Samantha Spiro: 'I was never an ingenue'

Samantha Spiro got a breakthrough award at 42, and is about to take on the biggest role of her career. She tells Brian Logan why it was worth the wait

Forty-three is not an age at which female actors usually hit their stride. Forty is meant to mark the moment when the good roles start to dry up. So by rights, Samantha Spiro shouldn't be playing the title role of Filumena at the Almeida theatre, nor Kate in The Taming of the Shrew at the Globe this summer. She had no business leading the cast of the Royal Court's revival of Chicken Soup with Barley last year. And as for winning best breakthrough artist at the British comedy awards when she was 42 (for her role in Simon Amstell's sitcom Grandma's House) – well, that's just showing off.

With that last accolade, Spiro became the first performer to triumph at both the
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