Autobiography of the late Rupert Rhymes – Vade Mecum: Forty Years in Theatre’s Hotspots

Rupert Rhymes was centrally involved in some of the key moments of modern British Theatre. From his early days with Sadler’s Wells, through the creation of the new National Theatre at the Old Vic, to the birth of English National Opera at the Coliseum, he was an innovator – and keen observer – during a pivotal period in the performing arts in London and beyond. Later, as head of the UK’s two industry bodies, he forged an informed, proactive voice for UK theatre, with benefits that continue to this day.

Amidst candid portraits of Laurence Olivier, Lords Harewood and Goodman and a host of other dance, opera and theatre luminaries, Rhymes entertainingly describes his encounters with the great and the good, with royalty and foreign dignitaries, his challenges with scandalised audiences and determined protesters, and his introduction of continental innovations to a West End steeped in tradition.

Vade Mecum is a warm and readable memoir of a life dedicated to the performing arts in Britain and abroad. It will be of interest as both a personal and an industry history of a period already resembling a golden age. Vade Mecum is now available from most online bookstores, including Amazon, Blackwells and Barnes & Noble.