Actor and singer Sam Attwater tells Katherine MacAlister about life after a tiring stint on stage and as a contestant in Dancing on Ice

Sam Attwater has hardly had time to take his ice skates off before he’s back on stage again. The Dancing On Ice star, who narrowly missed winning a place in the final, was voted off over the weekend. And much as he misses the reality ITV show already, Sam’s day job takes up all of his time anyway.

Yes, actor and singer Sam is the star of famous musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, the classic American musical set in 1850s Oregon, which is touring until May and coming to the New Theatre next week. That means the 27-year-old was skating by day and singing and dancing by night for nine whole weeks in a row. He must be exhausted then? “Absolutely,” he smiles ruefully. “But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world even though It was very physically and emotionally exhausting.”

In fact, after fainting on set, at one stage Sam was declared to be suffering from exhaustion.

“I wasn’t fuelling my body properly,” he explains, “I was burning everything off so just needed some sugar.” After that, sleep and nutrition took a much more prominent role in his life to enable him to complete both challenges. “There were days when I found it hard to walk because my legs were so stiff,” he admits.

And because former EastEnders actor Sam faced the dance-off five weeks in a row, he had to learn two routines a week, one more than everyone else, and then go to work. “I learned 19 routines in nine weeks. It was an uphill struggle,” he admits.

In fact it was only his utter professionalism that got him through. “I just had to keep going even when my body wouldn’t work. You’d think I’d be in great shape wouldn’t you but it doesn’t really work like that,” he laughs.

He must have known though what he was getting himself into? “Of course. I knew it was going to be difficult to do both. But I did a panto over Christmas as well for six weeks while we had a break from the musical.” A glutton for punishment then.

So why so much all at once? “Well firstly I’ve got a wedding to pay for. And secondly It would have been foolish not to take up the Dancing On Ice opportunity, especially in this industry which is so uncertain. But it’s been the best time of my life. It’s been amazing.”

Ah yes, the wedding – Sam fell in love with professional ice skater Vicky Ogden on the show last time around (the former winner always competes on the following series of Dancing On Ice) and the pair are marrying in August.

So no regrets? “I left Dancing On Ice with my head held high because I did the best I possibly could on the day,” Sam says, before returning to the Seven Brides For Seven Brothers rehearsals. No rest for the wicked.

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers also stars  Helena Blackman, runner-up in
BBC1’s How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?
It comes to the New Theatre Oxford from March 10 – 15.
Call 0844 871 3020.