The next interview in our stagey chat series is with Samantha Seager, who's currently playing Chris on the UK tour of Calendar Girls the Musical. Calendar Girls' next stop on their UK tour is at New Victoria Theatre, Woking. You can book tickets here.

Get yourself comfy and join us for the next segment of Stagey Chat!

Hi Samantha, how are you today? Thanks so much for chatting to Stage to Page! You're currently touring the UK in Calendar Girls as Chris. Can you tell us about the story and the character you play?

I play Chris in the story of Calendar Girls, which is a wonderful story about a group of women who are all attending the WI in Knapley which is a fictional village in Yorkshire. Essentially, the story is quite a well known story, and it's based on a true event that happened.

One of the women in the groups, her husband passed away from cancer, and my character, Chris, came up with a rather outlandish idea that in order to help them raise money to buy a sofa for the relative's room in the hospital where John was treated for his cancer, that they would do a nude calendar. You know very much using the themes that are within the WI but having a real woman in them who is essentially nude and it's just a very heart-warming and life affirming story. 

Calendar Girls seems like such an empowering piece of theatre for body positivity. Is this something that drew you to the production?

No, not particularly. I think what drew me to the production was more to do with just the real life affirming messages of finding the truth. the sunlight, finding the sun, finding the light in a dark situation, which is why the metaphor of the sunflower is so important because the sunflower follows the sunshine. It tries to find the light wherever it is. And so I feel like that to me is what really drew me to the story, that message for me, especially right now. It feels very important.

From roles on stage, TV and film, you've had an already fantastically diverse career. Is there a type of media you prefer to act in, and is there a specific reason for this?

I really love theatre. Live theatre. The reason for that is because you have a direct connection with the audience. And you get to repeat the performance over and over again. So you start to find more things in it and you build up deeper relationships with the other actors. I mean, you can still achieve that in film, but it's just such a different way of working.

And for me, I personally really prefer to be doing live performance where we're engaging live with an audience. Everybody seems to get a lot more out of it, I think.

You're currently producing your first feature film, an adaptation of Invincible, which is due to be released this spring. Can you tell us more about the film and what inspired you to go behind the screen, instead of in front of it? 

About maybe 12 years ago, I was in a theatre production of a play called Invincible, written by a guy called Torben Betts, all set in one room over the summer of 2012. A couple from London move up north and they become acquainted with their neighbours, over the course of three nights against the backdrop of the Afghanistan conflict, the London Olympics and the Queen's Jubilee. It was quite a big year for British culture. You see these characters go on really incredible journeys where their lives are all radically transformed throughout the film.

So what inspired me to go behind the screen was basically in the lockdown. I just kind of got this feeling that it could be a really good time to turn this play into a film because we could film it in my house under the government guidelines of all the COVID regulations. 

And also the themes within the story, which are about essentially neighbours, feelings of isolation and loneliness, and kind of questioning the narratives of what we're being told all just feel felt very poignant. And so, together with another really amazing talented film director and filmmaker called Emma Croft, who I've known for years - I invited her to sort of collaborate with me on it. We've done this incredibly low budget. It's all been crowdfunded. But you know, we've got the film almost in the bag. We just need a final push to get it out on the big screen. So yeah, that's Invincible

My blog is called Stage to Page. But if you could turn any book, from page to stage, what would it be and why?

Gosh, I don't know actually. I'm not actually a huge novel reader, so I don't know, I'd have to think about that.

And finally, why should people book tickets to see Calendar Girls?

Because it's a wonderful story about women, sisters, sisterhood and coming together. And as I mentioned earlier, finding the sunlight, finding the light in what is an incredibly dark, sad situation. And in every situation, even the most desperately sad, there is always something that can be taken from it that can be turned into some good. And so I really love the theme of that story. It'll make you laugh. It'll make you cry. And it will make you really value your friends and all the women in your life - and all the men.

You can book tickets to see Calendar Girls on its next UK tour stop, New Victoria Theatre in Woking, here.

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