I am a composer, lyricist and theatre-maker. I wrote songs and played in bands from teenage years, then (while studying at a fancy university) decided I wanted to write musicals and took a very wacky show called “Disgusting” to the Edinburgh Fringe in the early 90s. It was wholly absurd but at least one critic really liked it. During my increasingly distant twenties the playing in bands went nowhere in particular, I learned to play tabla and I got trained as a community musician at Goldsmiths. Meanwhile I wrote scores for fringe plays and soon found myself writing musicals for kids to perform. I got very good at this and it eventually led to professional work for family audiences in London at theatres such as Tricycle, Unicorn and Polka. In particular I developed a relationship with the “home of British Puppetry,”, the Little Angel Theatre in Islington, where in 2005 my musical The Mouse Queen (book co-written with Tim Kane) was a sell-out success and went on to acclaimed runs off-Broadway in New York (The New Victory) and off-West End in London (Hampstead).
This led on to writing the music and lyrics for of a number of very successful “puppet musicals” with Little Angel and others, including:
Fantastic Mr Fox (Little Angel and six tours in UK and North America) 2005-2012
The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me (Little Angel, 2008 and 2015)
Pinocchio (Polka Theatre, 2008)
Alice in Wonderland (Little Angel 2010)
All Join In (Polka Theatre, 2010)
The Tempest (Royal Shakespeare Company/Little Angel 2011)
Moominsummer Madness (Royal and Derngate/Little Angel 2013)
I also began writing and directing work with Little Angel – The Night Before Christmas (Little Angel 2014) – and with my own company MONSTRO Theatre. We’ve made two full Arts Council-funded productions, The Adventures of Thunder and Coal (Little Angel 2012) and Bookstory (UK tours 2015 and 2016, now preparing for UK tour in 2017)
I’ve written theatre music and songs and taught song-writing in all sorts of settings and for many organisations including Roundhouse, Royal Opera House, Lyric Hammersmith etc and my songs for children have been published by Faber and A and C Black. I sing funny songs in public from time to time and continue to develop musicals – not always puppet ones – with MONSTRO Theatre.
Bookwriter, Lyricist, Composer