michael strassen


Michael last directed a run of the rarely performed Call Me Madam by Irving Berlin which made number 1 in the Guardian top 5. Prior to this he directed Ruthie Henshall's one woman show in London's West End at The Hippodrome which gained 4 stars in The Times. In July 2012 he directed The Fix at The Union, London which again made The Guardian top five and made the top 3 shortlist in the Off-West End Awards, 2013.

Michael's production of Sondheim's 'Assassins' at The Union Theatre won the Off-West End Award for Best Production, also attaining Critics Choice and Show of the Week in Time Out. He directed a new production of 'Godspell' to mark it's 40th anniversary at the same venue.

Michael trained at the Guildford School of Acting. On graduating he went into the original cast of 'Miss Saigon' at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane then worked for twenty years in numerous West End Shows leading repertory theatre and number one tours.

Working with Stephen Sondheim was a personal high point for Michael. He did this at Oxford University during Sondheim's professorship there.

Directing Ruthie Henshall's first Royal Festival Hall one woman show drew him into directing at the request of Jonathan Shalit and then directing the dark controversial play 'The Pitchfork Disney' by Philip Ridley at The Mill, Arnaud, cemented this ambition.

Michael executive-produced Ruthie Henshall's solo CD, 'Pilgrim' and two CDs of humorous poetry with Lord Denham and Joanna Lumley '(A Thing of Shreds and Patches/'Victorian Plums'). He worked on the Robert de Niro movie 'The Bridge of San Luis Rey' as co-musical supervisor. Michael worked with director Jonathan Kent and legendary composer Michel Legrand on the first workshop of 'Marguerite' (Lucien). He staged and directed 'The Attic', a new musical about old and new toys and their values clashing written by Mark Carroll. This was performed at The Theatre Royal, Haymarket with a West End cast. The cast album is now available.

He staged and directed 'Company' at C Venues at the Edinburgh Festival, which received five stars from The Scotsman and much acclaim. In 2009 the show was re-produced by The Union, again receiving rave reviews.

Michael appeared as himself and produced music and the Youtube Top 5 video 'Arm Candy' for comedienne Tricia Walsh Smith for the cult series Pineapple Dance Studios which sold globally and had its finale at the Indigo02 .

In 2010 he also staged the high profile Womens' Inspiration Awards at Cadagon Hall.

October 2011 saw 'The Baker's Wife' at The Union with Michael Matus and Lisa Stokke which made The Guardian top five and rave reviews. He then again staged The Womens' Inspiration Awards which had by this time extended to Los Angeles as well as London (its main recipient being Annie Lennox for her work in Africa). He did the same in both cities in October 2012.

Michael masterclassed as a director for The Sondheim Society in a programme that included directors Jonathan Kent and Jeremy Sams and on invitation has just created an education module for the society.


richard bates

musical director & ORCHESTRATIONS

Credits as Musical Director include: Daybreak (European Premiere, Tristan Bates Theatre), Patience (Union Theatre), Honk!, Once On This Island (both Trinity Laban), Dames At Sea (Union Theatre), Ordinary Days (Trafalgar Studios), 1888, The Remains Of The Day (world premieres, both Union Theatre), Nevermore (Courtyard Theatre), Tick Tick BOOM (Union Theatre) Assassins (Landor Theatre), Edges (Union Theatre), Little Fish (European premiere, Finborough Theatre), News Revue (2 seasons, Canal Café Theatre) as well as two Union Theatre Christmas shows.

As Musical Supervisor: End of Year Writing Showcase (Goldsmiths College), Babes In Arms (Union Theatre).

Workshops/readings: Fairystories (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane), Wonderboy (Nitro Centre).

New orchestrations for Assassins and Little Fish. Music and lyrics for Treasure Island (2008), Animate (2010), and incidental music for Saturn Returns (2010). He is currently working on Spooky Noises, which is currently in development, and The Last Ever Musical, which is slated for production later in 2013. He studied music at Cambridge University and holds the AMusTCL diploma in music



john barry


John Barry was born in York, England in 1933, and was the youngest of three children. His father, Jack, owned several local cinemas and by the age of fourteen, Barry was capable of running the projection box on his own. As he was brought up in a cinematic environment, he soon began to assimilate the music which accompanied the films he saw nightly to a point when, even before he'd left St. Peters school, he had decided to become a film music composer. Helped by lessons provided locally on piano and trumpet, followed by the more exacting theory taught by tutors as diverse as Dr Francis Jackson of York Minster and Bill Russo, formerly Stan Kenton's arranger, he soon became equipped to embark upon his chosen career, but without the knowledge of how one actually got a start in the business. A three year sojourn in the army as a bandsman combined with his evening stints with local jazz bands gave him the idea to ease this passage by forming a small band of his own. This was how The John Barry Seven came into existence, and Barry successfully launched them during 1957 via a succession of tours and TV appearances.

