Tag Archives: y: 2014

Tonight at 8:30 (2014)

This is an ambitious production featuring nine Noel Coward plays, presented in three groups of three. You can see one ‘Trio’ of plays a day – or you can do what we’ve just done, and go on a day when all three Trios are played back to back.

Known collectively as Tonight at 8:30, this production comes courtesy of the English Touring Theatre (ETT), and is directed by Blanche McIntyre. It is currently running at the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton, and will then be touring English regional theatres (details below).

My main motivation for attending was that Rupert is in the cast, but he is joined by eight other wonderful actors, and they made for a great ensemble.

The triple bill was an awesome marathon, filled with plenty of wit, humour and drama. There were some plays in which I laughed until I cried, while others were absolutely heart–breaking. All were interesting, even intriguing. There is no doubt that Coward was a clever, observant and witty writer. As Sam Hodges (Creative and Executive Director of Nuffield Theatre) says in the program, ‘where theatre is at its best is when, behind the manners and etiquette and wordplay, lies loss, love, hope and truth. These Coward captures in spades.’

Luckily for me and my fellow Rupert fans, he is in eight of the nine plays – though only briefly in a couple. He gets the chance to really shine in two of them, though.

Rehearsal photo of Kirsty Besterman and Rupert, courtesy of Nuffield Theatre. Photo by Mark Douet.
A rehearsal photo of Kirsty Besterman and Rupert, courtesy of Nuffield Theatre; photo by Mark Douet.

In We Were Dancing (Trio 1), Rupert plays Karl. He and Louise (the marvellous Kirsty Besterman) are strangers who have fallen deeply in love while waltzing at a party, and start making immediate plans to spend their lives together. This has to take into account Louise’s husband Hubert (Peter Singh), but the three of them strive to deal with the ramifications of this heartfelt emotional moment with honesty and rationality. The results are very funny and occasionally very moving. Rupert gets to play … well, a gorgeous decent man who has suddenly found himself to be a romantic lover. Even while Karl and Louise fully acknowledge and accept this life–changing moment, however, they still need to negotiate the details and the practicalities. Not to mention learn each other’s names. It’s all just delightful – and Rupert sings a charming song as well! He has such a great voice, so subtly expressive and never less than evocative throughout a very long day.

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Tonight at 8:30, Southampton (2014)

Rehearsal and production photos for the play Tonight at 8:30, directed by Blanche McIntyre. Photos are by the wonderful Mark Douet via Nuffield Theatre. (These are shared on the basis that they are publicity photos freely available for dissemination. Please contact me with any concerns.)

Update: I’ve now uploaded more photos, that were available via the Oxford Playhouse website.

Cardiff Film & Comic Con (2014)

I had an absolutely marvellous day on the Sunday of the Cardiff Film and Comic Con, due in no small part to the presence of Rupert ‘Fabulous’ Young, and keeping company with Karen, one of my many fellow Merlin!fan stalwarts. Unfortunately we never saw our mate Nick. (Where were you, Nick…?)

Early Birds

My first task (and I chose to accept it) was to seek Rupert’s autograph.

Rupert from the Gay Times photo shoot by Leigh Keily
Rupert from the Gay Times photo shoot by Leigh Keily

I was there early, so the queues were very reasonable, and dear Rupert could take the time to chat to each of us. Not realising that he was also doing a Q&A later, I took the chance to quiz him rather!

The first thing to note is that his hair is cut quite short at the moment – he joked that, like Samson, he feels quite weak now. He said it had been for a part. However, he kept his NY baseball cap on the whole time, so I’m afraid I can’t report on the full effect!

I asked him about the Doctor Who credit that had suddenly appeared on his IMDB page – and he said it wasn’t true at all! He has no idea where that came from. So I will have to demote my post about it. (What shall I call such things? False positives…? Lies, damned lies, and rumours?)

Rupert is currently considering two offers of acting work, only one of which he will be able to accept due to clashing timeframes. One is a TV show and the other is a theatre play. He seemed in a genuine quandary – though later in the Q&A he seemed to be leaning towards the play. But it’s great to know he’s in such demand!

As we’d heard, Rupert was filming something late last year, but he seemed unsure as to whether anything would eventuate, or if/when the film appears whether his role would be included or cut. So that’s half tantalising and half frustrating!

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