My blog has quite a lot of posts about Samuel West (Julius Caesar, On Chesil Beach and Darkest Hour) and Charles Edwards (My Fair Lady Australian tour and Henry IX).

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Samuel West - Hamlet, Present Laughter, The Acting Class documentary, On Chesil Beach

A mix of upcoming broadcasts and events, covering Shakespeare, Noel Coward, socioeconomic issues and Ian McEwan.

Sam will contribute a Facebook Live about Hamlet from Glyndebourne this Thursday at 12.30pm GMT (via their Twitter).
In March, he and tenor Allan Clayton discussed the play in a podcast. Clayton played the eponymous character in the premiere production of a new opera version by Brett Dean. Sam has two connections with the play: he played Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company 2001-2002 and directed an RSC fringe production in 2000.

Present Laughter is repeated on BBC Radio 4 Extra this Saturday. It was originally broadcast in 2013. Sam stars as Garry Essendine; he later played the character on stage in 2016.
Small tangent - other characters that he has played both on the radio and on stage:
Sam will contribute to a post screening discussion for The Acting Class, a documentary about challenges faced by actors from working class backgrounds. The screening is next Monday at the Lexi Cinema (via the film's Twitter).

On Chesil Beach will have its Australian premiere at the Cunard British Film Festival. Screenings are in capital cities between 28 October and 12 November.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Blog housekeeping - photo hosting

My blog has been affected by Photobucket's change to its terms and conditions, so approximately nine years worth of photos are now showing up with an error thumbnail :(
I have decided not to take up a Photobucket subscription to restore my photos, so I will be using another method for future posts.

If there are particular posts that you would like to view the images for, please contact me:
  • leave a comment on the relevant post
  • tweet me at @spiffyjellybean and provide the link for the relevant post
  • send me an email at spiffyjellybeanblog[at]gmail.com and provide the link for the relevant post
and I will reupload those images as a priority.

Appreciate your patience and understanding as I work through past posts to fix the picture situation!

Monday, 26 June 2017

Samuel West - Inspector Morse audiobooks and recent voice work

Sam will narrate unabridged audiobooks of works by Colin Dexter: the entire Inspector Morse series and the short story collection Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories. They will be released as audio downloads in October and December this year (The Bookseller).

In May, he tweeted that he did the voiceover for a Jacob's Crackers Crisps ad:

In April, Sam and his father Timothy West played father and son James and Simon in The Rosenthals: Eskimo Day on BBC Radio 4. It is a radio adaptation of a comedy drama by Jack Rosenthal.
Earlier in the month he played the eponymous Black Beauty, an Audible original drama (via his Twitter, @exitthelemming). It was recorded in March and Sam tweeted that it was his first horse role.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Samuel West - Julius Caesar, The Ice and upcoming projects; Hamlet discussion and the They're Your Rights campaign

 photo The Ice audiobook cover.jpg  photo Julius Caesar - Sheffield 2017.jpg

Sam will play Brutus in Julius Caesar at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield between 18 May and 10 June. The production will be directed by new artistic director Rob Hastie (via Baz Bamigboye's Twitter, @BazBam).
This is a return to Sheffield for Sam. He previously worked there 2005-2007, when he was artistic director of Sheffield Theatres. During his tenture, he directed The Romans in Britain, The Clean House and As You Like It; and acted in Much Ado About Nothing, A Number and Family Voices.

He narrates the audiobook of The Ice by Laline Paull (his Twitter, @exitthelemming). Paull tweeted a picture of Sam from the recording in early April. The audiobook will be released 4 May (Harper Audio/SoundCloud - this page has a clip from the audiobook).

Sam will play James Oswood in an upcoming episode of series 19 of Midsomer Murders (United Agents). It is possibly episode 5 "Death by Persuasion" - according to IMDB the character Polly also has the surname Oswood. According to IMDB the episode will be broadcast in December. Sam confirmed that the character he plays is in episode 5, "Death by Persuasion".
He previously had a guest role on the show in series 10 - he played Jeremy Thacker in "The Animal Within".

A month ago, Sam tweeted that he played a horse. Currently unknown what project the character is for.

In early April, he narrated the Channel 4 documentary Spying on the Royals (@exitthelemming).

The British Library blog has a post about "Music and poetry from the Zweig Collection", a performance from 20 March featuring Sam as Stefan Zweig.

Sam and tenor Allan Clayton discussed Hamlet in a podcast from Glyndebourne Opera in mid March (via @exitthelemming). Sam played Hamlet at the Royal Shakespeare Company 2001-2002; Steven Pimlott directed the production. Allan will play Hamlet in a new opera version by composer Brett Dean and librettist Matthew Jocelyn that will premiere at Glyndebourne in June.

