Julian Woolford Theatre Director and Writer


 

JULIAN WOOLFORD is a British theatre director, playwright and lyricist, based in the UK and working internationally.
Julian's work has been seen in the West End, off-Broadway, in Germany, Australia, Poland, Holland and Austria. He has directed many British national tours and productions in regional theatres.
His plays and musicals have been produced in many theatres in the UK, the USA, New Zealand and  Bermuda.  
He is currently the Head of Postgraduate Musical Theatre at GSA (Guildford School of Acting at University of Surrey)

RECENT NEWS

25 May 2015: 'Advocaat van de Duivel' ('The Devil's Advocate') to tour Netherlands.
Julian's new adaptation of the novel by Andrew Neiderman will tour the Netherlands from November 2015 to May 2016. Further details here


14 April 2105: 'Sound of Music' completes sell-out run in Beirut. After playing a completely sold out run, 'The Sound of Music' with a cast led by Helena Blackman, Kieron Crook and Rebecca Caine has now ended. 
  

26 March 2015: 'Sound of Music' opens in Cairo. 
Julian's production of 'The Sound of Music' opened last night in Cairo to an enthusiastic reception. At the sold out performance, more than 2,000 people in the Uptown Cairo venue gave the show a standing ovation. 


1 January 2015: Julian to direct 'The Sound of Music' for JY Productions in Cairo and Beirut. Julian will direct a West End cast in Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic  musical in Egypt and Lebanon this spring. This will be the stage premiere of the musical in both countries and the first commercial musical to be staged in Cairo. 



4 April 2104: 'The Bakewell Bake Off' is now available for licensing through the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organisation. Further details here 

1 October 2013: 'Twang!!' goes into rehearsals. Julian's rewrite of Lionel Bart's infamous 'Twang!!' has gone into rehearsal at GSA and will play at the Ivy Theatre from 6 - 9 November, directed by Ian Talbot, choreographed by Kenn Oldfield and musical director is Oliver Jackson. Book tickets here.


1 October 2013: 'The Bakewell Bake Off' transfers to The Landor Theatre from 8 - 26 October. Following it's sell-out run at Waterloo East, the show moves to the Landor Theatre where it will play for three weeks. Schedule is Tuesday - Thursday 7.30pm,
Friday 7.00pm, Saturday 3.00pm and 7.30pm, Sunday 3.00pm. Book tickets here.


3 August 2013: Julian will be lecturing on two voyages for Cunard this summer:
New York to Southampton 15 - 22 August
Southampton to Monte Carlo 31 August - 8 July
Come and say 'hi' if you are onboard!

31 July 2013: Julian directs the Bakewell Bake-Off at Waterloo East Theatre from 7 - 10 August
.
Julian is directing a new British musical, written by students at GSA.
'Take seven eager contestants, three feuding judges and one confused hostess, add flour, eggs and sugar and mix together in a small village. Add the pressure of a baking competition and you've got a recipe for a hilarious musical comedy.'
You can get more details and book here
 

24 May 2013: Watch THE HUNTING SONG from THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST at the English Theatre of Hamburg. Music by Richard John, Lyrics by Julian Woolford, sung by Adrian Palmer as Duke Uke, Joel Sams as Algernon and George Evans as Jack



16 May 2013: HOW MUSICALS WORK is now available for Kindle here. It will be soon be released in other e-book formats soon.


28 April 2013: NEW MUSICAL WRITING COURSE announced at GSA (Guildford School of Acting at the University of Surrey). Julian has teamed up with David Spencer of New York's BMI Workshop to create a Short Course in Writing Musical Theatre. The course runs begins on 6th July  2013. Applications to take part must be received by May 31 2013. Further details here.

19 April 2013: THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE workshop takes place. Julian has written the Lyrics and the Book (in collaboration with Andrew Neiderman) for this new musical. Music is by the Dutch composer Sarif Tribou. The musical is based on the novel by Mr Neiderman, which was made into a movie starring Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino. The workshop featured John Owen Jones, Simon Bailey, Caroline Sheen, Robin Cousins, Kim Ismay, Richard Culkin, Tiffany Graves, Paul Baker, Melanie Le Barrie and a chorus of students from GSA (Guildford School of Acting).

