“Cycles,” which went on to be performed as part of Jermyn Street Theatre’s ‘Passing the Torch’ Festival; and “Dave the Less-than-
Average Fairy” the idea for which was Michael’s, which he claims steered him towards musical writing in the first place.
Michael and Claire’s partnership is an unusual one, as they mastered a long distance writing relationship early on. Claire lives in London, working at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), while Michael when he is not touring with various shows/bands lives in Birmingham, where he spearheaded the now renowned Musical Theatre West Midlands (MTWM) collective. As such, they often write separately (or via Google Chat!), only coming together for infrequent face-to-face writing sessions two or three times a year. However, this system suits them both, as their jobs keep them extremely busy. Besides technology has all but removed the need for actual contact, right?
Book & Lyrics
Claire Rivers trained in Creative Writing (BA) at Roehampton University, where she specialised in Fiction and Poetry, as well as completing modules in Screenwriting, Writing for Television, Journalism, Lifewriting, Critical Skills, and English Literature.
Despite being a lifelong musical aficionado, Claire did not formally approach pairing words with music until she attended Goldsmiths College. She graduated with an MA in Musical Theatre (as a bookwriter/lyricist) in 2012, for which she received a distinction.
Claire is an active member of Mercury Musical Developments, supporting new musical writers and creatives, and part of the Women Who Write Musicals collective, who recently completed their first immersive theatre project “Tiny Shows.”
Claire’s writing credits include: “Cycles” (Jermyn Street Theatre); “Tall, Thin and Blonde” (workshop Tristan Bates Theatre); “Letter to Myself” (Tristan Bates Theatre, Guildford Star); “First Day of Summer” (LOST Theatre Festival 2013 – WINNER with Tom Lees); “Afterlife” (Guildford Star); “Dave the LessthanAverage Fairy” (The Actor’s Centre); “That Man” (lyricist based on music of Caro Emerald, Fringe on the Fringe Festival); “One of Those Days” (LOST Theatre, with Thomas Lees); “Songs From the Shower” (London Theatre Workshop, Guilford Fringe Festival); “Tiny Shows” (So and So Arts); “A Comfy Kind of Christmas” (Pheasantry).
Michael is a composer, musical director and musician with over 16 years experience in the theatre and music industry, holding a BA (Hons) in Popular Music Studies from Bretton Hall and an MA in Musical Theatre from Goldsmiths.
Composer and arranger credits and commissions include Mad About The Musicals (UK Tour), the opening ceremony of the 2009 GB Special Olympics, The Teaching Awards ceremony and the BBC. More recently, Musical Theatre composition credits include Cycles (Jermyn Street Theatre), composing facilitator for the Geraldine Connor Foundation Summer School and 1st Impressions (Page to Stage – Landor Theatre). His new musical Dave, The Less Than Average Fairy was showcased at the Tristan Bates Theatre (London) in September 2013, and he is currently working on an upcoming musical adaptation of Tall, Thin & Blonde by Dyan Sheldon.
Musical Director credits include Saturday Night Fever (Scandinavia), Carnival Dreams (Ashcroft Theatre), The West End Experience (UK Tour), The Jungle Book (MD & Co-arranger, West Yorkshire Playhouse), Love Changes Everything (UK Tour), Carnival Messiah (Royal Albert Hall, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Queens Hall Trinidad, Harewood House), The Wizard of Oz, Annie, Bugsy Malone (Redditch Palace Theatre) The West End Experience (Somerset House, St Ives Guildhall), The Magic of Eurovision (Holland Tour), Goodnight Mr Tom and Animal Farm (Redditch Palace Theatre), A Waiting Room For Journeying Souls (Peepul Centre, Leicester) and Fire in Ice (West Yorkshire Playhouse).
Keyboard / Programming credits including Little Shop of Horrors and The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (West Yorkshire Playhouse).
Michael is currently Musical Supervisor for Paul Holman Associates, overseeing their nationwide roster of pantomime productions. Musical Director and programming credits for Pantomime include Aladdin, Snow White, Mother Goose, Jack & The Beanstalk, Beauty & The Beast and Peter Pan (Paul Holman Associates), and Cinderella, Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty (Jordan Productions).
Aside from performing, Michael is the director of Artsphere Creative, (www.artspherecreative.uk), a digital agency providing web and media services for the creative industries.