Alumni: Our musical talent

How do you train to be an actor musician?
Article from The Stage, with comments from Rose Bruford alumni Stephanie Rutherford (AM 2015).

Actor Musicianship MA/MFA

Leave on a light - Christian Powlesland (AM 2020)
A music crowd-funding project in support of the NHS, organised by Christian and performed by the Rose Bruford virtual choir.

Haruka Abe (ETA, 2006)
Stars in the video for Rather be by Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne.

Peter Addis (TA, 1993)
Peter initially performed in many typical Actor-Musician shows such as Return to the Forbidden Planet; From a Jack to a King and Buddy on tour and in the West End. Later he was, for over seven years, the London Associate Director for the hit ABBA musical Mamma Mia!

Shot of Paul Aitken Paul Aitken
Graduating from Rose Bruford in 1971, Paul has been a musican and perfomer with The Retros since 1965. He has also been heavily involved in music as Director of Catslick Music since 1982. Showreel:

Harvey Badger, Ryan Anderson, Caitlin Lavagna, Jacob Powell (AM, 2020)
Big Wednesday (band's website)
Getting to know ... Big Wednesday (interview) 
Group of four actor-musicians

Barkus Munx - on Spotify
Self-produced duo comprising Silas Wyatt-Barke and Max Runham.
Max Runham and Silas Wyatt-Barke

Head shot of Rachel Bennett Rachel Bennett 
Rachel has worked as a freelance musician/composer/voice coach, MD and choir mistress for over 25 years. Rachel leads her own band / duo outfit RAIE currently performing Rhythm ‘n Blues on London’s live music circuit and sings background vocals for Lyanna Austin and for the Dani Clay Function Band. She also teaches singing for the Popular Music Degree at Goldsmiths University of London and has worked with Entelechy Arts Meet Me Choir. Her latest recording Earthbound has received acclaim from Blue Matters magazine. 

Head shot of Charlotte Bicknell  Charlotte Bicknell
She has had a career in acting and performed in various musicals including touring the successful comedy musical act Kissing the goldfish. She now performs her true passion, jazz.

Olivia Birchenough (ETA, 2012)
She was one of the celebrities singing Rock with Rudolph (2018) in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Rock with Rudolph

Group of performers including Olivia Birchenough

Katie Brayben (AM, 2003) 
Head shot of Katie Brayben Cover for Beautiful: the Carole King musical 
She is known for her portrayal of Carole King in Beautiful, and Winner of 2015 Olivier Awards for Best Actress in a Musical. She appeared as Sophie Sheridan in Mamma Mia! (2008-09) and in Girl from the North Country (2019-2020).
West End unplugged Ep.4 features, among other stars, Katie Brayben (mins 16-27) singing Tom Waits' Picture in a frame. She then chats about her performance in Beautiful when Carole King herself appeared on stage. And rounds off singing Joni Mitchell's Both sides now:

Emma Bull (LD, 2003) 
She has worked as assistant to Kylie Minogue's Creative Director, on photo-shoots, video shoots and tours and during 2006/7 she was stylist and Head of Wardrobe for Minogue as well as Costume and Wig Supervisor on her Homecoming tour, directed by William Baker. She has also worked alongside Baker creating tours for Il Divo and Westlife and assisted him in styling the Britney Spears' Circus tour. Emma has directed numerous TV performances and tours for artists signed to Simon Cowell's record label, Syco, including Leona Lewis, One Direction, Harry Styles & Labrinth as well as many non-Sony artists including Ellie Goulding.
Profile in the Express newspaper  
Image from the Kylie Showgirl

Neil Carter (AM, 1998)
He has written music for TV and film - including The muppets most wanted which he considers his best and most ridiculous work. After working in several London primary schools teaching music and drama, he joined the National Theatre as a learning associate. Later, with Luke Hollowell-Williams, he founded The Primary Shakespeare Company, an Arts Educational charity.
 Lyrics for 2017 Festival Song
In 2019 Neil was Musical Director on And the rest of me floats (Bush Theatre):  
Group shot of cast from And the rest of me floats

Upper body image of Gabrielle Chiararo Gabrielle Chiararo  (AM, 2000)
Gabrielle is a singer who has recorded several albums such as Jazz Schema under her name and Acoustic Bossa Caravan under the name Flor De Lis.
Listen to Samba da Bencao — Gabrielle Chiararo |
Sensual Elegance on Spotify Sensual Elegance 
The Breakfast Club de Paris on YouTube The Breakfast Club de Paris 

Rosalie Craig (AM, 2001)
Head shot of Rosalie Craig   
Evening Standard Award Winner and Olivier Award nominee for The Light Princess.  She appeared in the premiere of musical, at Palace Theatre, Manchester and in September 2018, Rosalie began appearing alongside Patti LuPone in a revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical Company. She played the lead role of 'Bobbie,' reimagined for the first time as a woman.
Q&A with Rosalie Craig Q&A with Rosalie Craig 
Don't rain on my parade (singing - audio only) from BBC Radio 2's Friday Night is Music Night - Independence Day concert on 4th July, 2014.

