“Just when you thought the sights of me semi-nude were at an end…”
Samuel Haughton, a Guildford graduate from Kent, had great success with his first one-man show, Songs from the Shower, in July and never thought that he would find himself planning a third round of scrubs and bubbles just weeks later. After reviewing the first performance of rollercoaster emotions through teary eyes I decided to interview the brains and beauty (must be all of those on-stage cucumber face masks) behind the show. While attempting to survive a worthy Ed’s Diner food coma, Sam and I settled into our oreo and chocolate milkshakes to discuss how the revue’s concept went from shower curtain to stage.
“It all started with my dad,” Sam tells me. “We’ve always had an in-joke about how I sing in the shower. It is my chance to sing a lot of things I can’t always sing at auditions and at work. The vast majority of them are for women – parts I’ve always wanted to play but can’t!”
The original performance included I Know Him So Well from the musical Chess and Maybe This Time from Cabaret. He even had his own Disney Princess medley!
“So it has always been an idea” Sam continues, “but it really started to come together after I came back from Italy looking for some down time. I was determined to get some quiet time after a busy year but things never seem to work out that way! I saw that Jamie Chapman Dixon was producing the Fringe on Fringe festival and decided to get involved. I did Santaphrenia at the Leicester Square Theatre with Jamie. I didn’t know when I would have another opportunity to get the idea to stage so I pitched it to him and he loved it. That’s when Claire Rivers and I got to work. A lot of the show was drunkenly put together in a pub in London one night!”
Thus Songs from the Shower was born. The original performance was part of the Fringe on Fringe festival at the London Theatre Workshop, and was in such high demand that Sam was offered another date.
Although the show you can see at the London Theatre Workshop this week is not the same as the original back in July.
“It has been adapted from before; there were some things that wouldn’t work with the new run. The first show was only intended to be a one-off and I only expected friends and family to come. The tribute to my granddad therefore felt a bit too personal and it felt right to take it out. I still have the ‘whinge medley’ as I call it but an added song has now changed the feel and lifts the end.”
Sam has also brought in a host of lovely guests this time who will all be doing their own numbers as well as joining in with some of his. On opening night he will joined by Tim McArthur with Jodie Samantha Steele accompanying him on Friday. Saturday sees Gary Albert-Hughes and Tom Read Wilson’s taking to the shower and Samuel Buttery will help to close the run on Sunday.
“I’ve missed working with Tom and Jodie is just a goddess of amazingness. I’m so privileged to have them all involved, they are all glorious! I’m really excited about Tom and Gary’s night as we will be singing a song that they wrote called Irreversible. I heard it at the Writer’s Playground at the Union Theatre and just knew I wanted to sing it.”
I wanted to know more about Sam’s love of music and it is clear that his connection with the numbers is a deep influence in the creation of Songs from the Shower.
“Music is therapeutic and personal; you can associate songs to a time or event. That’s why I love music so much – when you hear a song that relates to you it can touch you and speak to you in ways that other things can’t. Tom and Gary’s song, Irreversible, takes me back to a familiar place which subconsciously I think I need to go back to and sort out some of my demons.”
After the success of Sam’s show I was eager to see what else is on the cards in his career.
“There’s nothing in the pipeline as yet,” he says. “I think it has been a great year and this is a nice way to round off 2014. I’m looking forward to Christmas with the family and some time out but whenever I say that other stuff always seems to come up. That’s the great thing about the industry though – you never know what’s around the corner.”
On that note we decided to go home (before we surrendered completely to Ed’s milkshakes) and crawled towards the car nursing our full stomachs and my full book of notes. Make sure you catch Sam and his talented guests in Songs from the Shower 3: Company’s Coming at the London Theatre Workshop from 2nd – 5th October. Tickets available online here.