14 July 2019: Rupert was to have been a guest at the convention Myth & Magic in Birmingham, England on 17-19 April 2020, along with fellow Merlin alumni Emilia Fox (Morgause), Fintan McKeown (King Odin), Michelle Ryan (Nimueh) and Alex Vlahos (Mordred). Unfortunately Rupert will no longer be able to attend this convention. Alex and the other Merlin actors will be there, though!
25 April 2019: Rupert was to have been a guest at the convention Magic Con to be held in Bonn, Germany on 26-28 April 2019, along with Alex Vlahos (Mordred in Merlin). Unfortunately, Rupert had to cancel with short notice, due to “a new filming role”.
5 December 2018: Rupert was to have been a guest at the convention Highway to Albion in Paris on 26 January 2019. Unfortunately the event was cancelled due to low ticket sales. Alas and alack!!!
19 September 2018: Rupert was to have attended the convention MCM Comic Con Scotland in Glasgow on 22-23 September 2018, along with Merlin’s Alex Vlahos (Mordred). Unfortunately, Rupert had to cancel with short notice, due to a change in rehearsal schedule for Twelfth Night. He sent his sincere apologies.
22 June 2018: Rupert was the first guest announced as attending Celtic Reminders, a Merlin convention to be held in Paris on 13-14 October 2018. Unfortunately, however, this event has now been cancelled.
4 June 2015: Justin Young’s play In My Father’s Words is featuring in Brits Off Broadway! It runs from 4-28 June 2015 at 59E59 Theaters in New York. For more details, check the 59E59 website.
30 November 2014: Unfortunately Rupert couldn’t attend Wales Comic Con 2014 Part 2 in Wrexham on Sunday 30 November. It seems this was because he went to the Supanova conventions in Australia in lieu of Eoin Macken and Alex Vlahos.
19 June 2014: Rupert’s brother Justin Young wrote a play titled In My Father’s Words which was performed at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow on 19-28 June 2014, before touring Scotland throughout July. See the Dundee Rep Ensemble page for full details.
Rupert features as Binkum Fray in one of four episodes in Volume One of the new adventures of the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy).
Episode 103: The Jabari Countdown
Director: Scott Handcock
The episode takes place during the 1940s, and while Rupert’s performance as Binkum Fray (aka the Lieutenant) is a great deal of fun, I’m afraid the character is a particularly benighted product of his time in terms of prejudices.
You can buy the CDs or downloads directly from Big Finish.
Alas, Rupert is only in a couple of scenes in the early parts of the episode. James is interviewing Leila (Desiree Akhavan) and Sadie (Maxine Peake) about their personal and professional relationships with each other.
The interview seems pleasant enough, but once James starts directing the photo shoot, things start getting a bit weird … and come to think of it, perhaps it’s just as well that we don’t see him again!
Leila does accuse him of being “so fucking pretty”, so obviously Rupert was cast for more than one reason!
Rupert was interviewed by Chris Daniel for Kapow! to mark the tenth anniversary of BBC Merlin.
“I was always interested in the stories of King Arthur and Merlin growing up, but I definitely became more immersed in it after becoming involved with the show,” Young said. …
“Merlin definitely opened doors for me,” Young said. “Being in a worldwide hit show definitely has got me into audition rooms I wouldn’t have got in before and so pretty much all of the jobs I’ve had since the show finished, I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to audition for had it not been for the show”. …
“What surprised me most was how well the series was received,” Young concluded. “I always knew I was joining a great show with brilliant people and a fantastic story that people would enjoy, but the sheer volume of people who watched it and connected with it from all over the world was staggering.”
Rupert stars as the Duke Orsino in this musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night. The adaptation was conceived by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub, with Taub writing the music and lyrics, and is co-directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Oskar Eustis. It is Kwei-Armah’s first offering as Artistic Director at the Young Vic Theatre.
The show runs from 2 October to 17 November 2018 at the Young Vic in London. More details and tickets available at the official website.
