Rich has starred in pantos at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, The Grass Is Always Grindr for 56 Dean Street and now brings his Disney themed show Happily Ever Poofter to Above The Stag and the Two Brewers.
Where are you from originally?
I come from a magical Kingdom Far, Far Away known as “Hertfordshire”. Specifically, a town called Harpenden, where there is a famous Cock Inn (oo-er), a slightly creepy science laboratory that the Queen once visited and… not much else. But if you’re asking where I’m “from from”, I’m half English, a quarter Swiss, a bit Welsh and a touch German. But who’s counting?
And where do you live now?
Gosh, you don’t waste any time do you? If you want to come over, I’d appreciate dinner first. Or at least a double gin and tonic. Let’s just say I live in a “flat” in “Brixton” with a “housemate”.
What do you love about London?
The Royal Family, naturally! It’s always nice to be amongst like-minded Queens… When I’m not on royal duty, I love the Tube. The Victoria Line is my happy place and I’m not ashamed to say it. I also love that London will accept and embrace you, no matter who you are and who you love. These are difficult times we’re living in, and I don’t know anywhere that champions equality like London.
How would you describe Happily Ever Poofter?
If you like Disney or you like cock, then you’ll love Happily Ever Poofter! It’s this year’s hottest parody show, featuring reimagined classics including One Day My Prince Will Cum, Oh, I’ve Just Come Out To The King and Let It Show. It’s a story of acceptance, inclusion and pride. The show is off to Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer, but is touring venues across London in July.
Is it a show for Disney fans only?
Certainly not! Though, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a bit of Disney? The show is for anyone who felt their story wasn’t portrayed adequately in what they read and watched growing up. Simply, it’s for anyone who has ever felt different.
What was the last theatre show you saw?
I recently saw Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, for the fourth time. I’m a big fan.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Buying a Marks & Spencer “Two Can Dine In For A Tenner” meal deal, and eating the whole thing by myself. And I wonder why I’m still single…
See above… (£10 is a lot of money for an actor. Donations welcome.)
Best gift you’ve ever received?
I once got herpes from an ex. It’s been the gift that keeps on giving.
What has been the highlight of your career so far and why?
See above… Just kidding. Until I wrote and premiered Happily Ever Poofter at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in April – to rapturous applause and great critical acclaim, thanks for asking! – my career highlight was probably starring in the hit web series The Grass Is Always Grindr written by my writing hero (and good friend) Patrick Cash and directed by the genius Luke Davies (also my friend, but less likely to read this). It’s either that, or being the “DUM – DUM – DUMDUMDUMDUMDUMDUM” moment in EastEnders in July 2016. True story. Oh wait! Definite highlight also has to be winning the Mr Brewers Pageant in 2017. It’s the only time the Two Brewers have held the pageant, so I was the first, the last and the only Mr Brewers.
What’s the best party you’ve ever been to?
As of three weeks ago, my 30th Birthday Party. (Yes, I know, I know, I don’t look a day over 21!) Being surrounded by all the people I love in one room was a beautiful, profound experience. Turns out love is all we need. If you’d asked me before three weeks ago, the answer would have been an awards ceremony afterparty where I got stoned with a well-known Tony Award winning superstar.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“Never be willing to travel outside Zone 2, always carry your own straw, and if he says it measures 9 it’s definitely no more than 6…” That line may or may not have found its way into Happily Ever Poofter #spoileralert
Who is your LGBT+ hero and why?
There are many. I am proud to belong to a community so glittering, so diverse and so inspirational. This month, it has to be Marsha P. Johnson. The movement that Marsha helped to begin in 1969 means that today I can enjoy the freedom I do today. Even though the fight is far from over, we have come so far in 50 years.
Who are the most entertaining people on social media?
On Twitter: The Queen. @Queen_UK. On Instagram: Once Upon A Scream, the most hilarious podcast in town, on which I was lucky enough to be a guest recently. I never miss an episode! @uponascream. On Facebook: an 80 year old lady I once met called Joyce. My Facebook timeline would be nothing without her.
Where in the world would you like to visit before you die and why?
Penge. What is Penge? Desperate to know what’s there.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
That, ultimately, things usually turn out OK. So worrying isn’t a great use of time. That it’s OK not to be “normal”. In fact, “normal” doesn’t really exist anyway. And that I was going to be an actor when I grew up. That would have made childhood me so very thrilled.
You can see Rich in Happily Ever Poofter at Above The Stag on Monday (1 Jul) and Tuesday (abovethestag.com) and on Friday 5 July at the Two Brewers (the2brewers.com) with dates to follow at The Canal Cafe Theatre.