b y P A U L B O Y D
original book, music, and lyrics • director
Paul Alexander Boyd is the multi award-nominated writer and composer of 23 stage musicals that have been presented in professional productions around the world. He is also the composer of dozens of original scores and soundtracks for professional theatre productions across Ireland and the UK, the co-creator and co-director of a series of internationally acclaimed water spectaculars, the writer of various plays that have toured nationally, and a stage director who has enjoyed successful collaborations with many leading theatre producers.
In 1992 whilst a theatre student at University of Ulster Paul’s first musical, the comedy Macbeth The Musical, was staged as a student production. The show was spotted by a producer and remounted for a run at Northern Ireland’s Riverside Theatre from where it transferred to Belfast’s Group Theatre for the 1992 Belfast Festival. It also toured in 1994 supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
After graduation Paul formed award-winning theatre company Kabosh Productions and served as the company’s first Artistic Director until 1997. Kabosh has remained active in Belfast and in 2014 celebrated its 20th Anniversary as a major Arts Council revenue funded organisation.
During his time as head of the company Paul continued to write shows for professional production, and his works during this period include the musicals Who Framed Esmerelda?, A Christmas Carol, The Elves and The Shoemaker, Torch Song Trilogy (adapted from the play by Harvey Fierstein), Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel & Grettel, and the plays All Wired Up and Murder Most Probably.
The 1996 Irish tour of Torch Song Trilogy was so successful that the show was revived by the Arts Council for a second tour in the same year, Hansel & Grettel has become one of Paul’s most produced shows and has gone on to enjoy professional productions around the world, All Wired Up won the coveted Greer Garson Theatre Award for Best New Play and ran on the London fringe, and Murder Most Probably was named Best Serial at the Bloscar Awards when it was serialised online for its tenth anniversary in 2006.
In 1998 Paul was commissioned by Northern Ireland’s national producing theatre the Lyric Theatre Belfast to write Alice The Musical. Since its premiere the show has been staged regularly in the UK and Ireland as well as in other countries across the globe, with major productions in Australia, Germany, Japan, and the USA. The 2009 Miami production of the show broke box office records at The Miracle Theatre, was revived for a second sell-out run later the same year, and most recently returned to The Miracle Theatre for a third production from January - March 2015, again breaking previous box office records.
Following the success of Alice The Musical, the Lyric Theatre Belfast went on to stage a number of Paul’s hit musicals, including a record-breaking revival of Hansel & Grettel in 1999 (still the most commercially successful production in the venue’s long history), the premiere of the rock musical McCool (commissioned and co-produced with Big Telly Theatre Company), and Red - The Red Riding Hood Musical (commissioned and first produced by An Grianan Theatre Letterkenny). The Lyric Theatre also commissioned Paul to write original scores for a number of productions, including the acclaimed plays Marching On and A Whistle In The Dark.
Other shows written and professionally produced during this time include the musicals Smelly Won’t Behave!, The Snow Queen, Teacher’s Notes, and the youth productions The Space Pirates and The Nutcracker Musical (both for StageCoach Theatre Arts). Paul wrote the original scores for Irish touring productions of the plays Dome Sweet Dome, Buster (also produced at The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh), A Fairy’s Tale, The Colleen Bawn, The Playboy of the Western World, The Thief, Flaming Fables, and The Magic Hat (which also toured across Asia). He scored Belfast Grand Opera House’s production of the hit play Lay Up Your Ends (which starred the playwright, Olivier Award winner and Tony Award nominee Marie Jones), and his commissions for Belfast City Council include the original score for the 2005 Belfast Lord Mayor’s Parade, the symphony Titanic: Song of the Hammers which welcomed visitors to an anniversary exhibition in Belfast at the site of Titanic’s launch, and a special soundtrack written to celebrate Belfast City Hall’s 100th Anniversary in 2006.
In 2003 Northern Ireland’s Marketplace Theatre commissioned Paul to write a new musical version of Pinocchio. Since then the show has been staged many times across the UK and Ireland, and the 2006 production of the show at Lyric Theatre Belfast was nominated as Best Production for Children and Young People at the TMA Theatre Awards.
The Castle Theatre Wellingborough has commissioned Paul’s musicals The Tale of the Beauty and The Tail of the Beast (since staged in various productions across the UK), The Emperor’s New Clothes, and Sleeping Beauty.
Paul has written many shows and original scores for Northern Ireland’s longest-established theatre production company Big Telly Theatre Company, including the internationally acclaimed water spectaculars The Little Mermaid and Sinbad, the comedy Spike Milligan’s Puckoon (which toured Ireland in 2009 and again in 2011 prior to a run in the West End), and the musical The Haunting of Helena (co-written with novelist Bernie McGill). Two songs from The Haunting of Helena were shortlisted for the 2010 Stiles & Drewe Prize for Best Song From A New Musical and were performed at the Queen’s Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue.
Also in 2010 the Lyric Theatre Belfast commissioned Paul’s musical comedy Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory. The show was based on his 2006 mini musical of the same name that was shortlisted for the Mackintosh Foundation’s Quest For A New Musical. Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory premiered at the Lyric Theatre in a staged concert version in October 2011, was remounted for a full production in 2012 prior to a critically acclaimed run at the Assembly Rooms throughout the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (co-produced with The Stand Comedy Club), and then previewed in London as a staged concert at the Phoenix Artist Club throughout March 2014 garnering no fewer than five nominations at the 2014 BroadwayWorld West End Awards, including for Paul as ‘Best Director’. Molly Wobbly’s Tit Factory eventually opened in the West End at Leicester Square Theatre in January 2015. The best selling original cast recording of the show is still available in stores and online.
Northern Ireland’s Theatre at The Mill commissioned and produced two new musicals by Paul; his adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic “Notre Dame de Paris” as Hunchback The Musical (2013) and subsequently Paul’s twenty-third original stage musical, the Christmas fantasy Tinseltown (2014). Both shows were critically acclaimed.
Paul directed two record-breaking productions of the pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for UK Productions, at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre in 2015 and the Assembly Hall Theatre in Royal Tunbridge Wells in 2016, starring Su Pollard. Also in 2016 he directed and produced the variety show Live At The Tower at the Tower of London hosted by David Suchet with a cast of stars from the West End and celebrities from stage and screen, he appeared in the hit stage comedy Spike Milligan’s Puckoon which returned on UK and Ireland tour, and directed the staged concert of the new musical Caro Emerald musical That Man at London's Hippodrome Casino.
Most recently Paul directed two showcases of new musicals at London's The Other Palace theatre, produced by The Other Palace/Mercury Musical Developments/Rob Hartmann, and directed the new family rock opera Beauty and the Beast (named as one of the Top 5 Shows to See in all of Ireland by RTE) at the Lyric Theatre Belfast. He is working on a number of new projects throughout 2018, including the 20th Anniversary production of Alice the Musical which runs at the Lyric Theatre Belfast from 29th November 2018.
Paul lives in London and is represented by Keddie Scott Associates. As well as mentoring writers of new musicals, Paul is the administrator of BOOK Music & Lyrics - the UK's only ongoing workshop programme for the creation, crafting and development of musical theatre writing and related specialist skills.
For more information and for audio samples, photos, and videos of his many shows visit his web site at paulboydmusic.com (click here).