Sex With Strangers: Samuel Johnson

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Sex With Strangers: Samuel Johnson

For some technology can be a scary thing. No longer are there boundaries to who you can contact or things you can learn – the possibilities are endless. It’s an aspect that’s often debated and one that’s brought up in the play Sex With Strangers, but it’s something that actor Samuel Johnson welcomes with open arms.
“I personally don’t have an issue with it, I think the more ways we find to communicate the better,” Sam says.
“I’m not threatened by technology at all, and I personally think Instagram is one of the greatest inventions ever. I love spying on people’s lives.”
It’s true that Sam is no stranger to technology, having grown up through the social media boom, formed his charity Love Your Sister with a heavy online presence and often partial to the odd Instagram post or two. It’s a trait that he has in common with his character in the play Ethan Strange – a man who rose to fame through sharing his sexual exploits online – and it isn’t the only one.
“I’m a little bit like Ethan in the sense that I don’t have much to hide either. I’m pretty happy to talk about anything in my life and there are no topics that are off limits – that’s certainly the case for this character too,” he says.
But aside from his rather questionable means to make money, Ethan is also a writer who is looking for literary legitimacy and is confronted with the lack of his, in meeting fellow writer Olivia Lago – played by Tottie Goldsmith – who is in the process of writing her newest novel.
“Having written a book last year and having a dad who was a novelist and a mum who was a poet and having embarked on the whole writing journey myself, [legitimacy] is something that I think every artist can relate to,” Sam says.
“Legitimacy isn’t tied to success and that’s the most important thing for any artist to understand – you don’t have to be successful to be a good artist”
Though in the case of Sex With Strangers, it certainly seems that the play is carried by a team of successful and talented individuals. Written by House of Cards writer Laura Eason, directed by the multi-skilled Lucy Freeman and brought to life by Samuel Johnson and Tottie Goldsmith – each with a wealth of achievements behind them – the play is a success simply on paper alone.
“It’s probably been one of the more challenging jobs I’ve had that’s for sure, but really rewarding in the sense that the script is white hot, and we’ve assembled a team of a-list practitioners – it feels a little bit like a dream team,” he says.
When & Where: Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool – June 25, Hamilton Performing Arts Centre, Hamilton – June 26, Portland Arts Centre, Portland – June 27 & Shirley Burke Theatre, Parkdale – August 3
Written by Amanda Sherring