Q&A: Scott Sparrow, star of Strangers on a Train

Wandsworth Guardian: Photo: Brinkhoff and Mogenburg Photo: Brinkhoff and Mogenburg

Scott Sparrow, 31, stars as Dr Swan in the West End play Strangers on a Train.

The actor moved from his native Zimbabwe to Tooting in 2012 to find his feet in London theatre.

He spoke to Alexandra Rucki about landing the biggest role of his career so far

Alexandra Rucki: Can you give a summary of the plot in Strangers on a Train?

Scott Sparrow: It is most popularly known as the Alfred Hitchcock film that he did in the 1950s. He moved away from the plot of the book by Patricia Highsmith quite a bit. This one by Craig Warner sticks to the plot a lot more. Two strangers meet on a train, they get talking. They decide to kill each other’s problems off. It is a fun conversation. But Bruno goes a step further and kills Guy’s wife.

AR: What role does Dr Swan have in the play?

SS: Bruno is a bit of a psychopath. He spends many different ways of planning how to kill Guy’s wife. How he kills Guy’s wife is very sadistic and very clever.  My character tries to figure out what’s wrong with the wife.

AR: How did you land the job?

SS: I understudy for Laurence Fox who is the lead. When I was going into casting for that they said they would like someone to cover Dr Swan and Laurence Fox. I was cast pretty late on the Friday and on the Monday I went into work. It was not a gruelling process. I was not expecting to get it, I was very surprised when I got it.

AR: How does it feel to be in a successful West End show ?

SS: It is a completely different new world to me, I am from Zimbabwe. To land in London in a year-and-a-half and to find myself in a West End show is such a great thing for me. I think I just got lucky. I didn’t expect to land a part like that so early. I still pinch myself when I do it.

AR: You moved to Tooting in 2012, how do you find it compares to South Africa? Does living in the capital provide more acting
opportunities?

SS: I worked in South Africa for six to seven years before I moved. I wanted to come to London and be here in the West End. It is a much bigger industry over here. Over here you are competing with 10 times, 20 times, more actors than over there. It forces you to be a better actor. I needed to be a smaller fish again and to find my feet again as an actor. The bigger the industry the more the
challenge.

AR: What have you got planned for the rest of the year?

SS: Hopefully this will open up lots of work opportunities for me. I am also a writer, I have written plays before which have been on in South Africa. It is nice to go into other area other than acting.

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