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Interview with Edward Bluemel from the cast of Love in Idleness

Edward Bluemel (Michael Brown) by Catherine Ashmore
Edward Bluemel (Michael Brown) by Catherine Ashmore

Terence Rattigan’s Love in Idleness transfers to the West End for a strictly limited season of 50 performances, at the Apollo Theatre from 11th May to 1st July 2017, with Press Night on 18th May.

Trevor Nunn directs Eve Best (Olivia Brown), Edward Bluemel (Michael Brown), Anthony Head (Sir John Fletcher), Vivienne Rochester (Miss Dell) and Nicola Sloane (Polton/Celia Wentworth).

Returning from Canada after a four-year absence during the war, eighteen-year-old Michael is full of youthful ideology and leftist leanings. But he is shocked to find his widowed mother Olivia is now the mistress of cabinet minister Sir John Fletcher, enjoying a comfortable society life. When Michael and John clash, sparks fly and relationships are tested as everyone learns some difficult lessons in love.

Edward Bluemel, who plays the role of Michael Brown, chatted to us about his career and Love In Idleness.

Q: You have recently completed playing the role of Toby Hamilton in The Halcyon, on ITV. What can you tell us about being a part of that production?
Edward: Well, it all seems quite a long time ago now as filming finished last August but it was such a treat to be involved in a production on the scale of that, especially so early in my career. It was a bit of a baptism of fire as I was thrust into the centre of a huge crew and a very experienced cast but it was so much fun and to be honest I would have been okay to dress up in period clothing and flounce about a fancy hotel without being filmed so I was very happy indeed.

Q: Love in Idleness is currently at the Menier Chocolate Factory and is subsequently transferring to the West End, and you are playing the part of Michael Brown. What initially attracted you to be a part of this production?Edward: The Chocolate Factory is a really lovely theatre known for creating great work so that was a good start for me. The space itself is really intimate which lent itself fantastically, in my opinion, to the setting of the play (in a living room) so I knew that the relationship between the actors and the audience was going to be very close which I love. Also, you can’t really argue with Trevor Nunn directing. can you?

Q: Can you tell us about Michael and how he fits into the storyline?
Edward: Michael is a child on the cusp of adulthood who has just returned home from five years away in Canada where he has been an evacuee. While he has been there he has gone through a political and social renaissance and now has some pretty strong ideas about how the world should be run. He returns home to find that his beloved widowed mother has changed lifestyle completely and, even worse, has fallen in love with a right-wing cabinet minister – gentle hilarity/ carnage ensues.

Q: What is at the heart of Love In Idleness?
Edward: There are many ways you can look at it actually – It could be love, it could be change, it could be compromise, it could be a cynical look at people’s political views and how much they really matter to them or it could just be about a mother’s love for her child. Either way, I think there is a lot to take from it and it’s been interesting seeing people’s reactions.

Q: Do you have a favourite Terrence Rattigan play?
Edward: It’s a bit obvious but Flare Path is a great play.

Q: What do you like most about playing on stage and screen?
Edward: I love stage because you constantly discover new things. Just when you think your performance might be getting a bit stale or you are going through the motions a bit, another actor might change their intonation of one line and suddenly the whole scene changes for you and that is quite the thrill.
What I love about screen is the intimacy. You can do so little with such effect.

Away from acting, what do you like to do to chill out?
Edward: Draw the curtains, turn the lights off, put on Drake’s entire back catalogue and wonder what the point of everything is.

Q: Why should everyone get along to see Love In Idleness?
Edward: It takes you on a bit of a rollercoaster I think. One moment it’s light comedy, the next it’s a kitchen sink drama about the breakdown of a family. It’s like a Chekhov play had a sordid affair with a Noel Coward and this is the naughty love child.

Edward Bluemel plays Michael Brown. His theatre credits include Animal, Longing, Strange Orchestra, The Winter’s Tale (Richard Burton Theatre Company), Mercury Fur (Company of Sirens). His television credits include The Halcyon. His film credits include The Commuter, Access All Areas.


Listings Information
Love in Idleness
Apollo Theatre
Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7ES
Press Night:  18th May at 7pm
Dates:  11th May – 1st July 2017


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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