Nabil Shaban

Nabil Shaban


Born in Amman, Jordan, Nabil came to the UK at a young age. He studied at the University of Surrey in the late 1970s. In 1997, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the university for services in the promotion of Disability Arts.

Of course, he is best known to us for playing the wicked Sil in two stories during the Sixth Doctor era: Vengeance on Varos (1985) and Mindwarp (1986). He reprised the role in the Big Finish audio dramas Mission to Magnus (2009) and Antidote to Oblivion (2013), both again written by Philip Martin.

He has appeared in several films, including Born of Fire (1983), City of Joy (1992), Derek Jarman’s Wittgenstein (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 in which Nabil explored the possibility that Viking chieftain Ivar the Boneless may have had osteogenesis imperfecta, the same condition he himself has. He has also published a trilogy of Ivar the Boneless screenplays on Kindle, representing the Viking chieftain as a disabled Danish prince with brittle bones and unable to walk.

Nabil 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.

Nabil’s play The First To Go premièred in May 2008, and focused on the disabled victims of the Nazi Holocaust.