The Ian Charleson Awards are administered by the Royal National Theatre in London and are presented to actors under the age of 30 for outstanding performances in a classical role. It was established in 1991 after the Scottish actor's death from AIDS, he is probably best known as Eric Liddell, in Chariots of Fire, but he portrayed many classical roles with the RSC, the National and the BBC.
David was nominated in 2000 for his role as Antipholus in Comedy of Errors. The ceremony took place on March 23, 2001 at the National Theatre on the South Bank and the guest of honour was Derek Jacobi.
The other finalists were:
From the RSC - Henry IV: David Oyelowo: Henry VI, Nancy Carroll: Lady Percy, Joe Renton: Peto,
Sam Troughton: Young Talbot, James O'Donnell: Page/Ostler
Also from the RSC - The Seagull: John Light: Constantine, Justine Waddell: Nina
Chiwetel Ejiofor: Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, National Theatre
Martin Hutson: Silvius in As You Like It, Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Molly Innes: Electra in Electra, Theatre Babel, Glasgow
Zoe Waites: Vittoria in The White Devil, Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith
The winner was David Oyelowo, the second prize went to John Light and the third prize to Zoe Waites.