A new headshot has been added to his profile on the United Agents website.

 photo TYR057.jpg  photo TYR068.jpg  photo TYR173.jpg
(The above screencaps from the They're Your Rights video are thumbnails - click them for full size)

Click here to view Sam's speech for the They're Your Rights campaign (@exitthelemming). He initially delivered the speech in February at an event by 89up and Free Word. A clip from the speech featuring Sam quoting King Lear is here.

In late March, Olivia Colman and Sam presented a Hearts for the Arts Award to Lewisham Council (@exitthelemming). The council received the award for Meet Me at the Albany, an initiative for older people to visit an arts centre.
Sam wrote the questions for the Bush Theatre charity quiz (and prepared the chocolate tasting round) - from his Twitter. He was also the quizmaster for last year's quiz.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Charles Edwards - current and upcoming TV projects

Henry IX

Charles plays a fictional, contemporary king in this three part series from UKTV Gold. The final episode will be broadcast next Wednesday.

In an interview with the Radio Times, he praised writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais:
"They’re very clever guys and lovely people to work with. And there’s no bulls**t. They know exactly what they want and when you get the sense you’re giving it to them, it’s very pleasing."
Likewise, in an Clement and La Frenais had very positive things to say about Charles in this interview from the British Comedy Guide:
What was the most crucial element in the pre-production of Henry IX?
Dick: Casting was key. The moment we saw Charles Edwards audition, we were all knocked out by him. We stuck in our heels and said, "Look no further. This guy is absolutely perfect." He persuaded everyone with that audition. At the read-through, he didn't miss a trick, and actually added a lot of stuff of his own. Suddenly, it had life.

What are Charles's strongest characteristics as an actor?
Dick: He is exactly the right age to play Henry. He is handsome and has great charm and likeability. Also, you feel sympathy for him. The poor guy is trapped, and Charles conveys that brilliantly.
Ian: He's such a gifted actor. We were still a bit insecure about this project. When we sat down for the read through. But as soon as Charles started reading the part, suddenly it just came alive. Dick and I said to each other, "That really worked." Charles is so superb. He brings an enormous amount of subtlety to the role. He does so much with so little. We came away from the read through, feeling elated and thinking, "It works!"

The following videos are the teaser trailer and two clips:

Media round up
  • The Spectator "In the role of Henry, Charles Edwards does a fine job of making the king’s predicament a sympathetic one... Clement and La Frenais keep the jokes coming at a good rate"
  • The Guardian "With an elegant cast – including Charles Edwards, Colin Salmon and Sally Phillips – exchanging dry lines in echoey state rooms, it feels like an eccentric UK cousin to The Young Pope."
  • The RTS (Royal Television Society) selected the show as a top pick for the week commencing 3rd April
  • The Arts Desk "Charles Edwards is excellent as Henry, and there's an equally starry cast around him – among them Annette Crosbie's dotty ancient mother and his equerries (Colin Salmon and Gina Bellman)"
  • hellyescharlesedwards has a scans of a promo image of Henry looking like he can't be bothered to be on the throne and various articles from TV magazines such as Total TV Guide, TV & Satellite Week, TV Times and Inside Soap

The Terror

This is an AMC series adapted from Dan Simmons' novel - a fictional account of Captain Sir John Franklin's lost expedition to the Arctic (The Chronicle). Charles plays Alexander McDonald, assistant surgeon on HMS Terror. According to IMDB he will feature in one episode. Other cast members include Jared Harris, Ciaran Hinds and Tobias Menzies.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Samuel West - Words and Music, British Library recital, Elgar, showreel

Sam and Kim Gerard are the readers for Words and Music "The Speed of Life". It will be broadcast 19 March from a pop up studio at the BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead (BBC Media Centre).

He will read from works by Keats, Goethe and Balzac at "Music and poetry from the Zweig Collection". This recital will be held at the British Library on 20 March; click here for tickets.

He played Edward Elgar in Beyond the Score: Elgar's Engima Variations on 11 March. A couple of tweets about the performance:

Sam narrates the audiobook of Forces of Nature by Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen. It was released 9 March. Click here for an excerpt (via Sam's Twitter, @exitthelemming).


Sam's showreel has been added to his profile on the United Agents website. It features clips from Hyde Park on Hudson, Eternal Law, Albert Schweitzer, W1A, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Waking the Dead, Cambridge Spies, A Feast at Midnight, Fleming and The Complete Walk: Much Ado About Nothing.

He features in a video by the Marlowe Theatre, talking about why the arts matter to everyone (via @artscampaign).


In early March, Sam discussed stamp collecting in the Financial Times. It has been a long term hobby for him - he has collected stamps since he was five. Stamps in his collection include over two hundred Two Shilling Blues and a series of stamped letters commemorating the coronation of George VI in 1937.

