Dan Stevens was born at Croydon in Surrey on 10th October 1982. His parents are teachers. He was educated at Tonbridge School and trained in acting at the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain. He studied English Literature at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Whilst he was a Cambridge undergraduate, he acted in several student drama productions. He played the title role in the Marlowe Dramatic Society’s production of William Shakespeare’s play, “Macbeth”. This was staged at the Cambridge Arts Theatre from Tuesday 26th February to Saturday 2nd March 2002. The cast also featured Rebecca Hall in the roles of Lady Macbeth and Hecate. During one of his university summer holidays in August 2003 he went to Slovakia where he filmed his scenes for the Hallmark production of Frankenstein (2004). Dan played the part of Henry Clerval and the mini-series was first broadcast on American television on 5th October 2004. Shortly after graduating from Cambridge Dan was nominated for an Ian Charleson award for his performance as Orlando in “As You Like It” at the Rose Theatre at Kingston in Surrey. “As You Like It” was directed by Peter Hall and ran from 30th November to 18th December 2004. This production for the Peter Hall Company subsequently went on a tour of America in the early months of 2005, playing at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, the Curran Theater in San Francisco and the Harvey Theater at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City. It featured Rebecca Hall in the role of Rosalind.
Dan was reunited with the director Peter Hall when he played Claudio in a new production of the Shakespeare play, “Much Ado About Nothing”, for the Peter Hall Company at the Theatre Royal in Bath from 29th June to 6th August 2005. In February 2006 Dan played the parts of Marban and Maitland in a revival of Howard Brenton’s controversial play, “The Romans in Britain”, directed by Samuel West at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Then in May 2006 he played Nick Guest, the protagonist in The Line of Beauty (2006). This three part television mini-series was adapted by Andrew Davies from the 2004 Booker prize winning novel by Alan Hollinghurst. The Line of Beauty (2006) is about Nick Guest’s relationship with his university friend Toby Fedden. The story takes place in the 1980s. It is set against the backdrop of Margaret Thatcher’s free market economic policies and the spread of the acquired immunity deficiency syndrome, (AIDS). These two social developments directly affect the characters in the story because Toby’s father Gerald is a Conservative member of parliament and Nick is homosexual.
Whilst The Line of Beauty (2006) was being broadcast on BBC television, Dan was appearing as Simon Bliss in the Noël Coward play, “Hay Fever”. This play was staged at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London from 11th April to 5th August 2006 and the cast also included Judi Dench in the role of Judith Bliss. At the end of the year Dan played Lord Holmwood in a television dramatization of Dracula (2006), which was broadcast on 28th December 2006. In 2007 Dan played the part of Michael Faber in Agatha Christie’s Marple: Miss Marple: Nemesis (2007), an Agatha Christie adaptation with Geraldine McEwan in the role of Miss Jane Marple. He also featured in the cast of Maxwell (2007), a television drama about the famous newspaper magnate. Maxwell (2007) was first broadcast on British television on 4th May 2007. David Suchet played Robert Maxwell, and Dan took the part of Basil Brookes, one of the press baron’s financial directors.
Dan played the part of Edward Ferrars in a television dramatization of Jane Austen’s novel, Sense & Sensibility (2008). This was broadcast in three episodes on BBC1 between Tuesday 1st and Sunday 13th January 2008. The novel was adapted for television by Andrew Davies, whom Dan had previously worked with on The Line of Beauty (2006). Davies felt that the part of Edward Ferrars was underdeveloped in the book, and so he deliberately added scenes not included in the novel to help draw out the character. So, for instance, we saw Edward out horse riding on the Norland estate and chopping logs at Barton Cottage. In the DVD audio commentary Dan joked that this was the best example of log chopping ever seen on British television! After Sense & Sensibility (2008), Dan featured in the cast of “The Tennis Court”, a BBC Radio 4 Saturday play broadcast on 19th January 2008. He also played Nicky Lancaster in a revival of the Noël Coward play, “The Vortex”, at the Apollo Theatre in London from Wednesday 20th February to Saturday 7th June 2008. This was another collaboration with the stage director, Peter Hall. Dan played the eponymous hero of “Dickens Confidential”, a six part radio drama series set in the 1830s which imagines what might have happened if Charles Dickens had continued his career as a journalist. This was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 between Monday 9th June and Monday 14th July 2008. He played the part of Peregrine in ‘Orley Farm’, the BBC Radio 4 Classic Serial. This was a three part adaptation of the novel by Anthony Trollope broadcast between Sunday 28th December 2008 and Sunday 11th January 2009. A month later he played Duval in the BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour drama, ‘The Lady of the Camellias’. This was broadcast between Monday 2nd and Friday 6th February 2009.
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