged 17, he won the Richard Burton Memorial Prize at the National Eisteddfod of Wales. A year later, he won the Chair at the Urdd Eisteddfod.[2]

He attended Ysgol Gyfun Rhydfelen near Pontypridd, a Welsh language secondary school which has nurtured many actors. He is openly gay and has been out his entire career.[3]


Stage career[edit]

Evans trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama from 1991–1994,[4] but joined the Royal Shakespeare Company before completing his course.[2] With the RSC he had small roles in Coriolanus and Henry V,[2] before playing Lysander when Adrian Noble's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream toured in New York and on Broadway.

He appeared in the controversial play Cardiff East at the Royal National Theatre in 1997,[4] and as the title role in Peter Pan,[5] alongside Ian McKellen and Claudie Blakley.

Directed by Trevor Nunn, he appeared in The Merchant of Venice and Troilus and Cressida,[4] and was then cast as the hero in the operetta Candide,[2] which also starred Simon Russell Beale. It was his first singing role, and saw him nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical in 2000.[4]

As well as Shakespeare and traditional theatre, Evans had starred in several more experimental plays. At the Royal Court Theatre, he appeared in the débuts of two Sarah Kane plays: Cleansed and 4.48 Psychosis.[2][4]

After the success of Candide, Evans was soon cast in another singing role, this time the Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along, for which he won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical (2001).[4][6]

Returning to Shakespeare, he played Ariel in Michael Grandage's production of The Tempest at the Sheffield Crucible, with Derek Jacobi starring as Prospero.[7] For this, and for his performance in the play Ghosts, he was awarded Second Prize for the Ian Charleson Award in 2003.[4] With the Royal Shakespeare Company again, he appeared in Measure for Measure and Cymbeline.[2][4]

In November 2005, he starred in another Sondheim musical, Sunday in the Park with George at the Menier Chocolate Factory in the West End, playing the role of French Post-Impressionist painter Georges Seurat, opposite Anna-Jane Casey. It was directed by Sam Buntrock, and was a daring production, using extensive animation and projections to show the creation of Seurat's masterpiece, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte as it was put together over the course of the play.[8]

At the end of its short run at the Menier, Sunday transferred to the larger Wyndham's Theatre, where it continued until September 2006. It won five Olivier awards,[6] including Best Actor for Evans, Best Actress for Jenna Russell, who took over Casey's role when the Menier run finished, and Outstanding Musical Production.

In January 2008, Sunday started previews at Studio 54, on Broadway, New York, with Evans and Russell reprising their parts, and a new cast from the Roundabout Theatre Company. It opened on February 21, 2008, and closed on June 29.[9] The revival was nominated for, but failed to win, 9 Tony Awards,[4] including Best Actor in a Musical for Evans, Best Actress in a Musical for Russell, and Best Direction of a Musical for Sam Buntrock. Evans was also nominated for an Outer Critics' Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, a Drama League Award for a Distinguished Performance, and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, although the prizes were taken by Paulo Szot (Outer Critics' Circle and Drama Desk), and Patti LuPone, respectively.

Television and film career[edit]

On television, he has worked extensively with the BBC, especially in period dramas, including Great Expectations with Ioan Gruffudd, Daniel Deronda with Hugh Dancy, and The Virgin Queen with Anne-Marie Duff.[4]

Evans has also had cameo appearances in the long-running series, Spooks, Dalziel and Pascoe and Midsomer Murders.[4]

He starred as Daniel Llewellyn in the 2005 Christmas special of Doctor Who, which introduced David Tennant as the 10th Doctor.[10]

He appeared in The Passion in Holy Week, as St Matthew.[4]

Evans has appeared in eight films to date: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cameleon, Be Brave, The Barber of Siberia, Y Mabinogi, Tomorrow La Scala!, The Ramen Girl.[4] and Les Miserables

Directing career[edit]

Evans débuted as a director in 2005 with a double-bill of Peter Gill's plays: Lovely Evening and In the Blue,[11] and a year later directed a Welsh-language production of the play Esther.[12] That year he also directed a reading of Total Eclipse, by Christopher Hampton, for the Royal Court Theatre's 50th Anniversary, a show which he starred in at the Menier Chocolate Factory in 2007.

