Rebel With a Cause : Rufus Sewell
Theatre: Rufus Sewell Makes His Debut As a Bisexual Made for Two
Harpers & Queen, October 1992
With so many theatres closing, the restoration of the Criterion is a cause for considerable joy. Its raffish auditorium recalls an earlier era, as does its opening offering, "Making It Better", a rare example of the well-made West End play. At last spring's Hampstead premiere, James Saunders' witty script and Jane Asher's new-found vulnerability were both much admired, but what made it special was an electrifying London debut from the 24-year-old Rufus Sewell, as a bisexual Czech, who beds both Ms. Asher and Larry Lamb.
Green-eyed actors - Mr. Sewell's own eyes are tinged with yellow - might consider that he has had more than his fair share of parts, classical and contemporary, since his graduation from Central School three years ago, including Gethin in "Comedians for Compass", Constantine in "The Seagull" at Sheffield and Darcy in "Pride and Prejudice" in Manchester, where he met his girlfriend - 'the first time in the history of "Pride and Prejudice" that Darcy goes off with Lydia Bennett'. He applied to Central after a youth theatre triumph as a brothel madam named Glorius. "Acting was the one thing I'd get up in the morning for". Clearly his priorities haven't changed.
He is currently filming his second TV role in "Gone to Seed", a comedy drama series in which he plays Peter Cook's wicked stepson, and is rapidly approaching a "forking point" in his career," where he has to choose between the large and small screens and the stage. "I want to do everything," he exclaims before adding apologetically, "but then I expect all actors say that... " So they do; but very few have such prospects of success.