Appearing in CBBC’s drama World’s End in 2015 as Slim, last year Sam Glen competed in the BBC1 programme Let It Shine where he got the chance to perform alongside Kaiser Chiefs. Having had many stage roles including pantomime which starred Adam Thomas and Denise Welch, earlier this year Sam appeared at the Oldham Coliseum in the stage show The Kitchen Sink and has recently made his directorial debut with the production Code Blue. Taking time out to answer our questions, Sam tells us more about his time on Let It Shine, his recent stage roles and this year’s Code Blue.
What was your first acting role and what do you remember about it?
My first professional acting role was in the hit Channel 4 TV series Shameless. Being from Manchester, I couldn’t quite process that I’d got the job! It was so iconic and I felt so lucky. I remember being on set and the director asked me ‘How are you, Sam?’ I replied ‘I’m bored – there’s a lot of waiting around!’ I don’t think I understood the enormity of what I was doing.
Who or what inspired you to become an actor?
It’s always a difficult question! I always feel guilty for not having a polished answer. The truth is – I’m really not sure. I just remember I skipped a swimming lesson one Monday night to try out a new drama class. I never went back to swimming and I haven’t stopped acting since! Acting is all I’ve ever known that truly fills me with joy and happiness. It’s in my bones – I don’t think I can ever stop!
How did The Visitor’s Book run go in May?
The Visitor’s Book was amazing. It was with the utterly brilliant Oldham Theatre Workshop. I have been attending the organisation since I was eight years old and they are the reason I am where I am today.
Who was your character Charlie?
Charlie was a local boy whose Mum owned the cottage, which is where the piece was set. He was a cheeky farm boy who had a love for Alpacas!
What was it like working on CBBC’s mystery drama World’s End?
Working on World’s End was one of the highlights of my career to date. It was just incredible. Getting to work with a fantastic script, ace actors and one of the best production teams and crew I’ve ever worked with. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this job.
Can you describe your character Slim?
Slim was so much fun to play. He was cheeky, funny but also super intelligent. I remember auditioning for the show and thinking – you don’t see characters who are this three-dimensional. At the point I remember thinking – I want this job!
How was it acting alongside the rest of the cast?
I’ve made friends for life and all the cast still meet up at least once a year for a catch up! We made the most amazing memories and had the best summer. Every audition I had was with Vahid who played AJ, my best friend in the show. When we both saw each other on the first day we were like ‘I’M SO HAPPY WE BOTH GOT THE JOB!’ It was so lovely.
What was the response like from fans of the show?
Overwhelming and amazing! I wasn’t quite prepared for how well the show was received. I felt so lucky to be a part of the show and to reply to all the fans’ wonderful comments.
Can you tell us about the production The Kitchen Sink you performed in earlier this year?
I recently finished in Oldham Coliseum’s production of The Kitchen Sink, I had so much fun. The whole play was set in a family’s kitchen and over the course of a year we get an insight to their lives. What I loved so much about this show is how real it was. I remember in rehearsals discussing with the cast how it just felt like this could be any one of our families.
Would you like to see it go on tour and would you like to reprise your role of Billy?
I would love to see the show go on tour. We had an amazing cast and director Chris Lawson. Having such a great team really takes a great job to an unforgettable one. One of the scenes involved Billy lip-syncing to Dolly Parton on his kitchen table… Would I want to do this all over again? Errrm… YES!!
Did you enjoy your experience on Let It Shine?
Let It Shine was a great experience and I am extremely grateful for the exposure the show gave me. Being on Saturday night TV singing to eight million viewers is definitely a tick off the bucket list!
How did you find collaborating with Kaiser Chiefs?
I was shocked at first when I knew I was collaborating with the Kaiser Chiefs! Their songs aren’t usually my style but what I loved about working with Ricky and the band was pushing myself in a new direction and having to challenge myself. It was a really great and important thing for to me to do.
Can you tell us about Code Blue?
Code Blue is a new piece of theatre I’ve created, written by Sarah Nelson about the future of our health care and the increased awareness of our mental, as well as physical health. It is currently in its development stages. I’ll be applying for some funding and hopefully (fingers crossed) take it on tour!
How are you involved in the production?
I have had the idea for many years now so I approached Sarah to ask if she’d write it for me. I’ll be directing the piece.
What was it like in the Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime last year, where you performed alongside Adam Thomas and Denise Welch?
It was my first panto and I had an absolute ball. I made a friend for life with Adam and we still see each other, which is lovely. He’s like a big brother. Denise was also an absolute joy to work with and a fantastic professional. It was so great learning from such a wonderful seasoned pro!
Would you like to do another one this year?
I can’t say anything just yet, but I will be performing in a Christmas show again this year…
Do you have any roles that you are currently involved in?
I have some potential projects in the pipeline, but at the moment I’m focusing on Code Blue.
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