Nabil Shaban

Nabil Shaban
Born February 12, 1953 (1953-02-12) (age 58)
Amman, Jordan

Nabil Shaban (born 12 February 1953 in Amman, Jordan[1]) is a British actor and writer. He founded The Graeae - a theatre group which promotes performers with disabilities. He has a son named Zenyel.

Shaban was a student at the University of Surrey in the late seventies and contributed to the Students' Union newspaper "Bare Facts". One of his most memorable television roles was that of the hideous reptilian alien Sil in the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who. Shaban played Sil in two serials: Vengeance on Varos (1985) and Mindwarp (1986). Shaban is particularly well known among Doctor Who fans for Sil's laugh, which he created.

He has appeared in several films, including Born of Fire (1983), City of Joy (1992), Derek Jarman's Wittgenstein (film) (1993), Gaias børn (1998), and Children of Men (2006), and has also worked as part of the Crass Collective. In 2011, he played the Roman emperor Constantius II at the National Theatre in Ibsen's Emperor and Galilean.

In 2003 he made a TV documentary titled The Strangest Viking (part of Channel 4's Secret History series), in which Shaban explored the possibility that Viking chieftain Ivar the Boneless may have had osteogenesis imperfecta, the same condition as himself.

Shaban was nominated Best Actor in Scottish theatre in 2005, by the Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS), for his role as Mack the Knife in Bertolt Brecht's Threepenny Opera, a Theatre Workshop (Edinburgh) production. Ironically, Shaban lost out to rival nominee David Tennant, who was about to become the new Doctor Who.

Shaban's play The First To Go premièred in May 2008, produced by Edinburgh's Benchtours Theatre Company in association with Sirius Pictures. It opened at the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh on May 23 and toured to the Tron Theatre, Glasgow; the Byre Theatre, St Andrews and Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield.


  1. ^ Shaban, Nabil. Retrieved 1 August 2011.

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