In mid February, he attended the press night for the West End transfer of Travesties at the Apollo Theatre. Pictures from the night are at wooller.com. The play is by Tom Stoppard, directed by Patrick Marber and stars Tom Hollander.
He spoke at the launch of the "They're Your Rights: Fight For Them" report - an event by 89up and Free Word. The report is about protecting human rights post-Brexit (@exitthelemming). A video from the event is on Facebook. Sam's speech is from 42:40.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Samuel West - In Seven Days, Forces of Nature, If This Is A Man, Darkest Hour, Article 50

On 1st February, Sam and Zoë Martlew will discuss In Seven Days by Thomas Adès in a perfomance at the Royal Festival Hall. In the first half, Sam and Zoë will guide the audience through the work and the work will be performed in full by the London Sinfonietta, Rolf Hind and the Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble in the second half (via Zoë's Twitter @zkm555). Click here for tickets.

He has recorded the audiobook version of Forces of Nature by Brian Cox (Sam's Twitter, @exitthelemming).

On 30 April, Sam will contribute to a live reading of Primo Levi's If This Is A Man at the Royal Festival Hall.

Sam plays Anthony Eden in Darkest Hour, a film starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. Joe Wright directs. Here is a selection of his tweets from filming:
Darkest Hour will be released in November this year.


Sam has written a recommendation on behalf of the National Campaign for the Arts (NCA) regarding Article 50. He has suggested that arts supporters write to their MPs with conditions such as allowing EU nationals currently employed in the UK to stay after Britain has left the EU and Higher Education to continue accessing  EU funds (NCA via their Twitter @artscampaign).

In early January, he narrated the Channel 4 documentary Titanic: The New Evidence (@exitthelemming).

Friday, 30 December 2016

Samuel West - current radio, On Chesil Beach, projects and media October-December

Words and Music "Greeneland", with readings by Sam and Romola Garai, was repeated on Wednesday. It is available on iPlayer for 28 more days.

Sam plays Albert Tiermann in Doctor Who Demon Quest: A Shard of Ice, which is available on iPlayer for approximately three more weeks (part 1|part 2).

Sam plays Geoffrey Ponting in the film adaptation of On Chesil Beach. He started filming in early November. The cast includes Saoirse Ronan, Anne-Marie Duff and Emily Watson. The director is Dominic Cooke, who previously directed Sam in The Hollow Crown: Henry VI (his Twitter @exitthelemming and IMDB).


He is featured in a Guardian article about the Moomin exhibition Adventures in Moominland (until 23 April) at Royal Festival Hall:
The Moomins have many fans, including the actor Samuel West, who said he had felt at home in Jansson’s Moominvalley since he was seven.
“The sensuous melancholy, the odd cast and the wisdom of the worldview fascinates me,” he said. “This new exhibition captures both the textures and the emotions of Moominland, and the way ordinary things are transformed into magical strangeness by Jansson’s joyful sideways look.”

On 14 December, Jane Asher, Jenni Falconer, Guy Henry, Sir Richard Stilgoe, Claire Harman and Sam read at the Home-Start Wandsworth carol service in St Anne's church. A picture of them is here.
The organisation is a charity that supports families with young children under the age of five.

Sam and his partner Laura Wade went to the Evening Standard Film Awards (tweets from @exitthelemming 1|2 and pictures from Getty 1|2|3|4). Winners included Hugh Grant and Kate Beckinsale.

In early December, Sam wrote a tribute about the late Andrew Sachs for the Telegraph. Sachs worked with Sam's mother Prunella Scales on Fawlty Towers.


Kate Duchêne, Hattie Morahan, Giles Terera and Sam were the readers for A Poem For Every Night of the Year, a performance at the National Theatre. An audio recording of the event is available on the NT's website.

He narrated Babar (Poulenc) and Peter and the Wolf (Prokofiev) at the Bath Mozartfest, with Tim Horton on piano (@exitthelemming).


The BBC Radio 3 website has a clip of Sam reading the text of "Alleluia! A new work is come on hand", the text for the 2016 Radio 3 Carol Competition. The competition was for amateur composers to create music for this text. Jessie Reeves was the winner and her composition was broadcast throughout the Christmas weekend.
The third and final series of Blood, Sex and Money was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in October. Sam played Aristide Rougon in the episodes "Crash", "Massacre" and "Fate".
Sam reads lyrics from Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the wind" in this clip (from 0:58). The reading was featured in a BBC Radio 4 PM story about Dylan receiving the Nobel prize for literature.

The National Campaign for the Arts has relaunched with two campaigns: Local Heroes and Hearts for the Arts (The Stage). Sam is the chair of the organisation. Local Heroes highlights the role of cultural institutions in shaping the careers of people before they became famous - refer to the Campaign's website for details on how to submit nominations. Hearts for the Arts is an annual award for "councils and individual officers and Councillors who are overcoming financial challenges to ensure the arts are at the centre of community life."

Good Chance Theatre staged "Last Chance", a reading of the Dublin III Regulation at the Young Vic on 20 October (via the Evening Standard).The reading was a plea for the unaccompanied children of the Calais jungle camp. Readers included Carey Mulligan, Juliet Stevenson, Sam and Good Chance co founders Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy.

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."