Samuel West: ‘On screen I mostly play evil members of the establishment or Victorian perverts’

Samuel West: ‘On screen I mostly play evil members of the establishment or Victorian perverts’

March 8, 2021

The actor on his pandemic poetry jukebox, life lessons of the Moomins, the pros and cons of Twitter, and how to reboot regional theatre

Samuel West, 54, one of the best verse speakers of his generation, has played Hamlet, Anthony Blunt (twice) and recently become Siegfried Farnon in Channel 5’s All Creatures Great and Small; he is currently working on the second series. The son of Prunella Scales and Timothy West, he lives with his partner, the playwright Laura Wade, and their two daughters, aged six and three. West’s production of Wade’s The Watsons was due to open in the West End when the first lockdown struck.

What has been the best bit of home schooling?
Teaching my daughters chess. The three-year-old doesn’t really play yet but she knows how the pieces move. It teaches them pattern recognition, which helps with music and maths – and how to lose well and fight peacefully. And it’s just an exciting game.

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