You can read an interesting interview with Gabrielle Brooks (Viola) by Kate Berrington, about the accessibility of Shakespeare, in the British Vogue, 14 October 2018.
I’ve been lucky enough to see this play twice now, and I’ve loved it. I have to admit to being a bit wary the first time, as the reviews (quoted below) had led me to fear the play was Not Quite Shakespeare, and maybe there wouldn’t be enough Orsino, either. So I was very relieved to find that none of this was so.
The story we’re already familiar with from Shakespeare’s play was certainly compressed in this adaptation, but it was all in there. (And it’s not one of his longer plays, anyway.) The romance and comedy from the original was emphasised in this version, and the cruelty and pain featured less so, but again it was all there. Or maybe I just didn’t miss a lesser emphasis on the aspects of the play I find most challenging and/or problematic…?
Or maybe we feel the pain less because in this production Malvolio retains his self-love, his belief in his own intrinsic greatness, despite being so cruelly dealt with. I’ve seen productions which end things very bitterly, with Sir Toby’s marriage to Maria being foreshadowed as disastrous, Malvolio’s threat of revenge coming from a broken man, Feste alone, Andrew Aguecheek dismissed, and so on. This adaptation does not interpret the outcomes in such ways, and I don’t know that there’s any reason in the original text why it shouldn’t do so. Why not, instead, end with not only the main romances being properly aligned, but also with a joyous song including everyone in a renewed community, and Orsino and Antonio (formerly wartime enemies) shaking hands in a spirit of kindness and reconciliation…?
The themes of this show are love and joy, acceptance of others as they are, and having the courage to be one’s own full self. To find such subject matter in Twelfth Night is no stretch at all.
Much of the spoken dialogue came directly from Shakespeare, and the lyrics were often inspired by the original play as well. I can’t imagine Shakespeare himself being fastidious about such a joyous and accessible experience. He created popular entertainment, too, after all!
As for Rupert … oh, he does play a lover so very well! Orsino isn’t exactly the largest role in the original play. However, this adaptation focuses more on the confused triangle of love between Orsino, Olivia and Cesario/Viola, and so we are blessed with more Rupert than I’d feared! Alas, he is absent for a longish stretch in the latter parts of the play, but he has so much lovely stuff to do in the early parts and in the last scenes, that I can cope with that.
It’s not unexpected to find Rupert called “effortlessly charming” in reviews, including one reviewer this time who wondered why on earth Olivia was resisting him at all! But we know that love doesn’t work like that, or at least not in this play. It was sweet to watch Orsino feeling heart-wrenched by Olivia, but also responding despite himself to Cesario. Right from the start he’s noticing Cesario’s irresistible smile, and soon he’s returning it in kind. (This comes with extra frisson, as Brooks is the most convincing Cesario I’ve seen.) The love triangle is all very genuine, as is the resolution once Sebastian makes a fourth – which compares nicely to the irresponsible antics of Sir Toby’s crew, and to Malvolio’s self-important dramatics.
Everyone does an absolutely terrific job here, though my heart was mostly caught up by Rupert, Gabrielle Brooks (Cesario/Viola) and Natalie Dew (Olivia). There is lots of laughter and lots of energy along the way, and only one scene which left me a bit indifferent. The community chorus were superb, and it was great to see they were diverse in all kinds of ways – including age, with a few older characters. Inclusion is, self-evidently, the way to go!
So, it’s five stars and three cheers from me for the Young Vic and the artistic directions of Kwame Kwei-Armah!
Review Round-Up by Fergus Morgan, The Stage, 10 October 2018.
