From 2011-2013, I was a part of the cast of the National Theatre production of 'War Horse', at the New London Theatre in Drury Lane, playing 'Songman' and a number of other roles (I'm one of the tank operators in the photo below!). Although a rather wild departure from my purely music infused life, it gave me a chance to explore theatre again, meet some fantastic people, delve back into folk fiddle playing and work with some amazing performers including folk music legends John Tams, Bob Fox and Saul Rose.
In October 2017 I collaborated with two other members of the cast of War Horse - folk maestro Ben Murray and actor James Backway - to perform the narrated story of War Horse at the V&A Museum of Childhood. With script taken directly from the original book by Michael Morpurgo and music from the National Theatre stage production by John Tams, the project is now on going, with further performances planned. Please get in touch to BOOK US for schools, festivals or commemorative occasions.
This was a collaboration between Trinity Laban's Learning and Participation Team and award winning charity, Age Exchange, for which I was brought into to create music. Two dancers from Trinity Laban - Stella Howard and Lucy Evans - spent 20 weeks working in a care home with dementia patients, striving to see how movement, music and creative dance could assist with the experiences of those in care homes suffering with dementia. Inspiration for the piece 'Beyond the Walls' was taken from these care home sessions and the music I created around their choreography was designed to reflect the beautiful, intense, sometimes heartbreaking and sometimes joyful experiences of the workshops.
Here is a short documentary about the work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFoK2Qe2YFs
As a trio Stella, Lucy and myself have discussed working further together, so if you would like to book a performance of 'Beyond the Walls' or commission something new, please get in touch.
Over the last few years I have worked with Rebecca Kilgariff and Georgia Bance of Story Spinner bring different stories to life using theatre, music and story telling. This includes the stories of 'Cher Ami' - a very brave pigeon during WW2 - 'The Magic Garden' - about two children who grow a garden under extreme conditions - and 'Horatio Nelson' - the untold story of Emma Hamilton and Lord Nelson's illegitimate child. Story Spinner has performed at the Royal Maritime Museum, The Cutty Sark, The V&A Museum of Childhood, Museum of London and many other family friendly locations all around London.
This was a schools workshop production I facilitated along side Age Exchange's Malcolm Jones. Together we collected musical and thematic ideas around the evacuee crises of WW2 known as Operation Pied Piper. Much of the scripted material was based on the memories of surviving Londoners who are associated with Age Exchange. The music was inspired in part by Steve Reich's 'Different Trains'. An edited version of the work being performed by Year 5 at the Holy Cross Roman Catholic School in Lewisham, will be available on here soon.
This inspiring Age Exchange, community theatre project took place at the Bridewell Theatre in Blackfriars, bringing together Londoners who hand stories from WW1 which had been handed down through the generations. Performed by some of the storytellers themselves as well as young actors, musicians and dancers from St Matthews Academy in Blackheath, the two performances of this fascinating project were received very well by a packed audience who were moved and mesmerised by the narrative that has underscored so much of family life over the last 100 years.
First screened at the British Film Institute (BFI) in June 2016, this documentary film has gone on to festivals all over the uk and Europe. One of the few Lotto Heritage funded WW1 centenary projects to look back at the conflict through both German and British eyes, the film explores the stories of children and grandchildren of those who fought in The Great War and the legacy that was passed down across the generations.
Creating the soundtrack for this moving documentary was a humbling and profoundly moving experience.