Her acceptance speech on being awarded a Fellowship at Rose Bruford:  Acceptance speech.

David Crellin (TA, 1988)
Lullaby from Innocent bystander (EP) (audio only) Lullaby
Short of perfection (Everyday Records) Short of perfection

Tom Dunlea (AM, 2011) 
Played Ringo star in the biopic Cilla (2014)and previously had appeared in the film Jimi: all as by my side (2013) about the life of Jimi Hendrix.

Tom Dunlea in character in Jimi: All is by my side
André 3000, Oliver Bennett, and Tom Dunlea in Jimi: all is by my side (2013).

David Fallon and Sophie Bevan (both AM, 2019)
Book by Sophie Bevan; music and lyrics by David Fallon 
A new musical piece inspired by the New York ACT UP activists, written as part of the 2019 L6 New Writing Season at Hoxton Hall.
By your side, from Life apparently, performed by James McDowall:

David Fallon showreel

Barry Farrimond (MUS TECH, 2004)
He co-founded Open Up Music in 2014 and has overseen a range of ambitious projects including the launch of the National Open Youth Orchestra (NOYO) - the world's first disabled-led national youth orchestra. He was awarded an MBE in 2018 for his services to Accessible Music Technology.
The first commission by the National Open Youth Orchestra, the world's first disabled-led national youth orchestra, the Umbrella won a British Composer Award in 2018.
National Open Youth Orchestra

Peter French (TA, 1984)
Biography | Peter French Music

Cover of Peter French's album
Listen to a couple of his tracks on SoundCloud.

Al Gregg & David Schaal (TA, 1988)
Reality Chokes - Title song by Sonic Generation from Punk play 'Reality Chokes', with live music, written by Al Gregg & David Schaal, directed by Chris Jury for London Ensemble at Pentameters Theatre, Hampstead, May 2008:

Paul Hart (DIR, 2008) and others (AM alumni)
Watermill Theatre
A converted Watermill in rural West Berkshire, which seats just 220 people.
Artistic Director is Paul Hart (DIR, 2008) and one of the Associate Artists is Tarek Merchant (AM, 2008). Members of the Watermill Ensemble include Joey Hickman (AM, 2011), Lucy Keirl (AM, 2015), Peter Mooney (AM, 2014), Lauryn Redding (AM, 2009), Ned Rudkins-Stow (AM, 2015), Max Runham (AM, 2012), Mike Slader (AM, 2009), and Tom Sowinski (AM, 2014)

Kiss Me Kate trailer (2019) with Tom Sowinski (AM, 2014), Sheldon Greenland (AM 2013) and Chioma Uma (AM, 2019) in the cast:

James Hastings and Joel Nash (both AM, 2018) 
Pardoned (2018)
Book by Joel Nash; music & lyrics by James Hastings.
A musical that dramatises the incredible life story WW2 codebreaker Alan Turing who was convicted for being gay. The show also shines a light on John Nicolson MP’s unsuccessful attempt to pass the Turing Bill through Parliament. The Turing Bill, which was rejected by the government, was a piece of legislation that would have cleared the criminal records of gay men who were convicted for crimes that are no longer illegal. 

David Hewson (AM, 2009)  
Co-Director of Dumbwise (founded 2008) with Artistic Director John Ward, (DIR, 2008) and Stage Manager Ceri Payne (SM, 2009).
Scene 1 of a rehearsed reading of a new musical adaptation of "The Scarlet Letter" by David Hewson, recorded Nov 2019 at St. Paul's church, Covent Garden as part of Iris Theatre's Workin' Process season:  

Jessica Jolleys (AM, 2019)
Pantomime starring role for visually impaired actor-musician.
A visually impaired actor has won a starring role in a rock'n'roll version of the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk. Jessica was born with two eye conditions she inherited from her father, who is now completely blind. But that has not stopped her from taking the stage as Jill at Theatr Clwyd in Mold, Flintshire.

 Jessica Jolleys in performance   Jessica Jolleys with mic in hand

Anelia Kadieva (Jonsson) 
Anelia graduated from the Directing course in 1999 but has since worked extensively in opera, as a stage director and as a librettist, including Staatsoper Hamburg, Malmö Opera, GöteborgsOperan, Det Kongelige Teater/Operaen, Opera North, Opéra national de Lorraine, Bayerische Staatsoper, Mariinsky Theatre, English National Opera, English Touring Opera, Real Teatro di San Carlo and is now an anchor for Sveriges Radio P2.

