My blog has quite a lot of posts about Samuel West (On Chesil Beach) and Charles Edwards (My Fair Lady Australian tour).
I have also written some posts about diversity in the entertainment industry.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Charles Edwards - My Fair Lady Australian tour and upcoming TV projects

Charles will play Henry Higgins in the 60th anniversary production of My Fair Lady, which tours to Melbourne from 12 May 2017. Tickets go on sale 10 October (thanks to @j0lande). Limited dates are on presale (thanks to @teamdenbigh).
Prior to Melbourne, he will play the role in Brisbane from 12 March 2017. In an interview with Limelight, he said that he has had an interest in playing Higgins:
"“From the moment I knew it was Julie directing, I thought this is too good not to do. And I’ve also hankered for a long time to play the role. I like acting in Shaw very much: the intellectual demands and the speed of thought, I find challenging."

My Fair Lady is playing at the Sydney Opera House until 5 November with Alex Jennings as Higgins. Click here for tickets. It's a fun production that is worth seeing (I saw it last Friday).

[slight tangent: Naomi from hellyescharlesedwards has told me that my birthday message to Charles was prescient in a way because I asked him to come to Sydney. My message is the first image in this post. According to the Limelight article he is currently in Sydney meeting the cast and production team.]


Other upcoming roles for Charles are the title role in the sitcom Henry IX (British Comedy Guide), Lucian in the drama series The Halcyon (Sue Terry Voices and ITV) and David Wellsborough in series 4 of Sherlock (@Ruther2 and Spotlight).

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Samuel West - White Rabbit Red Rabbit, Aurora Orchestra performances, All the World's a Stage

On Friday, Sam performed White Rabbit Red Rabbit by Nassim Soleimanpour at the Freedom Festival in Hull. The work is a 1 person performance with no director. He saw the script for the first time when on stage (@HullTruck).

Some tweets from audience members:


In October, he will perform Kreutzer vs Kreutzer with the Aurora Orchestra at St George's Bristol on 2 October and at the Royal Festival Hall on 9 October.

He narrates All the World's a Stage, a short film which will be screened at the Norwich film festival in November.

In December 2017, he will read from Mozart's letters in a concert with the Aurora Orchestra.


A selection of articles, projects and events from the past few months is below.

Sam played Aristide in the episode "Family" from the series Blood, Sex and Money, which is a Zola adaptation.

He read the CBeebies Bedtime Story The Bear and the Piano (via @dc_litchfield).

He narrated Best Bottoms, a documentary about a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream co-produced by the RSC and various amateur companies. It was broadcast 20 May on BBC1 (via @johnchapman398 and @edbarlow888).

He is the narrator for the audiobook of Human Universe by Brian Cox. Click here for an excerpt (@harperaudiouk).

He commented positively on a Scottish theatre scheme that aims for primary school students to see at least one live performance a year, "Children's engagement is crucial if we are going to develop the diverse range of artists and audiences we need for the future." (The Stage).

Sam read the Book at Bedtime The Third Man.

He contributed to a Front Row discussion, "The Cultural Response to Brexit" - this is available on iPlayer.

In The Stage, he warned that higher drama school fees would price out potential students, "At the moment we teach rich, talented students and poor, talented students. If fees continue to increase, soon we'll be teaching rich, talented students and rich, untalented students."

Monday, 9 May 2016

Samuel West - various programs on iPlayer, Peter and the Wolf, Shakespeare 400

Sam is in various programs currently available on iPlayer

On 4 May, he performed Peter and the Wolf with the Nash Ensemble in Istanbul (his Twitter, @exitthelemming and @anniemal14).
Sam tweeted that he will perform the work again in November.


He wrote about working on The Book of Disquiet by Michel van der Aa for the Institute of Composing Journal in April (via van der Aa's Twitter, @vanderaanet).

He performed Henry V by Walton with the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine on 28 April. Sam tweeted a picture from rehearsals and @pauleroger tweeted a picture of Sam with the orchestra at the end of the performance.

