STANDING on the banks of the Clyde, filming hit BBC drama Vigil, was a real “pinch-me” moment for Glasgow actor Reuben Joseph.

“It was ridiculously good,” he says, grinning. “I mean, getting the chance to do the whole cop drama thing - crazy chases, stunt doubles, dressing in the uniform, the works? It was really cool.”

Reuben, who graduated from Langside College (now Glasgow Clyde) in 2018, is currently in his final week of preparations for a very different role.

He will play Macbeth, in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s new, gripping version of the tragedy, at its famous Stratford-upon-Avon home.

Glasgow Times: Reuben Joseph in rehearsals for Macbeth at the RSC.Reuben Joseph in rehearsals for Macbeth at the RSC. (Image: Marc Brenner/RSC)

“I’ve been in Stratford for three days and already, it feels like it’s a bit of a mecca for actors,” he marvels. “It is a beautiful place, you do feel proud to be here at the RSC, but equally, you’re trying not to feel the weight of that, or get caught up in a kind of self-congratulatory thing, while still appreciating all those who helped get you to this position.”

Reuben, who was born in Glasgow and grew up in Helensburgh, talks a lot about luck, and the good fortune he has had to land a string of high-profile roles in the likes of Vigil, alongside Suranne Jones and Rose Leslie, and as the lead in Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit West End musical.

The truth is, this young actor who “fell into acting” because his older sister did it too, has earned sparkling reviews and proper one-to-watch status already.

Glasgow Times: Reuben, left, as Alexander HamiltonReuben, left, as Alexander Hamilton (Image: Reuben Joseph)

One critic said he was “fantastic” in Hamilton, bringing “power and charm” to the role; the Saltire Society included him in their prestigious 40 under 40 list this year; and Wils Wilson, who is directing Macbeth, describes him as “an incredibly exciting Scottish actor” whose rise has been "pretty meteoric.”

So, a fair amount of talent mixed in with the luck, then?

“Well, that remains to be seen,” he says, with a laugh.

“I am here through a lot of blind luck. I started at youth theatre in Glasgow, because my sister did it, and I thought it looked like something I’d enjoy.

He adds: “Then you get to high school, and you’re 16 and suddenly there is all this pressure about the future. I remember thinking: ‘I’m barely getting to grips with who I am at this moment, how on earth am I supposed to know what I want to do next?’”

Glasgow Times: Reuben Joseph, who has appeared in a string of successful roles since graduating in Glasgow in 2018Reuben Joseph, who has appeared in a string of successful roles since graduating in Glasgow in 2018 (Image: Asiko)

An academic route was not for him, he explains.

“Those subjects didn’t suit me, but I felt like I could be useful, if I did drama,” he says.

“During a school show rehearsal, one of my teachers, Paul Price, took me aside and said, this scene is really good, you should enjoy it.”

He adds: “It was the first time I’d heard something encouraging like that, something that told me I was good at this. That - and my less than stellar grades - made me think from that point on, acting was something I could be good at.”

Since graduating, in addition to his starring role as Alexander Hamilton in Hamilton, Reuben has appeared in several National Theatre of Scotland Productions, The Tragedy of Macbeth at the Almeida Theatre in London, and TV dramas Crime and Traces.

“My only ambition going through college was to get a flat in Glasgow, with an upright piano, and be able to support myself doing creative work,” he says.

“I was prepared to work for five, 10 years, however long it took to get there, so I feel so incredibly lucky that I’ve fallen into it so quickly.

“I was fortunate to graduate before Covid hit, so I had a couple of years’ experience before everything shut down, and to come out of college when there was such a groundswell of filming going on in Glasgow.”

The city has recently played host to crews filming hit TV dramas like Annika, Irvine Welsh’s Crime and Vigil.

Reuben says: “It’s great for Glasgow, and it is proof that you don’t need to move to London to be an actor. There is lots of good work being done in Scotland, on stage and on screen.”

Macbeth opens at the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon on August 19 and runs until October 14.