THE TORCH THEATRE CAUGHT UP WITH LOCAL ACTOR SAMUEL FREEMAN …
Theatre and performing arts were a part of my life from an early age. I began playing the trumpet at seven years old, and because Pembrokeshire has such a strong and collaborative music service, this led to joining all sorts of bands at school, county, and tri-county level. It was inevitable that my love for music and performance would grow. I went on to learn singing, guitar, and bass, and playing classical, jazz, rock, and punk, all thanks to the amazing support from my teachers. Music led to drama, musicals, and plays; Shakespeare, Chekhov, Pinter, Caryl Churchill… I couldn’t get enough! Performing Arts provided not only an escape, it allowed me to continue to play pretend and use my imagination as a young adult. I created, aspired, and expressed myself, whilst learning to work and socialise with peers while devising something that was all our own.
I saw so many plays at the Torch Theatre growing up. I was lucky to be able to have access to great professional work, both local and touring, right on my doorstep. I joined the youth theatre programme, where I spent whole summers rehearsing and performing plays. They were written and directed by our very own Dave Ainsworth, and stage managed by Andrew Sturley and the fantastic technical team. The way our shows reflected the professional practice of theatre set me up with the skills I needed early on and made me want that to be my job.
I studied Acting at Bath Spa School of Music and Performing Arts before moving to London in 2014. It has been quite a few years now! Working in theatre, film, and TV across the UK and internationally has been a wonderful adventure. The pandemic was a huge stop gap for the entire industry, it was a time to reflect, adapt. The biggest change that grew out of it was becoming a creator. I have been thrilled to work closely with Matt Emeny and Calf 2 Cow as an associate artist, writing and directing the music for three shows that have toured across the UK (including the Torch).
My first show with the Torch Theatre Company (and my first professional Welsh credit) was Cinderella in 2021. I was surrounded by people with lovely Welsh accents, that spoke and strung phrases together, like me. We shared a dialect and life experience. I hadn’t appreciated until that moment that I had spent my entire career working in a foreign country! Being here has brought warmth and comfort. Whilst away, I had a longing for something I didn’t even know was missing. What was missing was home. Hiraeth.
So naturally, I am ecstatic to be working at the Torch again this Christmas in Beauty and the Beast. It promises to be full of all the laughter, music, and fun you expect from panto and more! I heard the beast is quite dashing under all that fur and makeup too…
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