8 April 2013: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST at The English Theatre of Hamburg is now SOLD OUT for the rest of the run! If you haven't booked by now, you've left it too late!

26 March 2013: Julian is appearing on the Queen Mary 2, lecturing as part of their QM2's 2013 World Voyage from now until the 10 April. Julian's popular lectures for this voyage will be on Musical Theatre and Musical Personalities and will include Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter and Liberace. Julian will be speaking in Illuminations



28 February 2013: Watch video of EARNEST in Hamburg. Excerpts of the production, set in 1958, can now be seen here.


22 February 2013: Pictures of IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST. Here's some images from the show. Book now!

        

    

21 February 2013: IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST opens in Hamburg. Julian's production opened tonight in Hamburg.

28 January 2013: Rehearsals begin for THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
Today is the first day of rehearsals for the production. More news as it is available.

25 January 2013: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST to feature 4 new songs.
Julian and Richard John have written 4 new songs for the production - but is definitely not a musical. The songs are to be performed between the scenes and are new comedy songs giving a decidedly 'period' feel to the work - but which period?

18 January 2013: Casting completed for THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
The full cast for Julian's production in at the English Theatre of Hamburg is: Francesca Bailey, Julia Barrie, George Evans, Graham Hoadly, Adrian Palmer, Joel Sams, Joanna Sawyer, Judith Street.

1 December 2012: HOW MUSICALS WORK is listed as one of The Stage's Top 10 training books of the year.

5 November: Julian to direct THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST in Hamburg
Julian will return to the English Theatre of Hamburg where he directed MRS WARREN'S PROFESSION to direct a new production of Oscar Wilde's classic, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, previewing from 18 February, opening 21 February and running until 28 April.
 

1 October: Julian to appear at Cheltenham Literature Festival
Julian is appearing at Cheltenham Literature Festival speaking about "How Musicals Work" wit West End luminaries Ruthie Henshall and Tom Chambers on 14 October. Book now. 

15 July: David Zippel on "How Musicals Work"
"A comprehensive and thoughtful guide to everything one must consider in order to write a successful musical. It would take at least a decade to learn all of this on one's own. Invaluable" David Zippel (Lyricist of City of Angels, The Woman in White and Disney's Hercules)

8 July: Pre-order the book for just £10 including p&p here

"If anyone knows how musicals work (I'm not sure I do), this highly entertaining dissection of every aspect of that bewildering art form reveals that Julian Woolford does."
Sir Tim Rice (Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Lion King)

Julian's book is published in July and is full of helpful advice on how to write a musical. 



10 December: Nottingham Post on JACK AND THE BEANSTALK: "A hundred and forty minutes of first-rate entertainment for all."

3 December: JACK AND THE BEANSTALK opens in Mansfield.

Panto season has kicked off with the opening of Julian's production in Mansfield. 

5 November: Julian has signed a contract with Nick Hern Books for a follow-up for his soon to be published book called HOW MUSICALS WORK.

5 September: **** (Four Stars) for BLUEBIRDS from WhatsOnStage.com

Great reviews keep coming in for BlueBirds. Read this one here

2 September: BLUEBIRDS now SOLD OUT for rest of run - but has added an extra performance, Saturday matinee. This will definitely be your last chance to see it. 

26 August: **** (Four Stars) from Boyz magazine for BLUEBIRDS

"Fast-paced and, at its climax, very moving indeed, BlueBirds will leave you misty and marvelling at the strength of the British bulldog spirit."

20 August: The Public Reviews on LIBERACE LIVE FROM HEAVEN:  "Smartly realised in Julian Woolford's well-researched script, the casting of seventies' talent show pianist Bobby Crush is a stroke of genius" 

11 August: LIBERACE LIVE FROM HEAVEN:  "His accent and manner are so eerily spot on, one might be forgiven for believing in ghosts." Edin Evening News

10 August: **** (Four Stars) in The Times for LIBERACE LIVE FROM HEAVEN

10 August: You can now follow Julian on Twitter: @Juian_Woolford

13 July: BLUEBIRDS to return to London

BLUEBIRDS, Julian's play with music set during the Second World War, will play at Above The Stag in Victoria from 17 August - 4 September.

