"The musical numbers are full of drama and at times great sadness"
A YOUNGER THEATRE
Darren is a New Zealand born composer and lyricist working in the theatre in the UK. Since beginning his professional career in 2012, he has been commissioned to write music and lyrics for several national touring shows and his work has been heard in productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Off West End, Off-Broadway and in many regional UK houses.
Following his days as an Otago University student in NZ performing in countless musicals and plays, Darren left NZ for the UK to pursue a career as a songwriter in London town. Following several years on the singer/songwriter circuit and with his band Columbus Giant, Darren began to write music & lyrics for the theatre.
Along with Rhys Jennings, he is the inaugural recipient of the Music Theatre International Stiles & Drewe Mentorship Award and his songs have appeared as finalist in the Stiles & Drewe Best New Song Competition on three separate occasions, winning runner-up in 2015. He has been a finalist in the Iris Theatre XMas Factor Awards for the past three years, winning the Iris Theatre Panel Award in 2014, The Audience Runner Up Prize in 2015 and The Audience Award in 2016. His musicals have been licensed in the USA and Australia, his work has been showcased in the national BEAM Showcase in London and NAMT in New York.
Darren was a member of the BML Advanced Songwriting Workshop, a weekly development workshop for four years. He is also a member of the MMD Advanced Composer & Lyricist Lab where he continues to learn his craft.
As a teacher and workshop leader Darren has taught at some of the UK's leading drama schools including The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, The Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, Chichester Conservatoire, Leeds Conservatoire and Rose Bruford.
He is a founding member of Paper Balloon Theatre Company, dedicated to making original theatre for, with and by young audiences. Paper Balloon have now created several shows including Night Light at the Camden Fringe, a UK tour of The Grumpiest Boy in the World by Finegan Kruckemeyer, the utterly bonkers Christmas show Once Upon a Snowflake with the Moscow Puppet Theatre and most recently the original shanty story The Boy and the Mermaid.
Darren is passionate about being part of an ethnically and culturally diverse theatrical future and aims to reflect this in the making of all his theatrical projects. He is the founder of New UK Musicals, a project developed to help get the work of new musical theatre writers into the hands of performers through providing a platform for their sheet music. www.newukmusicals.co.uk