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 (2006)
Daniel Gwyn Evans

(1973-07-31) 31 July 1973 (age 49)
Rhondda, Wales
Occupation(s)Actor, director

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



Evans was born in the Rhondda Valley in Wales. Evans started acting early in life, going to the Urdd Eisteddfod, and beginning to compete there from the age of five or six, 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.


Stage career

Evans trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama from 1991 to 1994, [3] 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 City and on Broadway.

He appeared in the controversial play Cardiff East by Peter Gill at the Royal National Theatre in 1997, [3] and as the title role in Peter Pan , [4] alongside Ian McKellen and Claudie Blakley.

Directed by Trevor Nunn, he appeared in The Merchant of Venice and Troilus and Cressida , [3] 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. [3]

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] [3]

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). [3] [5]

Returning to Shakespeare, he played Ariel in Michael Grandage's production of The Tempest at the Sheffield Crucible, with Derek Jacobi starring as Prospero. [6] For this, and for his performance in the play Ghosts , he was awarded second prize for the Ian Charleson Award in 2003. [3] With the Royal Shakespeare Company again, he appeared in Measure for Measure and Cymbeline . [2] [3]

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. [7]

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, [5] 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 21 February 2008 and closed on 29 June. [8] The revival was nominated for, but failed to win, 9 Tony Awards, [3] 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

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. [3]

Evans has also had cameo appearances in the long-running series, Spooks , Dalziel and Pascoe and Midsomer Murders . [3]

He starred as Daniel Llewellyn in the 2005 Christmas special of Doctor Who , which introduced David Tennant as the 10th Doctor. [9]

He appeared in The Passion in Holy Week, as St Matthew. [3]

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 . [3] and Les Misérables

Directing career

Evans débuted as a director in 2005 with a double-bill of Peter Gill's plays: Lovely Evening and In the Blue, [7] and a year later directed a Welsh-language production of the play Esther . [10] 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. [11]

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. [12] 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". [13]

In 2013, Evans directed the Simon Beaufoy play The Full Monty . [14]

In 2013, Evans directed the Lionel Bart musical Oliver Twist at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield.

Evans directed American Buffalo at Wyndham's Theatre in 2015, [15] and Show Boat at the Crucible Theatre in 2015, and again in 2016 at the New London Theatre following its transfer to the West End. [16]

In December 2015, he was appointed the new artistic director at Chichester Festival Theatre and succeeded Jonathan Church in July 2016. [17] His productions have included Forty Years On, Fiddler on the Roof , Quiz (2017, also West End 2018), Me and My Girl , Flowers for Mrs Harris (2018), This Is My Family (2019), South Pacific (2021, also UK tour 2022) and Our Generation (2022 - also Royal National Theatre).

On 21 September 2022, it was announced that Evans with Tamara Harvey will become joint Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company succeeding Gregory Doran (as Emeritus Artistic Director) and Erica Whyman (Acting Artistic Director) from June 2023. [18]

Personal life

Evans has been openly gay since he became an actor, which he saw as a childhood vocation. [19] Interviewed by The Daily Telegraph in 2014 Evans said things were not easy in his youth and that he was bullied at school, saying: "It wasn't allowed when I was growing up. It was very much a macho culture and the feeling of not belonging to that was very difficult." [20]

In 2011, in an interview with The Guardian , it was revealed that his adolescence was "lived around bus and train trips to Stratford" to watch RSC productions. Commenting on his upbringing in south Wales, Evans said, "My family still live there. They were very liberal, thank god, and still are. They encouraged me." [21]



1996 A Midsummer Night's Dream Lysander
1997 Cameleon Elfed Davis
1998 The Barber of Siberia Andrew (with mask)Original title: "Сибирский цирюльник"
1999 Great Expectations Herbert PocketTV film
2001 Being Dom Joly TV film
2002 Tomorrow La Scala! Jonny Atkins
2003 Y Mabinogi ManawydanEnglish title: "Otherworld"
2008 The Ramen Girl Charlie
2011Seeds of ArkhamBrave ThugShort
2012 Les Misérables Pimp
2016Look Back in AngerCliff


1987The Eye of the DragonRobin RichardsMini-series
Dramarama GarethEpisode: "A Spirited Performance"
1995 Soldier Soldier Lance Corporal Alun GriffithsEpisode: "The Army Game"
2000 Doctors Jason BridgersEpisode: "All That Glitters"
2001 Love in a Cold Climate CedricMini-series
The Vice Aaron2 episodes
2002 Helen West Daniel MaleyEpisode: "Deep Sleep"
Daniel Deronda MordecaiMini-series
2004 Spooks Defence QCEpisode: "Persephone"
2005 To the Ends of the Earth Parson ColleyMini-series
Doctor Who Danny LlewellynEpisode: "The Christmas Invasion"
The Virgin Queen Robert CecilMini-series
2006 Dalziel and Pascoe Rob MicleanEpisode: "Houdini's Ghost"
2007 Midsomer Murders David MostynEpisode: "Death and Dust"
2008 The Passion Apostle MatthewMini-series
Holby City Hallam BlackEpisode: "Not in the Stars"


