skip to main content

National Theatre Blog

Ten questions for… Lucian Msamati

Lucian Msamati and Southbank Sinfonia in Amadeus

Lucian Msamati is currently appearing in Amadeus.


  1. Who do you play in Amadeus
    Antonio Salieri.
  2. Is there a scene you particularly enjoy performing? 
    Every single one but I love going toe-to-toe with Adam [Gillen, playing Mozart] and Karla [Crome, playing Constanze] in our individual scenes. Brave and brilliant performers such as they are make it so easy to be present and open to what comes in the moment.
  3. And do you have a favourite line in the show?
    ‘Goodness is nothing in the furnace of Art.’ Discuss!
  4. Do you have any pre-show rituals? 
    I wait until the last possible moment to put the character’s shoes on. Once I’m in, I’m in. That for me is the point of no return. And quite frankly those heels are a killer for three hours so it’s best to preserve my toes whilst I can…
  5. What would be your dream role? 
    Robert Mugabe: Bond Villain.
  6. Who is your backstage hero? 
    The entire 'Gang in Black’ behind the scenes. Cool, professional, knowledgeable and above all caring. There’s a hell of a lot of skill and passion that goes unsung for my money. So here’s to them.
  7. Where’s your favourite spot in the National Theatre? 
    It’s a secret!
  8. What’s the most memorable on-stage moment you’ve seen or been part of that has made a lasting impression on you? 
    Recently, due to a technical malfunction our 'magic’ pianoforte conked out on Adam. It then started playing again abruptly as he stood up and he quipped, 'See? No hands!’ the audience roared with delight and approval. Genius.
  9. What advice would you give to aspiring actors?
    'Making it’ is for magazine covers and talk-shows; here today, gone tomorrow. 'Doing it’ is what you always wanted to do, are doing or will do. You can always 'Do it.’ So get on with it. Don’t be discouraged or pressured by the 'Make it’ brigade. Excellence and passion have nothing to do with 'Making it’ but absolutely everything to do with 'Doing it.’ So get on and 'Do it.’
  10. Finally, could you describe Amadeus in three words? 
    Big, bold and beautiful.



Visit the Amadeus page.

Learn more about the NT Live broadcast of Amadeus.