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Neil Rutherford

After gaining a BA Hons Degree in Performing Arts from Middlesex University, Neil's West End acting credits included leading roles in the world Anniversary tour of Fiddler On The Roof at the London Palladium opposite Topol, original West End Cast of City of Angels, Aspects of Love, Original West End cast of A Judgement in Stone starring Sheila Hancock, three Royal Variety Performances opposite Shirley Basey, Barry Manilow, Paul O'Grady, Annie, Romeo and Juliet, La Boheme, Jesus Christ Superstar, June Moon, Let’s Face It, Company, Salad Days and Les Miserables. On television Neil was a guest lead on Eastenders (BBC), The Tailor of Gloucester (Thames), The Vampyr (BBC), presenter for several seasons of the BBC’s Singing Together, and in the films, Swept from the Sea opposite Sir Ian McKellen, Zoe Wannamaker and Cathy Bates, Wilt, and The Colour of Funny. Neil was a multi-award winning performer, appeared in numerous commercials, and has sung on over 15 original cast recordings. 

Neil was director of Tell Me On A Sunday, Oscar, Not Quite Bedtime, The Ugly Duckling, an open air production of  The Pirates of Penzance, and Sara Kestelman’s one woman show All About Me at the National Theatre. He also was also director for two seasons of the Stephen Sondheim/Cameron Mackintosh Mercury Workshop New Musicals Forum directing over twenty musicals by up and coming composers, lyricists and authors.

Neil was Production Associate at the English National Opera, and then became Associate Producer and Head of Casting for the Ambassador Theatre Group, a post he held for 11 years. His numerous West End, UK and international casting credits include All New People starring Zach Braff, The Misanthrope starring Keira Knightley and Damien Lewis, Bart Sher’s production of  South Pacific (UK and Australia); Spamalot directed by Christopher Luscombe (UK); Legally Blonde (UK and Australia) directed by Jerry Mitchell; Into The Woods for the Royal Opera House; Marianne Dreams at the Almeida both directed by Will Tuckett; 9 to 5 The Musical directed by Jeff Calhoun; Vincent in Brixton and The Last Cigarette directed by Richard Eyre; Fat Pig written and directed by Neil La Bute; Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard directed by Craig Revel Horewood; Riflemind directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman; Sweeney Todd directed by John Doyle (UK and Broadway) staring Jason Donovan, Michael Cerveris, and Patti Lupone, Pinter’s The Lover and The Collection, several productions of the 50th Anniversary productions of West Side Story (UK, Europe and Australia); Guys and Dolls directed by Michael Grandage (UK and Australia) starring Ewan McGregor and Patrick Swayze; The Postman Always Rings Twice staring Val Kilmer, The Three Sisters directed by Michael Blakemore starring Kristin Scott Thomas; Exit the King directed by Neil Armfield (Broadway) starring Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon; several productions of Noises Off directed by Jeremy Sams and several more productions of The Rocky Horror Show (UK, Europe and Australia) directed by Christopher Luscombe.

Having left ATG in 2012, Neil set up his own company Neil Rutherford Productions, casting and directing around the world. Most recently he has directed for Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House, including Bartlett Sher’s production of South Pacific(Associate and Revival Director), Jonathan Biggin’s production of Orpheus in the Underworld (Assistant Director) and The Barber of Seville (Director) in Tokyo. He was also the host for the Sunday Opera Gala’s at the Sydney Opera House. In London, he has recently directed A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Forum, and the premiere of his own new musical Beyond Desire  at the Hayes Theatre, Sydney. BEYOND DESIRE was nominated Most Outstanding New Production in the 2015 Australian Theatre Awards. Neil also directed the Melbourne Opera Air Opera Gala at the Melbourne Bowl. He was also Associate Director on the Australia Production of The King and I. He is currently Artistic Director of Polar Eclipse Theatre Company in Sweden, directing a new production of A Midsummer Nights Dream. He also recently cast My Fair Lady directed by musical theatre legend Dame Julie Andrews. 

As a composer, Neil has written a large amount of original music both for the concert platform and for musical theatre, writing incidental music for over 20 productions. Amongst his pieces, his Clarinet Concerto has been performed around the world, and his first ballet Un Mois D’Amour  was performed by members of London Contemporary Dance. In 1998 he was asked to compose music for Sara Kestelman's one woman show All About Me at the Royal National Theatre and the Firebird Café in New York which was re-written for BBC Radio 4. He also co-wrote, and directed, the late night Cabaret Not Quite Bedtime which opened at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival winning 3 awards. His first musical, Letters was premiered in 1990 and received financial backing from Sir Cameron Mackintosh. Letters has subsequently received 2 professional productions. Beyond Desire is Neil’s third musical, which he directed ar Hayes Theatre in Sydney. Neil is also writing two film scripts, Being Brother and Death in Little Venice, as well as the novel of Beyond Desire.

Neil regularly lectures at major drama schools in audition and acting technique, holds audition master-classes throughout world; has released an auditioning DVD and has been an audition panelist and casting advisor to Channel Four, BBC, and ITV. His new book Musical Theatre Auditions and Casting is published worldwide by Methuen Drama.