Samuel West is an actor and sometimes a director. He’s played Hamlet and Richard II for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Jeffrey Skilling in Enron in the West End, and the voice of Pongo in Disney’s 101 Dalmations II. On television he’s been in Cambridge Spies, Eternal Law and The Chronicles of Narnia. He’s currently filming the third series of Mr Selfridge for ITV and can soon be seen in in the BBC TV serial Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and the film Suffragette.
His performance in the film Howards End was nominated for a BAFTA award. Other films include Van Helsing, Notting Hill, Franco Zeffirelli’s Jane Eyre and three for director Roger Michell: Notting Hill, Persuasion and Hyde Park on Hudson.
As a reciter, Sam has appeared with all the major British orchestras. Recent works include Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, Walton’s Façade and Henry V, the Britten/Auden film scores Night Mail and The Way to the Sea with Aurora, Graham Fitkin’s Track to Track, Jonathan Harvey’s Weltethos, the world premiere of The Garden of Earthly Delights by Simon Bainbridge and Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw at Garsington. Sam has performed at the Proms six times and was soloist in Henry V at the 2002 Last Night. He has toured toured the UK with a jazz quintet performing Britten and Auden, and visited Palestine three times with the Choir of London.
On radio he’s been in more than fifty plays; he also narrates lots of documentaries and audiobooks.
Sam has directed ten plays and two operas and was from 2005 to 2007 the artistic director of Sheffield Theatres. He is an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, a trustee of the Belarus Free Theatre and Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts.
In his spare time he grows chillies and goes birdwatching.