We give the UK premiere of Michel Van der Aa’s The Book of Disquiet at The Coronet Theatre on Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 February 2016.

Samuel WestThis hypnotic work mixes music, electronics, video and spoken word, which will be performed by British actor Samuel West. Ahead of the performances, we asked him some quickfire questions.

What do you regard as your greatest artistic achievement?
Playing Hamlet for a year and three days at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

What do you fear? 
Not dying before my daughter.

Which piece of music or theatre has had the biggest effect on you as an actor?
The Rite of Spring live has had a more visceral effect on me than any play I’ve ever seen, though I’m often brought to tears by the work I see on stage.

What’s the most unusual performance you’ve been a part of?
A Commedia dell’Arte show in the streets of Nairobi as a student – or else the one I’m about to do with you: multimedia, solo, playing opposite filmed alternate personalities speaking a different language.

What’s currently on your coffee table at home?
The catalogue of the Frank Stella retrospective, seen at the Whitney last week, and a lot of Lego.

What was the first recording you ever bought?
Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick by Ian Dury and the Blockheads. An ex-jukebox copy, for 50p. I now have a jukebox of my own, and it’s on it.

Describe yourself in three words.
Not good at counting.

If you could have any other profession, what would it be?

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My parents. I mean, hasn’t everyone’s? But I went into the family business, so especially.

Tell us your best theatrical/ musical joke.
An actor takes a job at Birmingham Rep and some digs near the canal. One day, walking to work along the towpath, he accepts a lift from a passing boatman who’s carrying manure. At the next lock, the lock-keeper calls down “What’s your cargo?”

The boatman shouts back “A load of shit and an actor”.

After a moment the actor goes up to the boatman.

“I say, old chap” he says. “Could we have a chat about billing?”


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