MEET THE BML TEAM

Let us introduce the many people that make the BML workshop programme possible;
BML's Workshop Facilitators, Patrons, Management Team, and Board of Directors
The weekly BML workshops are led and maintained by a team of main Workshop Facilitators
WORKSHOP
FACILITATORS

After winning the Vivian Ellis Prize for Young Writers of Musicals, Jason was invited by Peter Hall to compose Born Again (a musical of Ionesco's Rhinoceros), produced at Chichester Festival Theatre starring Mandy Patinkin and José Ferrer.

 

As Associate Composer at Chichester, Jason wrote music and lyrics for two new musicals; The Water Babies and Six Pictures of Lee Miller (nominated for the British Composer Awards). His version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, written with Bryony Lavery, has played Chichester, Birmingham Rep and West Yorkshire Playhouse. Jason has composed incidental music for over 50 plays, including 17 productions for the late Steven Pimlott.

 

Orchestration credits includes the Menier Chocolate Factory's Sunday in the Park with George (the Broadway transfer winning Jason the Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award nomination for Best Orchestrations), La Cage aux Folles (a second Tony nomination) and A Little Night Music (also Broadway). Other credits include Richard Jones' acclaimed Annie Get Your Gun at the Young Vic, with its now infamous line-up of four pianos!

 

Jason has accompanied many notable singers including Elisabeth Welch, Betty Garrett, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Michael Ball and Dame Felicity Lott. A long association with Maria Friedman includes arrangements for her Olivier award-winning show By Special Arrangement and her CD Maria Friedman sings the Great British Songbook.

David Firman is an orchestral conductor, TV and theatre musical director, composer, arranger and orchestrator. He conducted the original West End productions of Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Singin’ in the Rain, La Cage Aux Folles, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Pirates Of Penzance, and the recent revival of Carousel.


David was arranger/orchestrator on the West End productions of My One And Only, Metropolis, Enter the Guardsman, and Good Fun at the Sheffield Crucible, where he first met that show’s playwright and composer, Victoria Wood.  For her he arranged and musically directed 3 BAFTA award-winning series: Victoria Wood as Seen on T.V., Dinner Ladies and Christmas with All the Trimmings.  He developed studio experience as a session recording keyboard player, performing on the soundtracks of Return Of The Jedi, the Superman series and Basic Instinct, along with television recordings for Carl Davis, Nigel Hess and Jim Parker.


He conducts orchestras worldwide, including the London Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the BBC Concert Orchestra, and the Royal Philharmonic, and further afield the Accademia di Santa Cecilia Orchestra, the Royal Kapel Copenhagen, the Chinese Philharmonic, Danish Sinfonietta, Aarhus Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Aalborg Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife,Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, and Bangkok Symphony.


David has a growing portfolio of commissions as composer in his own right, including a specially composed piece for Royal Danish Ballet.  Recently he has conducted performances of soundtracks live to big screen film presentations - Fantasia (which includes the Firebird, Beethoven 5th and 6th Symphonies, and the Sorcerer's Apprentice), Pirates of the Caribbean, Titanic, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and the world premiere of Frozen at the Royal Albert Hall - with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and orchestras in Barcelona and Antwerp. He studied at Trinity College London, and graduated in English and Music from Magdalene College Cambridge, where he was Organ Scholar, and Musical Director of Footlights.


www.davidfirman.com

Tim is a musical director and composer for musical theatre and choral music.


Recent projects include Titus Andronicus and The Two Noble Kinsmen (RSC), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (National Theatre), and Alexei Sayle’s Imaginary Sandwich Shop, (BBC Radio 4).

He collaborated with poet Ian McMillan on the community opera Cycle Song, which won the Royal Philharmonic Society Learning & Participation Award 2012. He was the recipient of the Stiles and Drewe Best Song Award in 2013. Unplugged: Winning the Clay was nominated for an RPS Award in 2011, and his carol The Seven Joys was nominated for a British Composer Award in 2011.

Musical Direction includes The Frogs (Jermyn Street Theatre), Just a Minute Does Panto (BBC Radio 4), Memphis (Shaftesbury Theatre) and The Amen Corner (National Theatre).

