Understudy SAM O’ROURKE plays Arthur Kipps in HALF A SIXPENCE
At the beginning of 2017, I decided that 2017 would be the year I try to help champion understudies in theatre. It can be a thankless task, for a performer to take on a leading role in a theatre show, only for it to pass by unnoticed by press and media outlets. These hard working performers deserve to be recognised and so if I can review an understudy’s performance I will.
Recently, I went to see Half A Sixpence whilst the leading man Charlie Stemp was on holiday, to see Sam O’Rourke play the lead role of Arthur Kipps. Sam usually plays the role of Buggins in the show and stepped naturally in to the lead role. Charlie Stemp has been praised for his glorious dancing in the show and it would be hard for anyone to beat, but Sam does a grand job with the dancing and is a joy to watch. The cheeky chappy delivers an adorable, high energy performance as Arthur Kipps and breathes a freshness in to the role.
Half A Sixpence opened in London’s West End in November 2016, after a smash hit run at Chichester Festival Theatre. The 1963 musical is based on a book by writer H. G. Wells and is the simple rags to riches story of an orphan boy who inherits a fortune and tries to find his places in the social circles of a higher class of people.
Half A Sixpence will finish its West End run at the Noel Coward Theatre on 2 September 2017. It truly is a joyous musical that will leave you dancing to the infectious tunes like Pick Out A Simple Tune and Flash, Bang, Wallop.