He speaks about The Rite of Spring in Stravinsky: Myths & Rituals, a documentary from the Philharmonia Orchestra (via @jesirodger, who is one the doco's editors). Click here for the trailer.

Sam performed a speech from Henry V at the opening of the Shakespeare in Ten Acts exhibition at the British library (15 April). The Nissen Richards Studio designed the exhibition (director Pippa Nissen's Twitter, @pippa_nissen).
Here is a selection of tweets from the event.

He spoke about the importance of EU membership at the launch of Creatives for Europe in April (the Association of British Orchestras Twitter, @aborchestras). The text of his speech is available on the Arts Desk.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Samuel West - screencaps from The Frankenstein Chronicles

These are thumbnails - click them for full size.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 5

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Samuel West - recent and upcoming radio

Sam and Romola Garai were the readers for "Greeneland", last week's episode of Words and Music. It is available on iPlayer for 22 more days.
Also on BBC Radio 3 - he is in three programs from the Sounds of Shakespeare season.
  • 22 April. Garrick's Ode (live broadcast in which he plays Garrick). This performance is sold out.
  • 23 April. Record Review, a discussion of archive recordings. This will be broadcast live from a pop up studio at the RSC's The Other Place.
  • 27 April. Free Thinking, a discussion about The Winter's Tale.

Sam did some readings for Shakespeare in Silence, which will be broadcast 17 April on BBC Radio 4.

He will be in the second series of Blood, Sex and Money on BBC Radio 4. It is an Emile Zola adaptation by Dan Rebellato (Sam's Twitter, @exitthelemming). Other cast members include John Heffernan, Anna Maxwell Martin and Robert Jack (John's Twitter, @johnjheffernan). It will be broadcast in mid-May (Dan's Twitter, @DanRebellato).
In March, Sam tweeted about how Rebellato wrote the script and how it was performed.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Charles Edwards - Blithe Spirit, Florence Foster Jenkins and radio repeats

Next Monday (18 April), Charles and director Michael Blakemore will introduce a screening of Blithe Spirit at the V&A. Charles starred as Charles Condimine in the production, which played at the Gielgud Theatre in 2014.

Florence Foster Jenkins will close the Belfast Film Festival on 23 April (via cineuropa). It will be released in the UK on 6 May and Australia on 5 May. Click here for the film's teaser trailer.

Silk: The Clerks Room "Bethany" will be repeated on BBC Radio 4 next Tuesday (12 April). Charles plays Mr Lewis in this episode.
Series 2 of Welcome To Our Village, Please Invade Carefully will be repeated on BBC Radio 4 Extra from next Wednesday (13 April). Charles stars as Field Commander Uljabaan.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Samuel West - The Complete Walk, Bush Theatre, CBeebies Bedtime Stories, Shakespeare Solos

Sam and Katherine Parkinson play Benedick and Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing for The Globe's The Complete Walk (23-24 April). The film, directed by Jessica Swale, was shot in Sicily (Sam's Twitter, @exitthelemming 1|2 and Swale's Twitter, @jswale).

The screencap above is from his recent reading of Angry Arthur on CBeebies Bedtime Stories.

My Storify for the West is Best quiz (Bush Theatre, 2 March) is below. Dominic West hosted and Sam wrote the questions for it.
@RussShaw1, @bushtheatre, @Jon_Gilchrist and sponsor @PhilipWooller tweeted photos from the event. The quiz had "top lols" (@AineSays) and Sam was described as a "fabulous host" (@GabyStyles_ENB) and a "quizmaster par excellence" (@minofprojects).

Here are screencaps from the Shakespeare Solo film featuring Sam as Henry V:

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Samuel West - screencaps from Great Canal Journeys series 3

In episode 2, Sam joined his parents in Birmingham.

Samuel West - Aldeburgh Music, Shakespeare on Film, The Lightless Sky, Theatre 2016 conference

Sam is the narrator for The World Encompassed (26 March), an Aldeburgh Music concert featuring viols (via their Twitter, @aldeburghmusic).

Emma Fielding, Damian Lynch and Sam will perform in Shakespeare on Film, a concert with the BBC Concert Orchestra on 4 April.

