Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Page 3 Profile: Samuel West, actor and director

He looks every inch the professional actor. Does he come from good stock?

Well since you ask, his mother is Prunella Scales - better known as Sybil from Fawlty Towers - and his father is Timothy West, another actor. But 46-year-old Samuel has built his own successful career as an actor and director. But it's not a new production which has made people sit up and take notice - he has called on the public to enact sit-ins in a desperate attempt to save British theatres facing closure. A very civilised version of the "Occupy" movement, if you like.

That's a bit radical isn't it?

I wouldn't be quite so surprised. West was a member of the Socialist Workers Party while he was at Oxford University and is also on the Council of the trade union Equity, which represents performers and "creative practitioners" in the entertainment industry. While he has admitted that his political stance has mellowed since his student days, it would seem that certain issues can still stir his passions. In previously unreported comments to the annual arts, learning and technology conference Shift Happens, the actor said: "I call for sit-ins; we should occupy those buildings threatened with demolition, and those working theatres threatened with closure."

So what brought on this revolutionary feeling?

West's call for the masses to invoke the spirit of the Occupy movement appears to have been sparked by the publication of the annual Buildings at Risk register by the Theatres Trust, which pointed to 49 threatened buildings without statutory protection. "The pendulum is swinging away," he said. "All we can do is be part of the movement to stop it quicker than it would otherwise stop, and make it come back quicker than it would otherwise come back." Quite the call to arms.

Did he say anything else controversial?

Actually, yes. He railed against a lack of funding for the arts, blaming the industry's financial problems on a failure to convince people it was worth saving. "The problem is we haven't persuaded the electorate. There's still a lot of that 'poncey artist living off the state' mentality. What we need is to get punters in," he said.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Career Services

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick