Robert's first play Punch's Parlour Pastimes - an entertainment of Victorian Toy Theatre, Magic Lantern and puppetry - was first presented by the Tabletop Theatre Company at the Croydon Warehouse and later at the National Theatre as a platform performance in 1983.

In 1994, Robert collaborated with the composer Timothy Higgs on a musical adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel 'The Loved One' for which he supplied the book and lyrics. Entitled 'Dearly Beloved', the show blends the classic ingredients of a traditional musical with the coffins and cadavers of Waugh's original to create a unique theatrical experience - a quirky black musical comedy that satisfies the most morbid of curiosities.

Ned Sherrin said of the piece: "The dramatization is a triumph! The wit and economy are preserved. The score sets up the jokes and matches the pace and lightness of touch of the original. Is there still room for wit and irony in a musical? If there is, Dearly Beloved has both, and much more."

Robert has twice directed the production in workshop: at the Aldwych Theatre for West End impresario Michael Codron; and at the Bridewell Theatre for artistic director Carol Metcalfe who requested that Dearly Beloved open the Settling New Scores Season in 1997.

In 1998, Dearly Beloved was short listed for the Vivian Ellis Prize - a national competition to discover and promote new writing in British Musical Theatre. At the conclusion of a gala presentation at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Dearly Beloved was presented the highest award for Most Promising New Musical 1998.

Dearly Beloved has since been performed by graduating students at the Rose Bruford College and the Royal College of Music.

Robert Styles