Samuel Alexander Joseph West, also known as Sam West (born 19 June 1966), is an English actor and director. He is best known for his role in the film Howards End and his work on stage (including the award-winning play Enron).
West made his London stage debut in February 1989 at the Orange Tree Theatre, playing Michael in Cocteau’s Les Parents Terribles, of which critic John Thaxter wrote: “He invests the role with a warmth and validity that silences sniggers that could so easily greet a lesser performance of this difficult role, and he lets us share the tumbling emotions of a juvenile torn between romantic first love and filial duty.” Since then, West has appeared frequently on stage; he played Valentine in the first ever production of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia at the National Theatre in 1993 and later spent two seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company playing the title roles in Richard II and Hamlet, both directed by Steven Pimlott.
In 2002, West made his stage directorial debut with The Lady’s Not for Burning at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester. He succeeded Michael Grandage as artistic director of Sheffield Theatres from 2005-2007. During his time as artistic director West revived the controversial The Romans in Britain and also directed As You Like It as part of the RSC’s Complete Works Festival. West left Sheffield when the theatre closed for refurbishment in 2007 and made his West End directorial debut with the first major revival of Dealer’s Choice following its transferral to the Trafalgar Studios. He also continued his acting career: in 2007 he appeared alongside Toby Stephens and Dervla Kirwan in Betrayal at the Donmar Warehouse, in November 2008 he played Harry in the Donmar revival of T. S. Eliot’s Family Reunion and in 2009 he starred as Jeffrey Skilling in Enron by Lucy Prebble. His 2008 production of Waste at the Almeida Theatre was chosen by The Times as one of its “Productions of the Decade”. From November 2012 to January 2013 he appeared as Astrov in a production of Uncle Vanya at the Vaudeville Theatre. He played Ivanov and Trigorin in the Chichester Festival Theatre’s Young Chekhov Season from September 2015, alongside Nina Sosanya, Anna Chancellor, and James McArdle.