Sam shared with The Guardian his 7 cultural highlights from UK and Germany. Check them out!
Born in West Yorkshire and currently living in Berlin, Riley next stars in the miniseries SS-GB, a dystopian look at what Britain would be like if the Nazis had invaded Britain. It begins at 9pm tonight on BBC1.
Richard III at Schaubühne, Berlin
Lars Eidinger, who plays one of the SS in the show, has been playing both Hamlet and Richard III with this Berlin-based theatre company and he is one of the most extraordinary stage actors working today. He deserves to have a wider audience. I’ve seen both plays, and I think Richard III [at the Barbican, London] is my favourite. He’s a force of nature, there’s no holds barred. He’s quite frightening to watch and he has a reputation in Germany that made me a bit nervous to work with him, but in real life he’s very funny.
Bologna by Wanda
Since my band got dropped, 11 years ago or so, I find it difficult to watch groups because I’m always incredibly jealous of their success. I always wish I was on the stage singing instead, though I wouldn’t do as good a job as half the people I see. I wasn’t wholly convinced that the middle Europeans were that capable of rock’n’roll, but this is an Austrian rock band who are great fun to watch. The singer’s a real livewire and a boozehound, which is exactly what I like from my frontmen. Bologna, which is about dancing with your cousin, is my favourite song by them. I like it because it’s got a great riff, it’s old-school rock’n’roll and it’s slightly cheeky.
Ed Reardon’s Week, BBC Radio 4
I listen to a lot of BBC radio while I’m in Berlin; it’s my connection to back home. Radio 4 Extra is probably the station I listen to the most and I’m happy that Ed Reardon’s Week is back on. It’s about a writer who had written a successful television show in the distant past and most of his conversations take place with his cat. He’s basically skint and is convinced he should be doing a lot better than he is. He’s disgusted by the level of stupidity all around him and everyone in the modern creative industries, but he doesn’t realise what a pompous twat he is most of the time. It’s well written, well performed and very funny.
Salts Mill in Saltaire
Saltaire is a town near Bradford created by Sir Titus Salt; he built the textile milland the town so the workers had somewhere to live. There was a church and houses for all. It’s been transformed in the last 20 years and has a lovely restaurant. David Hockney, who is a Bradford lad, has a lot of his pieces there and ever since I was little, my mum used to take us there. I can’t really say why I love Hockney so much, but he’s my favourite.
Rammstein at Waldbühne, Berlin
Last year, I saw Rammstein for the first time. I’m not a heavy rock fan, but I met Till, the singer, and he invited me to see the band. I’d never seen a concert like it. Apparently, after an accident when they were starting out with pyrotechnics and Till burned himself quite badly, he then got a pyrotechnics special licence and it’s the most mental show I’ve ever seen. Flames coming out of his microphone and out of guitars; with every bang of the drum there’s a different explosion going on. It’s absolutely bonkers, but I really enjoyed it. And the Waldbühne, which is a huge amphitheatre, is an amazing venue, especially during the summer.
Philip Kerr: Berlin Noir trilogy
I’m a very slow reader. I’m dyslexic so I find it a lot easier, especially since having my son, to listen to books, otherwise they just sit on my shelf. I have hundreds of books with bookmarks just a quarter of the way through. But the ones I’ve read most recently are by Philip Kerr, and I’d say the Berlin Noir trilogy is a great starting point. It’s about a character called Bernie Günther who’s a private detective ex-policeman working in prewar Berlin and he’s obviously against the Nazi party but working during that time. I loved those old Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett novels and this is a slightly different telling of that sort of character.
When I was growing up in England, my family and I always went on holidays to Filey, on the North Yorkshire coast just south of Scarborough. Since living in Berlin, I’ve missed the ability to get to the seaside quickly and enjoy being by the sea, but my wife and I found this town three hours away, on the Baltic Sea. It’s where we take our dog and our little boy and if we want to escape the city for a weekend we go and stay there. It used to be an artists’ colony a hundred years ago and was in East Germany until the reunification. The beach is really huge and stunning, and there’s a gorgeous hotel – the Grand – with a restaurant at the top from where you can watch the sunset.