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Will Gregory Joins RSC Winter Season

The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced that singer-songwriter Will Gregory will compose the music for a new production of William Shakespeare's rarely performed tale of a nation in turmoil, King John, directed by Eleanor Rhode.

Will Gregory formed electronic pop group Goldfrapp in 1999 alongside bandmate Alison Goldfrapp. Together they have released seven albums, most recently 'Silver Eye' in 2017, and scored a string of hits including 'Strict Machine', 'Ooh La La', 'Lovely Head' and 'A&E'.

The multi-platinum selling band have been nominated for the Mercury Prize, multiple Grammy Awards and won an Ivor Novello for 'Strict Machine'. Goldfrapp have also scored the soundtracks to the films 'My Summer of Love' and 'Nowhere Boy' and wrote the music for Carrie Cracknell's acclaimed production of Medea for The National Theatre.

Outside of Goldfrapp, Will Gregory has performed with artists including Tears for Fears, Peter Gabriel, The Cure, Portishead and Michael Nyman. His first opera; 'Picard in Space' premiered at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2011 and in 2014 he was commissioned to produce a piece for orchestra and Moog, performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Gregory also wrote part of the score for the National Theatre of Scotland's 'James III' trilogy in 2016 which was subsequently performed nationally. Gregory is currently scoring the TV series 'Serengeti' executive produced by Simon Fuller as well as the 'The Nature Of Why' with the British Paraorchestra at the Bristol Old Vic.

His other passion is "The Will Gregory Moog Ensemble", a ten-piece orchestra of Mono Synths that is touring this year including dates at the Barbican in London, and the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.

Will Gregory said; 'I think Shakespeare is still one of the most important voices across all of the arts. His work has a musical dimension for me. His poetry manages to condense meaning in a super charged way that sits outside reality and we understand it with some part of our eternal self that has nothing to do with the everyday. Personally, I love the challenge of writing music for the stage. Hopefully, the score will add a fourth dimension to the audience's experience of watching King John... like an extra cast member that Shakespeare might have added, had he been familiar with a synthesiser!'

Bruce O'Neil, RSC Head of Music, said; 'We commission new music for every production at the Royal Shakespeare Company, from some of the best composers in the business, and perform the music live. Shakespeare's plays are full of music, and its importance as part of the theatrical experience in Stratford is reflected in a fine tradition of composing talent that goes back to the opening of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in 1879. Will is a unique composing talent - and I'm very much looking forward to hearing his music for King John.'

King John is directed by Eleanor Rhode in her debut at the RSC. Eleanor's recent work includes Rust for The Bush/Hightide, the UK premiere of Blue Door for Theatre Royal Bath, Boudica by Tristan Bernays for The Globe Theatre and Wendy and Peter Pan for the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh.

The production is designed by Max Johns Lighting by Lizzie Powell, Music by Will Gregory, Sound by David Gregory, Movement by Tom Jackson Greaves and Fights by Rachel-Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown.

King John will be filmed for later broadcast to cinemas as part of our Live From Stratford-upon-Avon series.

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