As the Blitz rages across London, a plucky troupe of volunteers defies Hitler to keep their song and dance show running. But while it is all smiles and fun for the audience, the real drama is backstage as the war changes everyone's lives forever.  Packed with wartime classics, Bluebirds is a heartwarming story of courage and finding love where you least expect it.

Click this link to go to Above The Stag website.


1 July: LIBERACE LIVE FROM HEAVEN booking opens


Booking is now open for the show in Edinburgh. Got to this link for more information and booking details: Edinburgh Fringe Booking

16 May: LIBERACE LIVE FROM HEAVEN heads to Edinburgh

The show will play at will be playing in Edinburgh this year at Assembly George Square 1 from 3rd to 28th August at 6.30pm daily. More details to be announced soon.

20 March: Cabaret for THE MOUSETRAP FOUNDATION

Julian is staging a Fundraising Cabaret for the Mousetrap Foundation who run 15 innovative schemes to inspire young people to get involved in theatre. The Cabaret is on 27th March at the 20th Century Theatre in Notting Hill and stars Janie Dee, Clive Rowe, Patricia Hodge, Graham Seed, Jessica Martin and Sam Holmes. It is already sold out. Click here to go to go to Mousetrap Foundation Website. 

3 March: Rave Reviews for MRS WARREN'S PROFESSION

"The English Theatre of Hamburg's production of Mrs Warren's Profession is a tour de force that sweeps the audience away..." Hamburg Express. See more reviews and pictures here.

1 March: Video now online for MRS WARREN'S PROFESSION


24 February: MRS WARREN'S PROFESSION opens in Hamburg

Julian's production of George Bernard Shaw's classic is now playing at the English Theatre of Hamburg until the 23rd April. Go to the theatre's website for more details and online booking.


15 July: LIBERACE LIVE FROM HEAVEN opens in New Zealand

The New Zealand national tour of Liberace Live From Heaven is now playing and continues until the 19 August. Go to the show's website for more details and performance schedule.


1 July 2010: OKLAHOMA VIDEO ADVERT

Watch the new Oklahoma! video ad. This version is for Norwich Theatre Royal and features 3 minutes of highlights from the show.


25 June 2010: LIBERACE LIVE FROM HEAVEN PRE-NEW ZEALAND PERFORMANCES

The Crescent Theatre Bromyard hosted two performances of Liberace Live From Heaven prior to the show's tour of New Zealand which begins in Keri Keri on the 9th July.  Click here to go to the shows website.


23 June 2010: ROMEO AND JULIET OPENS

Performances of Romeo and Juliet began on the 17 June at Arts Educational Schools. Pictures will appear in the 'Director' section of the website when they are available. Composers Mike O'Neill and Peter Van Der Fluit flew in from New Zealand with their families for the opening and Andrew Lloyd Webber attended the 22 June performance. The show runs until the 26 June.

 

28 April 2010: ROMEO AND JULIET REHEARSALS BEGIN

Julian began rehearsals for a new production of ROMEO AND JULIET for Arts Ed School. This new rock musical version of the tale was workshopped last year and now has its first full production.


23 April 2010: TWANG!! READING

Julian's rewrite of Lionel Bart's infamous TWANG!! had a reading at Arts Educational School. A cast including Sarah Lark, Teddy Kempner, Ben Goddard, Kaisa Hummerland and Lionel Bart's close friend Peter Straker read the new book and sang the score that had not been sung since 1966. An audience of industry figures gave feedback and work continues on the piece.


24 March 2010: THE RAILWAY CHILDREN TO HAVE READING AT DRURY LANE

Julian and Richard John's musical THE RAILWAY CHILDREN will have a one-off reading at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on the 6th April to an invited industry audience as part of Mercury Musical Developments The Works season supported by the Noel Coward Foundation. 


24 March 2010: OKLAHOMA! OPENS TO RAVE REVIEWS

Julian's new production of OKLAHOMA! has opened to a fantastic reception and wonderful reviews. Read them on the Now Playing page.