Elva Makins (1978)
The Makins and Cornish songbook featuring 12 original musical theatre songs by Elva Makins and Kasper Cornish.

Cover for the Makins and Cornish songbook

Sonia Malasarte
The Metro Manila Community Orchestra is a 50-piece community-based orchestra established in March 2000 and composed of young musicians. It was set up by Dr. Patricia Licuanan and Sonia Malasarte Roco (graduated 1966), wife/widow of Filipino senator and Presidential candidate Raul Roco.

Darius McFarlane (ETA 2018), with Jake Setters (ACT 2018) & Hamish McIntyre (SM 2019) 

Jake Setters, Darius McFarlane and Hamish McIntyre
Latekid is an artistic alter ego embodied by Darius McFarlane and truly brought to life when performed as a band alongside Jake Setters, Antosh Wojcik and Hamish McIntyre. Using music and poetry as the foundation for work – with influences from Jazz, Electronica and Indie – Latekid is a cross-arts experiment made not only for intense music gigs, but intimate and honest artistic and theatrical performances. To date they have performed  at Boiler Room, Tate Modern, Bush Theatre, Roundhouse and The Jazz Café. 
Manor The Latekid (soundcloud
Latekid at the Roundhouse (YouTube)

Head shot of Tarek Merchant playing the accordion Tarek Merchant
Since graduating in 2008 with a First-Class degree in Actor-Musicianship (to supplement his First Class degree in music from York University), Tarek has been working widely across the UK, Europe and North America as a much sought-after Musical Director, Composer, Arranger, and performing Actor-Musician. He made his professional debut as Show MD of Sunset Boulevard, and recently returned to MD the RSC West End transfer of Don Quixote. He was the MD for the RSC tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation in 2016, which was accompanied by the BBC Documentary series The Best Bottoms In The Land. As composer, Tarek has created a range of new scores for theatre productions, including Christmas shows for the Watermill Theatre, Orange Tree Theatre, and Edinburgh Lyceum, as well as composing the songs for the BBC 4 radio play Big In Samoa. For many years Tarek has been Musical Supervisor for the 3rd Year Actor Musician’s musical production at Rose Bruford. 
Practitioners on Practice: On composing: an interview with Tarek Merchant

Joseph Millson
Played Raoul in Love never dies (2010), the Lloyd-Webber sequel to Phantom of the opera.
Why does she love me? 
Just prior to lockdown he was playing Mr Banks in Mary Poppins.
Mary Poppins West End: first day of rehearsals:

Stacey Oristano
After  graduating from Rose Bruford College Stacey was seen as Annelle in the West End production of Steel Magnolias. She then moved to New York City where she toured with Cabaret (as Sally Bowles) and performed in Urinetown, The Spitfire Grill and The Wild Party. She is also a seasoned concert vocalist, having sung in concerts in London, New York, and Dallas. 

Sam Palladio (AM, 2008)
Stars as Gunnar Scott in the ABC musical drama series Nashville, and was also lead singer in a band called Salt Water Thief.

Nailing the Nashville accent: two interviews 2012 and 2014
Nailing the Nashville accent and again
Scene and Duet 'It ain't yours to throw away" with co-star Clare Bowen (2014) 
It ain't yours to throw away
Count on me (2015)
Count on me 
Emma Berglund chats with Sam Palladio about his role as Prince Edward in The Princess Switch: Switched Again. Interview.
Actor Sam Palladio talks about his career so far and about ... pasties!  Lewis Nicholls Show

Sam Palladio on The One Show
Image from The One Show showing Sam Palladio

Lauryn Redding (AM, 2009)
Appeared in A comedy of errors at Shakespeare’s Globe in September 2010 'playing a range of parts and several instruments'. In 2017 she was part of the Watermill Shakespeare ensemble, and was in Oh what a lovely war at the Oldham Coliseum.

David Rodigan (TA, 1974)
Awarded and MBE for his services to music (2012) and awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government for his promotion of Jamaican music (2020).
Boiler Room #67 London set (c.60mins)
Boiler Room #67

Together / Rain
Together / Rain

Alexa Romanes
Alexa graduated from Rose Bruford College in 1967 and with Lustleigh composer William Carnell she produced a cantata based on the weird and wonderful legends of Dartmoor. 