Scores for theatre include Joe Turner's Come And Gone (Young Vic), The Secret Garden (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Dreamfighter (Lichfield Festival), The Bacchae (National Theatre of Scotland), As You Like It (Wyndham's), and As You Desire Me (Playhouse).  Tim hosts a podcast, Voice of the Musical, in which he interviews the writers of the most successful musicals of our time.

He is currently writing Victory, a new musical, with playwright Juliet Gilkes-Romero.  He is an Associate Member of the Inner Magic Circle.

Jeremy Sams

DIRECTORS WORKSHOP

Jeremy Sams is a director, lyricist, translator, book writer and composer.  

 

His directing credits include The Wizard of Oz (West End, Toronto, US & Worldwide tour), The Sound of Music (West End, Toronto, Japan, UK tour), Jason Robert Brown’s 13 (Broadway), The King and I (Royal Albert Hall), Spend Spend Spend (West End & UK tour), Passion (West End), Noises Off (NT, West End & Broadway), as well as operas at the Metropolitan Opera New York and elsewhere.  

 

His opera translations have been performed at the ENO, Covent Garden and The Met, among others.

 

His book and new lyrics for The Enchanted Island was devised for and performed at the Metropolitan Opera.  He also wrote the book for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which has played in the West End and on Broadway.  

 

His lyrics for Amour received a Tony nomination. He is a BAFTA and Ivor Novello Award winning composer of film, TV and theatre music. 

Loserville (West Yorkshire Playhouse, Garrick, West End). Olivier Nominated for Best New Musical, Soho Cinders (co-book with Anthony Drewe) music by George Stiles, Peter Pan (revised book) with  Stiles & Drewe, Out There (Riverside Studios, Union), Best Friends & Butterflies (book & music) TicketMaster Composer Award / Best New Musical Vivian Ellis Award, What I Go To School For - The Busted Musical (Brighton Theatre Royal), Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be (new adaptation for Stratford East) dir by Terry Johnson.


Current Projects: Becoming Nancy (book) music by Stiles & Drewe, directed by Jerry Mitchell.  Rehab The Musical (book) music by Grant Black, lyrics by Murray Luchlan Young.


Radio: In another career strand Elliot is a prolific music documentary maker for the BBC.  His celebration of Tommy Steele’s life presented by Bill Kenwright was broadcast for Xmas 2016.  He has written the life stories of Joan Littlewood, The Bee Gees, Gloria Estefan, Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, James Last(!), Paul Anka and Freddie Mercury’s 60 Commemoration; all for the BBC.


Film: He is the inaugural recipient of the JJ Screenwriting Bursary in association with BAFTA.  His first feature film screenplay Consider Yourself was commissioned by BBC films and shoots later 2017 starring Geoffrey Rush.  He has just completed his second feature film also for the BBC.


Musical Direction: Elliot has developed a close musical collaboration with Burt Bacharach.  He was musical director for the BBC / Senbla’s televised A Life In Song With Burt Bacharach at the Festival Hall (2015) and musical director for Mr Bacharach’s Palladium and Festival Hall concerts in 2016.


In 2016 Elliot conducted A Rogers & Hammerstein Celebration with the London Symphony Orchestra and a Judy Garland Live Experience at the London Palladium.  2017 will see him musically supervise and conduct a fully orchestrated live concert of the Moody Blues’ seminal work Days Of Future Passed at the Hollywood Bowl and the Sony Centre in Toronto.  Over his career he has musically supervised and conducted many musicals!

DAVID JAMES has worked in the professional theatre in New York, Los Angeles and London for 50 years. For many years a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop in New York, his award-winning plays have been produced by the BBC World Services, Radio Four, and the South African Broadcasting Company. Modern Olympia had a reading at Manhattan Theatre Company.

He was Assistant Costume Designer on many Broadway musicals including Promises Promises, the original production of Grease70 Girls 70, Bob Fosse's Dancin', The Rothschilds and other productions on Broadway, at Lincoln Centre, and at the Metropolitan Opera. He has designed costumes for over thirty productions in New York, including Vanities, which ran off Broadway for seven years, as well as productions for Playwrights Horizons and the Lion Theatre, and dance companies including the Joffrey Ballet and Alvin Ailey. He has styled over 600 TV adverts.