In 2007 Evans returned to Guildhall to direct a student production of Certain Young Men, also by Peter Gill, with a cast of eight final year students.[13]

On 8 April 2009, Evans was named as successor to Samuel West as artistic director of Sheffield Theatres. He took up his new role following the refurbishment of the Crucible Theatre, with his first season in February 2010.[14] Evans has stated that he does not plan on giving up acting for directing: "I don’t intend to give up acting … for the immediate future".[15]


1996A Midsummer Night's DreamLysander
1997CameleonElfed Davies
1997Be BraveLawrenceWelsh BAFTA Award for Best Film
Nominated—Welsh BAFTA Award for Best Actor
1998The Barber of SiberiaAndrew McCracken (in mask)
2002Tomorrow La Scala!Jonny Atkins
2003Y MabinogiManawydan (Dan)
2008The Ramen GirlCharlie
2012Les MisérablesPimp (Montreuil-sur-mer)
1987Eye of the DragonRobin RichardsTV mini-series
1987DramaramaUnknownEpisode: "A Spirited Performance"
1995Soldier SoldierLCpl Alun GriffithsEpisode: "The Army Game"
1999Great ExpectationsHerbert PocketTV movie
2000DoctorsJason BridgerEpisode: "All That Glitters"
2001Love in a Cold ClimateCedricTV mini-series
2001The ViceAaronMultiple Guest Arc
- "Force of Nature"
- "Falling"
2001Being Dom JolyFilm and Advert ActorTV movie
2002Helen WestDaniel MaleyEpisode: "Deep Sleep"
2002Daniel DerondaMordecaiMultiple Guest Arc
- "Episode #1.2"
- "Episode #1.3"
2004Carrie's WarFrederic EvansTV movie
credited as Daniel Roberts
2004SpooksDefence QCEpisode: "Persephone"
2004To the Ends of the EarthParson ColleyEpisode: "Rites of Passage"
2005Doctor WhoDanny LlewellynEpisode: "The Christmas Invasion"
2005Dalziel and PascoeRob MicleanMultiple Guest Arc
- "Houdini's Ghost: Part 1"
- "Houdini's Ghost: Part 2"
2006The Virgin QueenRobert CecilEpisode: "Episode #1.4"
2007Midsomer MurdersDavid MostynEpisode: "Death and Dust"
2008The PassionMatthewTV mini-series

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Ticketmaster Interview: Daniel Evans". Ticketmaster. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "BBC - Wales - Daniel Evans Interview". BBC. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  3. ^ Raymond, Gerald (2008-06-19). "Breaking the Mold". Backstage. Retrieved 2008-09-01. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Hamilton Hodell - Daniel Evans". Hamilton Hodell. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  5. ^ "National Theatre: Peter Pan (1997 production)". Royal National Theatre. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  6. ^ a b "Laurence Olivier Awards: Past Winners". Official London Theater Guide. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  7. ^ Wolf, Matt (2003-01-23). "Theatre Review: The Tempest". Variety. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  8. ^ Taylor, Paul (2005-12-02). "Theatre: Sunday in the Park with George Menier Chocolate Factory". The Independent. Retrieved 2008-03-02. [dead link]
  9. ^ Rubin, Robert. "Broadway, Sunday in the Park with George Review". New York Theatre Guide. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  10. ^ Lyon, Shaun (2005-09-15). "TV Series Update". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 2008-02-09. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  11. ^ Hanks, Robert (2005-03-28). "Lovely Evening/In the Blue". The Independent. Retrieved 2008-03-02. [dead link]
  12. ^ "The Big Interview: Daniel Evans". Official London Theatre Guide. 2006-05-18. Retrieved 2008-03-02. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Guildhall School of Music & Drama: Acting Graduates include...". Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  14. ^ Higgins, Charlotte (2009-04-08). "Daniel Evans takes the reins at Sheffield Theatres". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  15. ^ "Sheffield Appoints Daniel Evans as New Director". Whatsonstage.com. Retrieved 2009-09-20.