Richard was born in Lewisham, in South East London, and grew up in Surrey. He attended Meath Green Primary School, Horley, and at the age of seven pronounced his first words on stage, in the role of Herod: ‘Where do you come from?’

At the Trinity School of John Whitgift, Croydon, he was heavily involved in the active music department, performing, among other venues, at the Festival Hall and in the Proms, and appearing on Television with artists as diverse as Leonard Bernstein and Bing Crosby.

After studying Natural Sciences and History of Art at Clare College, Cambridge, Richard trained at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts. He has since worked across all periods of drama, with Shakespearean roles including Romeo (Romeo and Juliet), Demetrius (A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which he also played Snug), Orlando (As You Like It, in which he also played Audrey and 'Sundry Lords') and Cassius (Julius Caesar). He has played Scandal in the Restoration Comedy Love for Love, Mario in Marivaux's The Game of Love and Chance, and created the role of Cleveland in Fanny Burnie's previously un-performed comedy from 1800 A Busy Day in both Bristol and London. Contemporary classics include Caryl Churchill's Cloud Nine (Clive and Cathy) and Harold Pinter's The Caretaker, playing Aston, both in 2004 and in London Classic Theatre's tenth anniversary tour in 2010.

Performances for children include the music-theatre piece No. 3 Pied Piper Street by Cheryl Moscowitz and Vocem Electric Voice Theatre, and Badger in Wind in the Willows.
Richard Stemp
Photo by Richard Whitelaw ©

In 2008 Richard appeared at Pitlochry Festival Theatre in four of their summer season of six plays, and on either side of this was involved in the long running Lost Musicals series, with around 14 roles in Around the World by Orson Welles and Cole Porter, and a mere one or two in Johnny Johnson (music by Kurt Weill). For the former, his work was reviewed by The Times as 'insane but perfect'. This was followed up with a four-handed Treasure Island for Hidden Pearl.

Richard has had a number of parts written specially for him, and created the role of Ben in Nigel Fair's plays Sauna and Unsex Me Here! at the Brighton Festival, as well as Eugen in Sebastian Michael's The Power of Love, the first part of Michael's Love Trilogy currently awaiting development. He has also devised and performed his own one-man show, The Raft of the Medusa, inspired by Gericault's painting of the same name, which was commissioned for performance at Tate Britain.

Recently he has focused on film, playing parts in the feature The Traveling Companion and in an interactive DVD for the Department of Health, Diversity Dilemmas. He also appeared in the title role in a spoof version of The Terminator for the BBC Film Club, as well as a 1960s remake of a contemporary episode of Dr Who (Tooth and Claw).

When not acting Richard works as a freelance museums lecturer. He wrote and presented the series Art in the National Gallery and Tate Modern for Channel 4 Television, and has made contributions to Terry Jones' Medieval Lives, CBBC's X-Change! and Teachers' TV

His book, The Secret Language of the Renaissance, was published in October 2006, and a follow up on Churches and Cathedrals came out in September 2010.

Download CV (PDF)
 Richard Stemp © | Additional images and texts photographer or writer as named