22 February 2010: OKLAHOMA! REHEARSALS BEGIN

Rehearsals have begun for the new national tour of Oklahoma! The full cast is MARTI WEBB, GEMMA SUTTON, MICHELLE CROOK, BETH ANGHARAD, KATIE MCHARDY, ALEXANDRA GOTTSCHALL,  MICHELLE WHITE, ALEXANDRA GRIERSON, STEPHANIE BRON, MARK HENRY EVANS, JOSEPH PITCHER, VAS CONSTANTI, PETE GALLAGHER, GARY DAVIS, SEBASTIAN ROSE, BEN DIXON, DANIEL MACKINLAY, CHRIS GARDNER, LEWIS BUTLER, ADAM PHILPOTT                    STEPHEN WHITSON, LEON KAY, STE CLOUGH, BEN PALMER.

20 January 2010: MUSICAL STAGES MAGAZINE PROFILES JULIAN

The January edition of Musical Stages carries an interview with Julian and Richard John - and a rave review for Liberace Live From Heaven


18 January 2010: LIBERACE LIVE FROM HEAVEN TO TOUR NEW ZEALAND

Bobby Crush will reprise his role as Liberace in a tour of New Zealand opening in July 2010. Tour dates available on the Forthcoming page.


18 January 2010: FURTHER OKLAHOMA! CASTING ANNOUNCED

West End star Marti Webb will play Aunt Eller in Julian's forthcoming production of OKLAHOMA! and will be joined by Joseph Pitcher as Will Parker, Peter Gallagher as Jud Fry and newcomer Gemma Sutton as Laurey.


14 November 2009: OKLAHOMA! NATIONAL TOUR 2010

Julian will direct the new national tour of OKLAHOMA! opening in late March and touring the UK and Ireland until November 2010. Mark Evans will play Curly. More casting to be announced soon.


3 November 2009: LIBERACE LIVE FROM HEAVEN SOLD OUT

LIBERACE has now sold out it's run at Leicester Square Theatre. But it looks like he has not gone through the Pearly Gates for the last time...More news soon. Read the reviews here


14 October 2009: LIBERACE LIVE FROM HEAVEN PREVIEWS

Julian's new play, LIBERACE, LIVE FROM HEAVEN, is now previewing at London's Leicester Square Theatre. Bobby Crush plays Liberace in a re-examination of his life, featuring two special guest stars and some heavenly piano playing.


12 October 2009: 2 PIANOS, 4 HANDS SELLS OUT IN VIENNA

All remaining performances of 2 Pianos, 4 Hands are now sold out at Vienna's English Theatre. Check here for any news of remounts of the play. 


17 September 2009: 2 PIANOS, 4 HANDS OPENS IN VIENNA

Julian's production of 2 Pianos, 4 Hands opened in Vienna on Tuesday 15 September. The performance was followed by a Gala Reception hosted by the Canadian Ambassador.  Click here to see photos and reviews.


18 August 2009: REHEARSALS BEGIN FOR 2 PIANOS, 4 HANDS

Julian is currently rehearsing a new production of the Canadian play, 2 Pianos, 4 Hands for Vienna's English Theatre. The play stars Kevin Farrell and Steven Worbey, otherwise known as the comedy piano duo Katzenjammer, and runs in Vienna from 15 September - 17 October. See 'Forthcoming' for more details.


25 July 2009: LIBERACE LIVE FROM HEAVEN NOW ONSALE

Julian's new entertainment about Liberace, starring Bobby Crush is now onsale at Leicester Square Theatre, opening on 13 October. See "Forthcoming" page for more details.


20 July 2009 : TERMINAL FOUR PLAY AT LATITUDE FESTIVAL

Terminal Four Play, a new short musical piece with a libretto by Julian and music by Richard John, took Latitude Festival by storm over the weekend of the 16 - 19 July, in a world premiere performance staged by Lisa Spirling for Theatre 503 and starring VictorIa Hamilton Barrit and Noel Sullivan. The 10 minute piece was part of the Urban Sprawl project which also featured a new piece by Mark Ravenhill. The piece tells a sinister story of a baggage check in which nothing is what it seems.