I AM

I AM

On being an immigrant

I am a British child and a descendant from emigrant parents. I've also seen a lot of the world in my childhood due to my parents’ job at the time.

On choosing politically-charged roles

I'm very careful in the roles I choose and the work I do. I am attentive to what the overall message the potential piece I may be working on is agreeable with my political and ethical views. Then I hone in on the function of my role in the piece and what it's contributing to the overall production, making sure the work I do is thought-provoking. The majority of the projects I've been involved with over the years have been very good and I've been fortunate enough to work on them. And because history is constantly repeating itself, the strong writing I've worked with has always been current and topical.

On his favourite moment working on 'The Events'

The Royal Festival Hall performance with Amanda Drew and 250 choir members was absolutely thrilling because the sheer amount of people lifted us and gave us such focus that it could never be repeated like that again. In addition, my first performance with Derbhle Crotty during the moment I approach her with the lines, "like an actor drying...or a comedian forgetting the joke", she had this beaming smile which was unexpected and yet so warm and confident. This was very reassuring that we are going to play very well together for the run ahead. Both moments were also very humbling.

On where he where he would like to perform David Greig’s play

South Africa, Kenya, Israel, Russia, Australia, Sweden, Netherlands, Canada, Brazil(São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro especially), Italy, Spain, France and Zimbabwe.

On other work that explores similar themes that have resonated with him

The films 'Prisoners' and 'Elephant'. Both films were brilliant and had themes that were very similar to 'The Events' and handled such sensitive topics responsibly and differently.  ‘Prisoners’ was very character driven and ‘Elephant’ was visually and musically driven. Both films were very powerful and provided no answers for the audience making the audience decide and really think for themselves.

On the difference between stage and screen

They're both very challenging and different disciplines. I love them both. I'd like to do more screen work. The theatre experience I've had so far has aided me in preparing for screen - in terms of building a character and stamina. I don't believe in less is more acting for screen, but more is more. But I've noticed from brilliant screen actors that they do a lot more, and it's all very much on their faces and very subtle. I'd like to balance my screen work more - which is happening slowly, alongside my stage work, but I'm more than happy working, and working on good material and staying creative. They all inform each other and especially writing which I've recently embarked on. I've recently written a play and I'm working on another play and a screenplay.

On the line of dialogue from ‘The Events’ which he will always remember

"Look I wrote a book, a semi-humorous book, intended largely to be read whilst on the lavatory in which I expressed a perfectly valid set of questions about the decadence of contemporary society couched in a flippant philosophical aside. And now my name is mud! I mean the whole thing is a nightmare."

That strangely took me half a day to learn! There I was in LA, the sun is out and I had to stay indoors and learn that section.

On his favourite character to play in ‘The Events’

I had fun playing Katrina, the right-wing politician and the fox!

On the choirs that volunteered to be part of ‘The Events’ and volunteering itself

They were incredible, and the fact they give so much of their energy and talent to every show, it's a gift to us and their communities. I've volunteered quite a few times in my life and would like to do more of it. I learnt a lot about myself from doing it; patience, not judging anyone and certainly not judging people to my own standards, and a reminder of how privileged most of us are.

Clifford Samuel
Actor
@cliffsamuel1