On 25 April, Sam will speak to Gulwali Passarlay about his book The Lightless Sky. Click here for tickets - the event will be held at the Wimbledon Odeon (via @wimbookfest).

He will speak about government funding for the arts at the Theatre 2016 conference on Friday 13 May (via their Twitter, @theatre_2016).

One of his upcoming projects features some Graham Greene readings (his Twitter, @exitthelemming).
When he was a guest on Essential Classics (BBC Radio 3) in late February, he mentioned that his upcoming narration gigs include Peter and Wolf (Prokofiev) and Babar (Poulenc). All five episodes are currently available for streaming on the BBC Radio 3 website for one more week:

I have added tweets about The Book of Disquiet by @jeanmnicholson, @_gabrielleldn, @soundukarts and the work's composer Michel van der Aa @vanderaanet to this Storify. Sam performed this with the London Sinfonietta in late February at the Coronet Theatre.

Sam and actor/writer Nicholas Pinnock spoke about diversity on a panel for the British American Project in early March (Meg Thomson's Instagram via her Twitter @megthomson11).

On 29 February, Sam and his partner Laura Wade attended a Young Vic fundraising gala. wooller.com has pictures of them at the event 1|2

An article from the Independent about the Shakespeare Institute mentions that Sam donated his notebooks and scripts from when he played Hamlet for the RSC in 2001 (via @seaside_girl89):
"Between the unassuming covers of West's notebook are pasted cartoon clippings of Batman's Joker ("Don't get ee-ee-even, get mad!"), while his script is criss-crossed with insights. In Act 3, just before "To be, or not to be, that is the question", West has jotted in heavy pencil: "Answer the question! NEED" and "I can't carry on the play until I sort this out". There are plenty of expletives, too."

Saturday, 12 March 2016

National Theatre of Parramatta, The Family Law, more diverse stories, gender swap Shakespeare

Coincidentally, the source for all of the Australian news in this post is from Fairfax #notsponsored.

The National Theatre of Parramatta's 2016 season begins in April with Swallow by Stef Smith. The NToP is a new company based at Riverside Theatres in western Sydney. It seeks to produce work that reflects diversity in Australian society. At the company's launch in November 2015, co-artistic director Annette Shun Wah explained, "What we usually see on Sydney stages does not reflect the nation as it is in terms of its cultural diversity, its socio-economic diversity, or in terms of age, gender or sexuality. We want to change that."
NToP has received support from public and private sources: Arts NSW, Parramatta City Council, Crown Resorts Foundation and the Packer Foundation (via the Sydney Morning Herald)

In February, Benjamin Law wrote about how Australians with an Asian background are rarely seen on TV (his Good Weekend column in the Sydney Morning Herald). He recently adapted his memoir The Family Law for television. Its TV debut had half a million viewers, which makes it one of SBS' highest rating original scripted programs. In addition, the series' first episode received over 1.1 million views when it premiered on Facebook (Media Day).

Actor Miranda Tapsell discussed diversity and identity in a recent Sunday Life interview. Excerpts:
"I'm often asked, 'Where are you from?' As if I'm meant to be from somewhere else, that my dark skin represents some other identity. I'm very proud to be from this country, but I wish more people could take a leaf out of my parents' book because they always saw a more inclusive Australia, where I don't have to explain my identity to anyone because it was embraced from the beginning."
"I know there's a hunger for those stories, for more diverse stories. I just feel that more women of colour should be sharing the stage and screen with me." [Tapsell has an Aboriginal background]


David Harewood has suggested that audiences "want to see more diverse stories. It’s not about putting three black people in the back of the shot. It’s about making it normal to see a black actor in a leading role. It still amazes me that Idris Elba is the only black actor in a lead role on British TV." (Radio Times via @actforchangehq)

Scott Ellis and Pippa Nixon have explained how gender can be flexible in Shakespeare productions. Ellis, a director, founded Merely Theatre (The Stage via @actforchangehq). Merely Theatre is currently touring A Midsummer Night's Dream and Henry V in rep. Nixon is playing Ariel in The Tempest at The Globe until 22 April (The Stage via @The_Globe).