The first show by a new Artistic Director is an important indicator of what’s to come, a chance to establish the tone for the ensuing years with a memorable statement about the kind of theatre they want to make. In assuming responsibility for the Young Vic, a musical version of Twelfth Night may not be the obvious choice for an inaugural show but it’s community-based inclusive staging and strong equality message has Kwame Kwei-Armah setting-out his stall from the start. … This version of Twelfth Night is designed to engage the audience as much as possible beginning with barbecue food and interaction with some of the performers. Robert Jones’ cartoonish set juts-out into the audience guaranteeing everyone a good view, while maximum use is made of the auditorium’s exit points and staircases. They really want you to have a good time and with plenty of comic focus and a rousing love-in finale the feel-good factor is dialled-up to the max. … Gerard Carey may be the best Malvolio you’ve ever seen, utterly embodying Olivia’s taunt that “you are sick of self-love” and given the most astonishing tap routine with a hilarious interpretation of the yellow stockings segment. … Olivia (Natalie Drew) becomes amusingly beguiled by Cesario, an interaction played for comic effect which Drew sells superbly, but Orsino’s devotion is almost entirely serious and Rupert Young is charming as the heartbroken Duke aching with unrequited love. Brooks is equally enchanting as the suffering Viola in disguise, but the emphasis on the humour takes away from some of the pain of Shakespeare’s original, that fine balance between light and dark captured in the songs isn’t reflected in the storytelling as well as it could be.3.5 stars from Maryam Philpott, The Reviews Hub, 12 October 2018
It was the tenth anniversary since Merlin first aired on BBC One, on 20 September 2018. We were all feeling sentimental – including Bradley James, who Tweeted the above shot of cast and crew at the Chateau de Pierrefonds. Rupert is there in his Sir Leon costume. Bradley said:
10 Years since #Merlin aired for the first time. One of the first things my memory jumps to is great times with our crew. Not all pictured but much missed. Many a laugh shared with a team who became family (and they put up with me for 5 years ?)
Bradley also shared the following photo of Arthur and some of the Knights, including Leon, on Instagram.
To quote from various sources: “The David Holmes Cricket Cup began in the summer of 2009 to raise money for the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH). Since then, each summer, the event has been hosted for David’s family and friends, where the two teams, Gryffindor and Slytherin, have battled it out for the trophy and continued to raise money for the RNOH. It’s a fun, family day out with our famous Cricket Match and our Auction, Raffle, Bar, BBQ, Face Painting and Bouncy Castle providing further entertainment.”
Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter) says: “David Holmes [a stuntman] was seriously injured in January 2009 while filming a harnessed aerial sequence for the final installment of the film franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
Davey Holmes was so grateful to the RNOH for their care of him following this injury that he’s been raising funds for them ever since through this annual cricket event.
Bradley James (Arthur in Merlin) has regularly taken the field for Gryffindor, and has often been joined by our Rupert. I have found team photographs featuring Rupert for the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2018, with thanks to “A Shot of Brad” Live Journal account, Bradley’s Instagram account, and Google! Which is not to say Rupert didn’t participate in other years. However, few photos from the event are shared online, so there’s no one official source that covers the whole period.
Rupert features as Atticus, in this series of audio plays focussed on “ambitious young lawyer” Cicero, and set amidst the politics, crimes and scandals of ancient Rome.
Episode VI (May 2018)
Director: Scott Handcock
Unfortunately Atticus only appears in the last of the six episodes – which is particularly frustrating when most of the episodes are framed by Cicero’s letters to his BFF Atticus, who lives in Athens. The episodes are all well worth a listen, though, with some interesting stories told. Samuel Barnett is utterly charming as the main character, Marcus Tullius Cicero, finding a nice balance between naivety and wisdom. George Naylor as his brother Quintus Tullius Cicero, and Laura Riseborough as his wife Terentia, round out a superb main team. Which is not to say I wasn’t delighted to hear Atticus finally cry out a hearty greeting when the Cicero brothers go visit him in Athens!
And Rupert does a fine job with the character, of course. It doesn’t take us long to suspect there’s a lot more to Atticus than the expansive cheer and expensive estate.
The first episode of this series was recorded on 3 October 2016, at The Moat Studios. The remaining episodes were recorded on 18-22 September 2017, at The Soundhouse.
You can purchase the CD or audio files from the Big Finish website.