Within a couple of years Barry had established a positive reputation in the pop world as a result of numerous hits with singer/actor Adam Faith and the JB7. He further enhanced his reputation when he started scoring films, such as Beat Girl & Never Let Go (both with Faith), and came to the attention of the producers of the forthcoming James Bond film, Dr. No. The John Barry Seven's recording of The James Bond Theme is perhaps the most famous theme in cinematic history.

He was also assisted onto the cinematic ladder as a result of a burgeoning relationship with actor/writer turned director Bryan Forbes, who asked him to write a couple of jazz numbers for use in a club scene in Forbes' 1962 film, The L-Shaped Room. From this very modest beginning, the couple went on to collaborate on five subsequent films, including the highly acclaimed Séance on a Wet Afternoon, King Rat and The Whisperers. Other highlights from the sixties included five more Bond films (winning a gold disc for sales of the Goldfinger album), Zulu, Born Free (a double Oscar-winner), The Lion In Winter (another Oscar) and Midnight Cowboy.

In the seventies he scored the cult film, Walkabout, The Last Valley, Mary, Queen Of Scots (Oscar nomination), wrote the theme for TV's The Persuaders, a film musical version of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, and with Don Black, the hit stage musical Billy (with Michael Crawford, which ran for two-and-a-half years). He conducted concerts of his music in London, Los Angeles and throughout Japan. In 1975, he moved to live and work in America, scoring Eleanor & Franklin, Robin and Marian & King Kong in quick succession. After adopting a lower profile towards the end of the seventies, the eighties saw him re-emerge once more into the cinematic limelight. This was achieved with a mix of larger budget commissions of the calibre of Body Heat, Jagged Edge, Out of Africa (another Oscar) and The Cotton Club, and smaller ones such as Touched by Love and Svengali. Other successes included: Somewhere In Time, Frances, and three more Bond films, including his last, The Living Daylights.

After serious illness in the late eighties, Barry returned with yet another Oscar success with Dances with Wolves and was also nominated for Chaplin in 1992. Subsequent scores included Indecent Proposal, My Life, Cry The Beloved Country and he recorded compilation albums Moviola and Moviola II, and highly successful non-soundtrack albums, The Beyondness Of Things & Eternal Echoes.

In the late nineties he made a staggeringly successful return to the concert arena, playing to sell-out audiences at the Royal Albert Hall. He subsequently made guest appearances at further concerts dedicated to his music. He was awarded the O.B.E. in the 1999 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to music, and in 2000 was the subject of a BBC Omnibus special: John Barry: Licence to Thrill. The following year he scored what turned out to be his last ever film score, Enigma. However, in 2004 he re-united with Don Black to write his fifth stage musical, Brighton Rock, which had a limited run at The Almeida Theatre in London.

On 30th January 2011, he died suddenly, following a heart-attack, at his home in Oyster Bay, aged 77. A sell-out Royal Albert Hall memorial concert was held in June of that year, which included a performance by Dame Shirley Bassey.

(Geoff Leonard & Pete Walker)

don black


Don Black started out as a standup comedian and blames himself entirely for the death of Variety. He made his West End debut as a theatre lyricist with composer John Barry on the musical Billy, starring Michael Crawford at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. Don received two Broadway Tony Awards for best book and lyrics of a musical for his work on Sunset Boulevard. This marked his third theatrical collaboration with Andrew Lloyd Webber. They first joined forces to write the song cycle Tell Me On A Sunday, which was developed to form the basis of the stage show Song and Dance. They were reunited for Aspects of Love. Don has also added songs to Andrew's stage shows Starlight Express and Whistle Down The Wind. He also wrote lyrics for the Andrew Lloyd Webber produced musical Bombay Dreams.