 

He has sat on the boards of United Scenic Artists local 829, the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (where he was chair of the Theatre Committee for 11 years), and Mercury Musical Developments.

 

He has been a judge for the Tony Awards, the CLIO Awards, the London New Play Festival, The Writers' Guild Awards, and the John Whiting Award.


Recently, he has begun performing, appearing with Liz Carr in Assisted Suicide - the Musical at the Royal Festival Hall, in Glasgow and Liverpool and at the Melbourne Comedy Festival.  He also appears at Duckie at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern and with Naked Boys Reading.  He is a member of British Equity.

David founded BML in 2010.

Mark is a music graduate of King’s College, Cambridge where he sang in its famed Chapel Choir before becoming Musical Director for the Cambridge Footlights and numerous London productions including Les Misérables (Palace), Pacific Overtures (Donmar - 2004 Olivier for Outstanding Musical Production), Sinatra (Palladium), Chess In Concert (Royal Albert Hall), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Shaftesbury), Metropolis (Piccadilly), Into the Woods (Donmar), Sweeney Todd (Holland Park Opera), King (Prince Edward), Enter the Guardsman (Donmar), Adrian Mole (Wyndhams) and conductor for Kiss Me Kate (Victoria Palace), Children of Eden (Prince Edward) and The Lion King (Lyceum).


Musical Supervisor for two Sondheim world stage premieres - Saturday Night (Bridewell) and Evening Primrose (Sadler's Wells) - and for the European premiere of Floyd Collins (Bridewell).


For almost twenty-five years he has also been an MD for Discover the Lost Musicals, showcasing neglected works by the finest American librettists, lyricists and composers of Broadway’s “Golden Age”. He has orchestrated several West End musicals (including Nine, Into The Woods and Hard Times) and composed incidental scores for plays in London, Chichester and at the RSC.


He has always been a tireless supporter of new musical theatre writers, working first with the Mercury Workshop, judging submissions and competitions, leading workshops and musically directing their 1994 revue, which Julia Mackenzie directed.  Now he continues this enthusiasm for encouraging new writing as the lead facilitator for BML’s Advanced Workshop as well as with MMD, lecturing on his own work as arranger and orchestrator, critiquing for “Writing Lab Xtreme” and MDing for “The Works”. In his private recording studio he produces both solo and cast albums for musical theatre performers and composers and teaches the art of musical direction, orchestration and conducting at the Royal Academy of Music who have made him an honorary Associate.

BML's regular visiting workshop leaders include

Paul Boyd

Jonathan Butterell

Terry Davies

Allyson Devenish

Anthony Drewe

Kate Golledge

Adey Grummet

Charles Hart

Rob Hartman

Caroline Humphris

Cathy Jayes

Karen Rabinowitz

Nigel Richards

Jeremy Sams

Caroline Sheen

David Shrubsole

George Stiles

Sir Richard Stilgoe

Sarah Travis

Gary Yershon

International guest leaders include: David Spencer & Susan H. Schulman

PATRONS
BML's work is supported and promoted by an international panel of Patrons

Lynn Ahrens

Liz Carr

Felix Cross MBE

Stephen Flaherty

Nicky Haslam

Amanda McBroom

Danielle Tarento

Maury Yeston

MANAGEMENT
BML's day-to-day operations are carried out by the management team

David James

FOUNDER / DIRECTOR

DAVID JAMES has worked in the professional theatre in New York, Los Angeles and London for 50 years. For many years a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop in New York, his award-winning plays have been produced by the BBC World Services, Radio Four, and the South African Broadcasting Company. Modern Olympia had a reading at Manhattan Theatre Company.

 

He was Assistant Costume Designer on many Broadway musicals including Promises Promises, the original production of Grease70 Girls 70, Bob Fosse's Dancin', The Rothschilds and other productions on Broadway, at Lincoln Centre, and at the Metropolitan Opera. He has designed costumes for over thirty productions in New York, including Vanities, which ran off Broadway for seven years, as well as productions for Playwrights Horizons and the Lion Theatre, and dance companies including the Joffrey Ballet and Alvin Ailey. He has styled over 600 TV adverts.

 

He has sat on the boards of United Scenic Artists local 829, the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (where he was chair of the Theatre Committee for 11 years), and Mercury Musical Developments.

