Lucian Msamati’s long-standing career across screen and stage has made him one of the most iconic Black actors working in Britain today.
He is probably most famous for being the first black actor ever to play the part of ‘Iago‘ in Iqbal Khan’s 2015 production of Othello for the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has also repeatedly performed at the National Theatre, most recently starring as ‘Sam‘ in Master Harold and the Boys (2019) and ‘Antonio Salieri‘ in Amadeus (2019). Iconic television roles also include playing ‘Tobi Akindele‘ in Channel Four’s Kiri (2018), and currently starring as ‘Ed Dumani‘ in Sky Atlantic’s Gangs of London.
We spoke to Msamati ahead of BBC’s upcoming release of series three of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads. Playing the part of ‘Wilfred Patterson‘ and performing the monologue ‘Playing Sandwiches’, Msamati will feature in a double bill with Jodie Comer.
The first series of Talking Heads aired in 1988, followed by a second series in 1998. This third series will feature ten monologues from the previous series – this time performed by new actors – as well as two additional monologues written last year. Unlike the first two series, series three has been filmed during lockdown meaning that social distancing measures were in place throughout production. Even over twenty years later, however, Alan Bennet’s reflections on isolation and loneliness are poignant in this time of limited human interaction.
The third series of Talking Heads begins on BBC One at 9pm on Tuesday 23rd June. All twelve episodes are now also available to stream as a boxset on BBC iPlayer watch here.