In a career that has won him many glittering prizes (an Oscar for his song Born Free, five Academy Award noninations, two Tony Awards plus three Tony nominations, Five Ivor Novello Awards, a Golden Globe and many platinum, gold and silver discs) he has worked with some of the world's leading composers: Jule Styne, Henry Mancini, Quincy Jones, Elmer Bernstein, Marvin Hamlisch, Charles Aznavour, etc.

Don has written over a hundred songs for motion picture including The Italian Job, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, True Grit, Dances With Wolves, Out of Africa and a quintet of James Bond theme songs - Thunderball, Diamonds Are Forever, The Man With The Golden Gun, Surrender from Tomorrow Never Dies and The World is Not Enough.

Among his many popular songs are Michael Jackson's Ben and Lulu's To Sir With Love, both U.S. number one hits.

Don was awarded an OBE in the Queens Birthday Honours list and has just been awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts by the City of London University. However, he says it is being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame that has outshone any previous accolade.

Dick Clement & Ian la Frenais


Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais have enjoyed a unique creative partnership in television, movies and theater, spanning more than four decades.

Their career began in British television where they created several iconic series including The Likely Lads, Porridge, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and Lovejoy.

They have written many feature films including The Commitments, for which they won the Peter Sellers Award for Comedy. Another venture into the rock world was their original screenplay Still Crazy, which won a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture.

They spent four years as writers and supervising producers with Tracy Ullman on HBO’s multi-Emmy award winning series, Tracy Takes On and worked extensively on The Rock and Pearl Harbor, for producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

In the last few years they returned to television with The Rotters’ Club and Archangel, starring Daniel Craig, both for the BBC, and saw four feature films produced in completely diverse genres: a sports film, Goal! The Dream Begins, an animated movie, Flushed Away, a heist movie, The Bank Job and a musical, Across the Universe, directed by Julie Taymor and nominated for a Golden Globe (Best Picture, Musical or Comedy).

Their most recent work was Spies of Warsaw, adapted from Alan Furst’s novel, which aired recently on the BBC. One of their fondest memories is the original production of Billy, which ran at Drury Lane for two years.


LIghting Designer

Theatre work includes: Bare (Union Theatre), Good With People (59E59, NYC), The 8th (The Barbican), Wigan & 65 Miles (Hull Truck), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Platform Theatre), Chips With Everything (Embassy Studio), the UK premier of Back of the Throat (Old Red Lion Theatre), The Oikos Project & Protozoa (The Red Room), Zombie Prom - The Musical (Landor Theatre), Macbeth (Sprite Productions), Boiling Frogs (Factory Theatre), Resident Lighting Designer a The Box Soho, and co-lit eleven new plays for The Broken Space Season (The Bush). Tim is the Associate Lighting Designer for the National Theatre. He's also worked as an Assistant Lighting Designer on projects like Chicago The Musical (UK Tour, Madrid, Spanish Tour, Seoul Korea) and High School Musical 2 UK Tour (New Wimbledon Theatre).

Film work includes: lighting Animal Charm, The Actress, and Suzie Luvitt for Ben Edwards and The Prank Show for the BBC. Tim also received the Young Lighting Designer of the Year award from the Association of Lighting Designers in 2008.


sam cable

associate musical director

Sam is a freelance musical director, pianist and vocal coach.

Recent MD credits include NewsRevue (Canal Cafe Theatre), Sleeping Beauty (The Castle, Wellingborough), Footloose (Riverhead, Louth), Babes in Arms (Union Theatre), Into The Woods (LAMDA Linbury Studio).

As Associate/Assistant MD: Daybreak (Tristan Bates Theatre), Burlesque (Jermyn Street Theatre), Cabaret (Wilton’s Music Hall). Other piano/keyboard credits include The Showstoppers’ Improvised Musical (London and touring), The Tailor Made Man (Arts Theatre), Salad Days (Riverside Studios), Halb-Welt Kultur (Churchill Theatre Studio, Bromley), The Cherry Orchard (National Theatre, Olivier).

Sam teaches singing at Mountview, and has also worked prolifically as a rehearsal pianist, including on She Stoops To Conquer (National Theatre, Olivier). He is a graduate of both the University of Edinburgh and LAMDA.