Julian Woolford


Head of Musical Theatre. Programme Leader for BA Musical Theatre.

Biography

University roles and responsibilities

  • Head of Musical Theatre
  • Programme Leader BA Musical Theatre

    Previous roles

    2012 - 2016
    Programme Leader MA Musical Theatre
    GSA

    My publications

    Publications

    Julian Woolford (2012). HOW MUSICALS WORK
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    "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  "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 Musicals are the most popular form of stage entertainment today, with the West End and Broadway dominated by numerous long-running hits. They can be gloriously life-affirming spectaculars, swelling both the hearts of audiences, and the wallets of their writers. But for every Wicked or Phantom of the Opera, there are dozens of casualties that didn't fare quite so well. In this book, Julian Woolford explores the musical theatre canon to explain why and how some musicals work, why some don't, and what you should (and shouldn't) do if you're thinking of writing your own. Drawing on his experience as a successful writer and director of musicals, and as a lecturer in writing musicals, Woolford outlines every step of the creative process, from hatching the initial idea and developing a structure for the work, through creating the book, the music and the lyrics, and on to the crucial process of rewriting (as Sondheim said, Musical comedies aren't written, they are rewritten ). He then guides the reader through getting a musical produced, with invaluable advice about generating future productions and sustaining a career. The book includes dozens of exercises to assist the novice writer in developing their craft, and detailed case studies of well-known musicals such as Les Misérables, The Sound of Music, Miss Saigon, Little Shop of Horrors, Godspell and Evita. An essential guide for anyone writing or wanting to write a musical, How Musicals Work is a fascinating insight for anyone interested in the art form or who has ever wondered what it takes to get from first idea to first night.
    Julian Woolford (2019). RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN'S 'THE SOUND OF MUSIC'
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    Often dismissed as kitsch sentimentalism, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s  has proven an enduringly popular and surprisingly influential cultural icon, both within the field of musical theatre and the wider world. The Broadway production won five Tony Awards, the London production became the longest-running West End musical, and the movie version was the highest-grossing film of all time.  This book examines how the musical heralded the end of an era on Broadway; its reinvention of history and biography; how the film has influenced future stage productions; the ways in which it put child performers centre stage; and how, nearly 60 years after its stage debut, the musical still has a direct impact on the modern world, from the United States to the Middle East. In this series of short essays, Julian Woolford re-examines the musical from seven different perspectives, revealing the ways in which it continues to impact the 21st century.
    The Sound of Music