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        Wordplay: Fifteen illuminating and informative questions

      Our guest this month: Simon Slater


         Interviewer: Richard Braine


Highlights of Simon's career as composer include the recent ‘Amadeus’ at the National Theatre, ‘Constellations’ at the Duke of York’s Theatre and New York and ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Henry 5th’ and ‘Julius Caesar’ for the RSC. His sound designs will soon be heard in ‘Filthy Business’ at the Hampstead Theatre, ‘Killology’ at the Royal Court and ‘Sand in the Sandwiches’ in the West End. He has designed the sound for ‘Everything between us’ at the Finborough 2017.


As an Actor he was Sam Carmichael for five years in the West End musical ‘Mama Mia!’ He played leads in ‘Sugar Hill’ (Hampstead), ‘The Great White Hope’ (Tricycle) and ‘Waiting for Godot’ (Nuffield Southampton). He has made numerous guest appearances in TV series including: Heartbeat, Dr Who, Lovejoy etc. He was Inspector Kite in the long running series ‘The Bill’.


Richard slater

Recently sound designer for 'Everything Between Us' at Finborough Theatre, Simon has composed original music for over 300 theatre, film, television and radio productions, including 'Amadeus' at the National Theatre.

1.When did you first Act/compose etc? And what was it?

I work both as an actor and composer so I think I’ll be constantly switching between these two worlds with my answers.  I was in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ at school. I played Lazar Woolf. A joy. I also fell in love with the girl who sang ‘Matchmaker’. So frankly a result all round.


2.What or who was your greatest inspiration?

My music teacher Derek Cox who said in my composition class, “you are not very good but your tunes are very catchy”. I will settle for that. I’ve been inspired by many others including Tommy Cooper, Max Wall, Benny Goodman and John Helliwell (Sax player of Supertramp). Yes, I know, all very high brow.


3.What professional training have you had? Do you think it was relevant?

I did English and drama at Goldsmiths college. Yes, on reflection, it was important. It was very academic but there was lots of practical stuff.


4.What has been your favourite part/play/production etc?

Well as a composer it was writing for the National Theatre’s production of ‘Amadeus’. I also did the musical direction with a twenty piece orchestra on stage. Acting wise I guess playing Sam in ‘Mama Mia’ was great fun. I’ve also toured all over the world with my one man play ‘Bloodshot’.


5.What has been the most wonderful thing you’ve seen on the pub theatre circuit?

Theatre 503. ‘Land of our Fathers’. (to be honest I wrote the music but it’s still a great piece of theatre about Welsh Miners.)


6.Pub theatre is having something of a renaissance. Why do think this is?

Well seeing drama close up has gone from the West End. The pub theatre circuit has replaced the “local rep” and added to our sense of community ownership.


7.Where would you like to be in ten years time?

Alive on a Greek island writing film scores with the odd acting job.


8.Tell us something about yourself that nobody else would know?

I got my Equity card as a magician. Still available for bookings.


9.What is the song that most moves you?

Ooh very hard. Randy Newman- ‘Real emotional girl.


10.Musical, comedy, drama? What would you choose?



11.The crime you would carry out if you could get away with it?

I am not sure getting rid of the President of the USA is allowed.


12.The happiest moment of your life?

My children’s birth.


13.The saddest moment of your life?

My parent’s death. Can we cheer up please ...


14.What historical figures would you invite to a dinner party?

Elizabeth First


15.How would you like to be remembered?

By not dying? No okay - as kind.





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