Sinead Long

We chatted to Brummie actress Sinead Long ahead of a nationwide tour with An Officer and a Gentleman about her life-long love of the theatre, her supportive mum and giving back 

Busy rehearsing for An Officer and a Gentleman before its opening at the Alexandra last month, Sinead Long told us she was happy to be back in the Midlands. In the city briefly before touring the UK for ten months, Sinead says she’ll always view the region as home.

Birmingham provided the springboard to an acting career that began by honing her craft as a dancer and she has fond memories of travelling in from Halesowen to attend workshops such as those at DanceXchange. While dance was Sinead’s main discipline, she always loved musicals and it became apparent as a teenager that she could really sing which was a revelation. Sinead remembers from an early age just loving going to the theatre. She says: “I would be poring over the programme seeing where the actors came from and where they studied. I loved it.”

While Sinead’s not from an acting dynasty with a black book packed with industry contacts or financial backing, she had a mother who wholeheartedly supported her daughter’s obvious talent and passion. Sinead remembers: “Mum just loved theatre and had a child that loved it. She made a lot of sacrifices.” Sinead says she needed the full scholarship she was offered from Arts Ed in Chiswick or it wouldn’t have been possible for her to move to London and go drama school.


Sinead says Arts Ed is very good at getting students seen, and adds: “In the third year Arts Ed students put on three full-scale musicals to which agents and casting directors are invited.” As a result, Sinead was snapped up by an agent and given her first professional theatre role on the back of the showcases before she’d even graduated. She was offered the part of Serena in Legally Blonde, but it wasn’t all plain sailing. Sinead sustained an injury on tour that required surgery.

Thankfully it didn’t put a stop to her career and she’s since gone on to star on stage in productions such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Hamilton, Jersey Boys and more, as well as TV roles most notably Doctors and Prince Andrew The Musical. A stint in Hamilton was interrupted by Covid which, while it was strange time, Sinead felt more secure than most.

She explains: “Lockdown was a tricky one. I was in a better position than some actors. I was in Hamilton when Covid hit and because it was so massive, the show felt safe and unlikely to close.” She adds: “Some big shows did close, but Hamilton never felt like it would. It was hard to plan though. Hamilton didn’t want to re-open and then have to close again, so in the end we had 14 months off.”


While we all felt the void and missed the arts strongly through lockdowns, Sinead says she really felt that from audiences. “The first show Hamilton opened post-Covid, the whole place erupted. It was really cool and quite emotional.” One thing that Sinead thinks changed for the better during the pandemic is increased online and self-tape auditions. For someone so keen to make a career in the arts more accessible, this is a good move squashing the need for expensive travel costs to get to auditions which are generally in London. The need for accessibility is one close to Sinead’s heart. Programmes such as the DADA (dance and drama award) which help with fees and living costs at private dance and drama schools are reducing in numbers. Talented actors from backgrounds like Sinead might not get the opportunities she enjoyed. While online and self-tape auditions are an option, that becomes irrelevant if people can’t afford to move away and study.


Such is Sinead’s mission to boost accessibility, she runs a project called West Enducate which aims to ‘demystify life working in the West End’. West Enducate runs bespoke workshops sharing professional knowledge. There’s vocal coaching and musical workshops as well as industry insight and more. Sinead explains: “There are so many opportunities for young people. With the workshops we find someone from the show we’re planning to workshop which is important. We also offer young people practical knowledge such as how your life works when you’re in the arts. It’s hard to understand the full extent of being self-employed and what that means.”

Sinead enjoys chatting to the youngsters in the Q&A sessions at the end of a workshop. She says: “The younger children want to know the fun side like costumes etc. and the older students are more concerned with more technical aspects and navigating getting the balance right.”

With dream roles like ‘Roxy in Chicago, any of the girls in Six and maybe Cats’ as well as more TV on the horizon, we reckon we’ll be seeing a lot more of Sinead Long.

BOX OFFICE: If you missed An Officer and a Gentleman in Birmingham, check out the rest of the tour at