Producer, philanthropist and activist Irving Rappaport has died

Irving playing clarinet at one of our first 50-hour Improvathons

We are very sad to report that our long-term supporter, adviser and friend Irving Rappaport has died.

Irving was a great proponent of Showstopper from the very start. In addition to his financial contributions to the show over the years he was always enthusiastically engaged with the project, meeting producers, getting people along to see the show, and coming up with new marketing ideas. He became one of the producers of the west end run at The Apollo.

Many of us in the company have known Irving for some years, going back to the days when we all worked with Ken Campbell. Not only was Irving a huge supporter of the arts but his work in mediation, especially in parliament, bringing peaceful and constructive discussion to the volatile complexities of Middle Eastern politics, shows how motivated he was to creating a better world.

All Showstoppers owe him a great debt and he will be very fondly remembered.

A tribute from Lucy

One of the Showstoppers, Lucy Trodd, was particularly close to Irving and has written this about him:

“I was Irving’s tenant when Showstopper! began; his house was always full of wonderful people, eccentric artists, parties, music, plotting and Sabbath meals (open to all denominations).

He encouraged me to take my first improvisation class (with our old mentor, Ken Campbell) and he has been a dear friend, supporter and confidante ever since. He was a good listener who reminded me that if what you do best is ‘clown around in the background’, then that’s to be valued and encouraged!

Irving was there when we trod the boards at The Royal Court in Décor Without Production. He was there to see Showstopper’s early successes and was even a part of our most recent Olivier Award celebrations.

I will miss his distinctive, cheeky laugh which filled every audience I can remember over the last 12 years. A fellow seeker, a caper-lover, a passionate advocate of peace, love and art. Irving, for all your hard work, chasing of dreams, passionate support; I give hearty thanks.

We forget sometimes that the brightest stars live in the shadows. Irving, may you rest in peace and your creative, cosmic energy live on. How I wish you were still here to see how much you are loved.

Love you, Irv xx”

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