Nick Sayce (AM, 2005) 
Drum solo for 'Sunny afternoon'
"One of the parts I covered in Sunny Afternoon was Mick the drummer. I needed a drum solo for about two minutes under a spotlight so I needed something quick and hard, and I came up with this":

Starred as Jerry Allison in the Buddy Holly story, here performing That'll be the day (with Nick Sayce on drums):

Salka Sol (AM, 2013)
One of the Icelandic exchange students. Here singing 'Me and Bobby McGee':

Salka Sól og Valdimar - Litli Trommuleikarinn (Little Drummer): 

Vikki Stone (AM, 2003 - left in 2nd year)
From 1999-2001 she was a member of the National Youth Music Theatre, performing in various productions then trained as an actor/musician at Rose Bruford College (leaving c.2003) and went on to do a postgraduate course at the Royal Academy of Music. She has composed several musical works including The Thing That Matters (2016) commissioned by the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain which received its world premier at the Royal Albert Hall and the orchestral work The Concerto for Comedian and Orchestra (2017), which was premiered at the Glastonbury festival in June 2017. She has also written the musicals The Zoological society  and Southbound.

Lucie Jones sings "Marvin" from new digital musical #ZoologicalSociety by Vikki Stone and Katie Mulgrew


Vikki Stone plays "The typewriter" by Leroy Anderson with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra:

Danny Tull (MUS TECH, 1998)
He started editing video at Metropolis Video in London's Neal's Yard in 1998 working on music videos, documentaries, television, commercial and non-commercial, editing music videos for artists such as Madonna, Jamiroquai, Manic Street Preachers, Justin Timberlake and Moby.

In 2012, Tull directed and edited Madonna Live at Paris Olympia which was broadcast live on YouTube.
Danny Tull YouTube channel
Includes the short film Havana with Rhianna and Elle; a trailer for the MDNA tour by Madonna and (nothing to do with music) the Armani Jeans advert featuring Cristiano Ronaldo.


Shot of Yngvil holding trumpet 
Yngvil Vatn Guttu

Yngvil is a composer, musician, theatre director and performer, writer, educator and community activist.  Born in Oslo, Norway she left to study theatre and music at Rose Bruford College in London, graduating in 1991.  She went to Alaska on a theatre tour in 2002 and decided to stay. She ran several youth theatre companies before she decided to focus on her own projects – including EnviroBEATAntiFREEZEConNECT and Spenard JazzFest as well as her own music. The Boochever Award helped fund her debut album Akutaq (2010) and she recently released the sequel Plan B in Anchorage and Oslo (2011). Future plans include an album with songs and a recording with her favourite instrument, the Norwegian willow flute – and an Anchorage Jazz Festival.

Kevin Wallace (Fellow)
Graduated from Rose Bruford College in 1978 and in January 2002 he re-established Kevin Wallace Limited (KWL), to produce musicals and plays. Later he was in-house producer with Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group (RUG) for eight years. He established productions of The Phantom of the Opera in Belgium, Switzerland, Mexico and Denmark; a US tour of Cats; the original production of Sunset Boulevard, and produced the new production of Sunset Boulevard. He produced the UK tour of Jesus Christ Superstar
and won an International Emmy Award in 2001 as Executive Producer of the film based on that production. Wallace also produced the Broadway production of Jesus Christ Superstar that received a 2000 Tony Award Nomination for Best Musical Revival. With Saul Zaentz he produced The Lord of the Rings directed by Matthew Warchus.

Zoe West and the hanging baskets
Zoe West, Benjamin Rose, Adriana Perucca, Eben James, Jack Blakey (all AM 2017)
"The Hanging Baskets have been playing together since 2015 after meeting at prestigious drama school Rose Bruford College"
Zoe West and the Hanging baskets

Sarah Whittuck
Audrey in The little shop of horrors (Lyric Theatre, Belfast) and Miranda in Return to the forbidden planet (Regional tour). She also played the part of Lucy Locket in The beggars opera (Lyric Theatre, Belfast), the Kid in Pal Joey (Theatre Royal, York) and Kit Kat Girl in Cabaret (Octagon Theatre, Bolton). 
Picture of Sarah Whittuck in Mack and Mabel 

Sarah Whittuck (far left) as Lottie in Mack and Mabel at the Criterion Theatre, London, 2006. 
Interview with Sarah as she takes on a role in Blonde Bombshells of 1943. Interview

Phil Wilmott (TA, 1988)
He trained as an actor at Rose Bruford in the 1980s and was made a fellow of the college in 2012. ​​He has been one of the most commissioned musical theatre writer/composer in the UK and Britain’s foremost director of Ancient Greek drama. 
Phil Willmott homepage
Musicals by Phil Willmott:
Mrs Einstein - a new musical by Phil Willmott
Can-Can: a new Offenbach musical. Written and directed by Phil Willmott
Relativity: the Einstein musical by Phil Willmott
The Giles family musical by Phil Willmott
Carmen: a new musical theatre production. The Phil Willmott company.
His Indian boyfriend: a new contemporary musical inspired by Cyrano de Bergerac. 
Princess Caraboo: a new musical by Phil Willmott

Emma Wray (TA, 1986)
Best known for starring as 'Brenda Wilson' in the Granada Television sitcom Watching between 1987 and 1993, for which she also sang the theme tune What Does He See In Me? 

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