Five Minutes With...


Olivier award-winning actor Oliver Ford Davies has performed stage, film and television productions since 1967. His notable screen appearances include roles in Star Wars, Johnny English and Game Of Thrones. He’s performing as the lead in Ben Brown’s spy thriller A Splinter Of Ice at Theatr Clwyd, in Mold (June 21-26).

What inspired you to become an actor?

I saw a Stratford production of Richard II when I was eight, and played Richard three years later in just one scene at school. I was bowled over by the experience of being someone else.

How has theatre changed since your early days on stage?

There are more actors today but fewer regional theatres and productions. Actors have to learn in television or ill-paid fringe theatre, but despite this standards have undoubtedly improved.

You were directed by former Theatr Clwyd artistic director Terry Hands in Henry V, what was he like to work with as a director?

I did seven productions with Terry Hands at the RSC. He taught me focus, daring, and to go with your instinct.

He encouraged and championed me, and I owe him a lot.

You’ve appeared in some of the world’s biggest hits - Star Wars and Game Of Thrones - does your heart belong to film and TV or will it always be theatre?

I’ve enjoyed a great deal of my filming but my heart is really in theatre. Out on stage you are in sole control of your performance, not subject to the whims of film editors.

How was your lockdown?

Actors are so used to being out of work and locked down. Like thousands of others I wrote a memoir (not yet published, perhaps never), though I was lucky to do a film in Sweden and Greece.

What’s your character like in A Splinter Of Ice?

It’s the 82-year-old Graham Greene, one of the great 20th century novelists (The Heart of the Matter, The Quiet American) and film writers (The Third Man, Brighton Rock). He’s shrewd, watchful and psychologically astute.

Why should people come and see A Splinter Of Ice?

“There’s a splinter of ice in the heart of a spy” (Graham Greene) and Kim Philby was one of the greatest.

Greene had worked under him in MI6 during the war. Over 40 years later they meet in Moscow, where Philby had defected, and a great reckoning of friendship and betrayal takes place between two super-sharp minds.

Tickets for A Splinter Of Ice are available from or via the box office on 01352 344101.