Drawing: Edward Bluemel in Love In Idleness

Edward Bluemel’s immediate family all have one thing in common, his mum is an Oxford physicist, his dad an Oxford chemist, his sister a Cambridge philosopher and his brother an Oxford classicist so when he decided not study at Oxbridge, opting instead for an acting career and studying at the Royal Welsh Academy. It was a bold move. But it has proved fruitful.

Since then the 24 year-old has appeared in numerous screen roles, most notably as the young aristocrat Toby Hamilton in the ITV ‘s drama THE HALCYON. This year he made his professional stage debut in Trevor Nunn’s revival of Terrance Rattigan’s LOVE IN IDLENESS at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory, which transferred to the Apollo Theatre in the West End. It’s the third in Rattigan’s ‘war plays’ set in the same period as THE HALCYON, so Edward had a good reference. He played Michael a young evacuee who develops socialist tendencies while spending the war years in Canada. He returns home to his widowed mother who is now the mistress of a right wing government minister.

It’s a part Edward described as ‘a complete millennial snowflake.’ In her review for the Guardian, Kate Kellaway said, “Edward Bluemel is spot on as Michael” and Mark Shenton was equally impressed writing, “As that son, Edward Bluemel catches the arrogant sense of youthful entitlement with an appropriately irritating vigour.” I could up with Edward at the stage door after a matinee performance in May and he signed this sketch for me.

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Drawing: James Dreyfus in Candide at the Menier Chocolate Factory

James Dreyfus

French-born English actor James Dreyfus won the Best Supporting Performance in a Musical Olivier Award for his role in the National’s The Lady in the Dark in 1998. He’s best known to TV audiences for his British comedy characters, Constable Kevin Goody Ben Elton’s The Thin Blue Line, and as Kathy Burke’s gay flatmate Tom in Gimme Gimme Gimme. James has just finished a sell out run of Leonard Bernstein’s operetta Candide at the Menier Chocolate Factory, playing three crazy stereotypes Dr Pangloss, Cacambo and Martin.