 

He has been a judge for the Tony Awards, the CLIO Awards, the London New Play Festival, The Writers' Guild Awards, and the John Whiting Award.

 

Recently, he has begun performing, appearing with Liz Carr in Assisted Suicide - the Musical at the Royal Festival Hall, in Glasgow and Liverpool and at the Melbourne Comedy Festival.  He also appears at Duckie at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern and with Naked Boys Reading.  He is a member of British Equity.

 

David founded BML in 2010.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
a registered charity, BML is governed by an active Board of Directors

MARK ANNEAR

MARK ANNEAR has been Head of Outreach and Teacher Training at the Royal Ballet School since 2011. Previously, he held many posts with The Australian Ballet, as an artist, a teacher, and an administrator, before becoming Head of Teacher Training and Community Access. He holds a BE from the University of Melbourne and a Masters in School Leadership from Melbourne’s Monash University.

VINCENT GARAY-SPIEGEL

VINCENT GARAY-SPIEGEL has had a long business career working across the US, the UK, Europe and South America and has lived for the last 18 years in London. Originally from El Salvador, he studied Business Administration in Boston, Massachusetts. At BML he is focused on providing assistance in the areas of governance and long-term funding development. 

WENDY GILL

WENDY GILL lives in Hertfordshire.  She has an MA in Creative Writing from Middlesex University.  She enjoys writing short stories. Arachne Press published her first; Moving Mike in their anthology Stations. Her story, The Deal, was selected for the inaugural anthology, Words and Women One, published by Unthank Books, which was shortlisted for the Saboteur Award for best anthology. A Little Favour is published in the most recent Arachne Press anthology; Shortest Day, Longest Night. She is working on a collection of stories, entitled The Female Condition. Wendy has been a member of BML since 2014: her musical That Man, which features the hit songs of recording star Caro Emerald, recently previewed in concert at the London Hippodrome performed by a full West End cast. She is currently working with record label Grandmono and Caro Emerald's songwriters Schreurs and Degiorgio on That Man's continuing development.

MICHAEL CONLEY

MICHAEL CONLEY is a musical theatre writer based in London. He joined BML as a librettist in 2010 and, as a lyricist, began his collaboration with composer Luke Bateman via BML in 2012. Their work together includes The Sorrows of Satan (Tristan Bates Theatre), The Little Beasts (The Other Palace) and Personality (from the novel by Andrew O’Hagan). With Richy Hughes and Joseph Finlay (whom he also met via BML) he has written Superhero (The Southwark Playhouse). He has adapted into English two of Vidal & Salvia’s award-winning musicals The Prince and the Pauper (Midtown International Theatre Festival NYC) and Matches (NY Theatre Barn). Before focusing on musical theatre, Michael also worked professionally in the fashion sector as a product development director, operations director and supplier compliance director for brands including Gap Inc, Banana Republic and Etam. Michael studied musical theatre at Abilene Christian University.

ADEY GRUMMET

ADEY GRUMMET has been a professional vocal performer for over 30 years, both in Australia and Britain, with her work crossing over from musical theatre to opera to choral to jazz, including involvement in early workshops of Jerry Springer The Opera and Anna Nicole at the Royal Opera House. She is a mentor and vocal advisor for Music for Youth, and a workshop leader for family events for BBC Proms. She is a Patron for Spitalsfield Music and Tete a Tete, sat on the board of SPMN, and was co-ordinator and a team member for Tower Hamlets Street Pastors. She is the author of Suddenly He Thinks He’s a Sunbeam and A Short Anecdotal History of St Matthew’s Bethnal Green, and is currently proofreading her newest book. She holds a BMus from Elder Conservatorium, Adelaide University. She joined BML as a librettist and lyricist in 2010, and "There Is a Princess in My Room" written with one of her BML writing partners, was a finalist for the 2015 Stiles and Drewe Competition.

Supported by Mercury Musical Developments

www.mercurymusicals.com

Supported by the PRS for Music Foundation

www.prsformusicfoundation.com

Supported by the Noel Coward Foundation

www.noelcoward.org

supported by the Binks Trust

 

© 2018 BOOK Music & Lyrics

 

Registered Charity Number ​1149333

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