Photo: Topher McGrillis (used with permission). Source: Northern Stage.
Preparation for Close the Coalhouse Door has included a tour around Woodhorn given by Keith Merrin; attending talks given by Michael Chaplin, Owen Jones (a picture taken at the talk is here), Paul Younger and Ray Laidlaw; and using material from the "homework table" (Sam has identified some of the texts in the following tweets 1|2). As for music, some of the cast need to play the hammer dulcimer, Sam has had earworm courtesy of the arrangements being used in the production and drinking songs have been sung in rehearsal. In addition, the play's official site has a blog written by assistant director Rachel Oliver and some rehearsal pictures.
Chris Connel (Jackie) has mentioned Sam in an interview from the Northern Echo:
"I've never worked with Sam before, but I'm absolutely enjoying every minute. He's really thorough, but he makes it good fun as well..."In other press, Lee Hall has written an article for the Guardian contextualising the original and current productions of the play (via @exitthelemming) and the April issue of Living North has an interview with Sam.
He is one of the speakers for Shift Happens on 5 July. Booking opens 5 April (via One and Other).
He has recorded a talk about Shakespeare which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in late April (@stanley_wells).