1994 Henry V Boy Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon with Royal Shakespeare Company
Coriolanus Servant Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon with Royal Shakespeare Company
A Midsummer Night's Dream Francis Flute Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon with Royal Shakespeare Company
1995 Coriolanus Volscian Servant Barbican Centre, London & Newcastle Playhouse, Newcastle upon Tyne with Royal Shakespeare Company
A Midsummer Night's Dream Lysander Barbican Centre, London with Royal Shakespeare Company
Henry V Boy Barbican Centre, London & Theatre Royal, Newcastle upon Tyne with Royal Shakespeare Company
1996 A Midsummer Night's Dream Lysander Golden Gate Theatre - San Francisco, Shubert Theatre - Chicago, Eisenhower Theater - Washington, D.C. & Lunt-Fontanne Theatre - New York City with Royal Shakespeare Company
Easy Terms Howard Sherman Theatre, Cardiff
1997 Cardiff East Neil Cottesloe Theatre, Royal National Theatre, London & New Theatre, Cardiff
1997-1998 Peter Pan Peter Pan Olivier Theatre, Royal National Theatre, London
1998 Cleansed Robin Royal Court Theatre, London
1999 Troilus and Cressida Patroclus Olivier Theatre, Royal National Theatre, London
The Merchant of Venice Lorenzo Royal National Theatre, London
Candide Candide Olivier Theatre, Royal National Theatre, London
2000 Other People Stephen Royal Court Theatre, London
2000-2001 Merrily We Roll Along Charley Kringas Donmar Warehouse, London
2001 4:48 Psychosis Royal Court Theatre, London
2002 Where Do We Live Stephen Royal Court Theatre, London
Ghosts Oswald Alving Festival Theatre - Malvern, New Wolsey Theatre - Ipswich, Warwick Arts Centre - Coventry, The Lowry - Salford, Gateway Theatre - Chester, Grand Theatre - Blackpool, York Theatre Royal - York, Cambridge Arts Theatre - Cambridge, Greenwich Theatre - London & Yvonne Arnaud Theatre - Guildford with English Touring Theatre
2003 The Tempest Ariel The Old Vic, London & Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Measure for Measure Angelo Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon with Royal Shakespeare Company
Cymbeline Posthumus Leonatus Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon with Royal Shakespeare Company
2004 Cloud Nine Betty/Edward Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2005 Grand Hotel Otto Kringelein Donmar Warehouse, London
Sunday in the Park with George Georges Seurat Menier Chocolate Factory, London
2006 Sunday in the Park with George Georges Seurat Wyndham's Theatre, London
2007 Total Eclipse Paul Verlaine Menier Chocolate Factory, London
Sweeney Todd Tobias Ragg Southbank Centre, London
Good Thing Going Part of a Revue Cadogan Hall, London
2008 Sunday in the Park with George Georges Seurat Studio 54, New York City
2009The Art of News Kings Place, London with London Sinfonietta
2011 The Pride Oliver Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Company Robert Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

Directing credits

2010 An Enemy of the People (with Antony Sher) Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2011 Othello (with Dominic West, Clarke Peters & Lily James) Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Racing Demon Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2012 Macbeth Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
The Golden Age of Broadway(with Bryn Terfel) Royal Festival Hall, London
My Fair Lady (with Dominic West) Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2013 The Full Monty Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
This Is My Family Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Oliver! Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2014The Sheffield Mysteries Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Anything Goes Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
The Full Monty Noël Coward Theatre, London
2015 The Effect Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Show Boat Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
American Buffalo (with Damian Lewis, John Goodman & Tom Sturridge) Wyndham's Theatre, London
2016 Flowers for Mrs Harris Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Show Boat New London Theatre, London
2017 Forty Years On (with Richard Wilson) Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester
Fiddler on the Roof (with Omid Djalili and Tracy-Ann Oberman) Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester
Quiz Minerva Theatre, Chichester
2018 Quiz Noël Coward Theatre, London
Me and My Girl (with Matt Lucas, Caroline Quentin & Clive Rowe) Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester
Flowers for Mrs Harris Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester
2019 This Is My Family Minerva Theatre, Chichester
2021 South Pacific Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester
2022Our GenerationOlivier Theatre, Royal National Theatre, London
2022Our Generation Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester
2022 South Pacific UK tour
2022 Local Hero Minerva Theatre, Chichester

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResult
2000 Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actor in a Musical Candide Nominated
2001 Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actor in a Musical Merrily We Roll Along Won
2002 Ian Charleson Awards Ghosts & The Tempest Nominated
2007 Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actor in a Musical Sunday in the Park with George Won
2008 Tony Awards Best Actor in a Musical Sunday in the Park with George Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Awards Outstanding Actor in a Musical Sunday in the Park with George Nominated
Drama League Awards Distinguished Performance Sunday in the Park with George Nominated
2013 UK Theatre Awards Best Touring Production The Full Monty Won
UK Theatre Awards Best Musical This Is My Family Won
2014 WhatsOnStage Awards Best Regional Production My Fair Lady Won
Laurence Olivier Awards Best New Comedy The Full Monty Nominated
2015 WhatsOnStage Awards Best Regional Production Oliver! Won
2016 UK Theatre Awards Best Musical Production Flowers for Mrs. Harris & Show Boat Won
2017 Laurence Olivier Awards Best Musical Revival Show Boat Nominated

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