War and Peace is a new high for Jack

The acting career of former Earlston High School pupil Jack Lowden is going from strength to strength, writes Andrew Keddie.

Thursday, 11th February 2016, 2:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th February 2016, 2:30 pm
Programme Name: War & Peace - TX: n/a - Episode: War & Peace (No. Ep 2) - Picture Shows: Nikolai Rostov (JACK LOWDEN) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Robert Viglasky

The 25-year-old from Oxton has received rave reviews for his portrayal of Nikolai Rostov in Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, which concluded its six-episode run on BBC1 on Sunday evening.

In the costume drama, which is being tipped for a glut of awards, Jack played alongside a number of famous actors, including Paul Dano, Lily James, Jim Broadbent, Brian Cox, Gillian Anderson and Stephen Rea.

And Jack, now based in London, has been praised for his nuanced reading of the flawed, headstrong Nikolai in a series which was filmed in Russia, Latvia and Lithuania, and is now earning top ratings in the US.

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Jack last hit the headlines in 2014 when he was won the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of Oswald in Richard Eyre’s West End adaptation of Ibsen’s Ghosts.

It has been a meteoric rise for a Borderer who was just 10 when his parents Jacquie and Gordon enrolled him in Edinburgh’s Youth Theatre.

At Earlston High, he took part in many annual productions and studied during summer school at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. He also performed regularly with Galashiels Amateur Operatic Society.

Aged 18, he appeared in a high profile TV advertisement for Irn Bru and he excelled as Cammy in the National Theatre of Scotland’s acclaimed and uncompromising touring production of Black Watch.

He has a string of television roles already behind him, including as the poet Thomas Wyatt in Wolf Hall, and he stars in three feature films due to be released this year – Tommy’s Honour, A United Kingdom and Denial.