This appears to be Rupert’s first professional role, but the details are a bit muddled and/or lost in the mists of time.
Rupert’s official CV has him playing Mr Smith in The Rose and the Ring at the King’s Head Theatre, directed by Lucy Skilbeck. There are other citations mentioning the King’s Head Theatre as well.
However, the production actually seems to have been at the Hen and Chickens Theatre Bar. (Unless it was staged at both, of course!)
Anyway! I’ve found the following links:
- Lucy Skilbeck’s CV at Diamond Management. This lists the Hen and Chickens, but also mentions the King’s Head for a different production.
- A review by Kate Bassett dated 30 December 2001 for the Independent (and oddly enough covering a production of High Society as well). No mention of Rupert specifically, but Bassett refers to the cast as ‘a talented young bunch’ and pronounces it all ‘rumbustious fun’.
- A review dated 11 December 2001 in the Evening Standard. Again, no mention of Rupert, but: ‘Like the rest of the cast, she [Joanna Kirkland] is on time and in tune in a zippy piece of theatre, the melodies of which animate the toes happily ever after.’
The musical is based on the ‘satirical work of fantasy fiction’ of the same name by William Makepeace Thackeray (Wikipedia), with music by Michael Jeffrey, and book and lyrics by Peter Morris.
I have to say I’m intrigued!