From child-actor to Tony Award-nominated composer, in this week’s Curve in Conversation, Grant Olding (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Simply Cinderella, One Man Two Guvnors) talks to our artistic director Nikolai Foster about his career, the success of streamed theatre throughout lockdown, and how he finds the sound of a show.
Highlights in theatre include his many collaborations with Nicholas Hytner both at the Bridge Theatre: TWO LADIES, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, ALYS ALWAYS, YOUNG MARX and at the National Theatre: TIMON OF ATHENS, TRAVELLING LIGHT, GREAT BRITAIN, ENGLAND PEOPLE VERY NICE, THE ALCHEMIST, SOUTHWARK FAIR, THE MAN OF MODE and most famoulsy writing the music and lyrics to ONE MAN TWO GUVNORS, the National Theatre’s smash hit comedy starring James Corden, which ran for over three years in the West End, on Broadway and played two international tours. Grant lead the onstage band The Craze, performing the songs for the first two years of the show and those songs can still be heard in productions all over the world.
Grant also has written many scores for the Royal Shakespeare Company including THE ROVER, THE FANTASTIC FOLLIES OF MRS RICH, THE HYPOCRITE and DON QUIXOTE and OPPENHEIMER which both transferred to the West End.
In 2013 Grant wrote the songs and score for his first animated feature film SAVING SANTA starring Martin Freeman and Tim Curry.
For television, highlights include scoring three series’ of UPSTART CROW for the BBC, starring David Mitchell, Mark Heap and Gemma Whelan and two series of MARLEY’S GHOSTS for UKTV Gold. Also for the BBC he has scored sitcoms including I WANT MY WIFE BACK and THE BLEAK OLD SHOP OF STUFF, as well as one off films like A CHRISTMAS CAROL GOES WRONG and THE PACT.
In 2016 Grant’s first full length dance piece JEKYLL & HYDE premiered at the Old Vic Theatre, directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie. An album of music from the score was released on Air Edel Records and is available from all the usual digital platforms.
As well as writing music for theatre, film, television and dance Grant remains a prolific songwriter – writing and performing his own singer/songwriter material. His first album MONOGRAM #1 is available now on Bandcamp and he is currently recording the follow up WITH WHATEVER COMES TO HAND.
Grant was resident composer at the Bridewell Theatre 2003/04 and is an Associate Artist at Curve Theatre in Leicester.