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Biography


Kelvin Towse: Photo by Robert Belbin
Kelvin gained his B.Ed.(Music) in 1985 and has since worked throughout the UK as Musical Director on hit shows including Blood Brothers, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Whistle Down The Wind, The Phantom of The Opera, Sunset Boulevard and The Sound of Music.  He has also been Musical Director for productions at some of the country’s top repertory theatres such as Bristol Old Vic, Derby Playhouse, Leicester Haymarket Theatre, Manchester Library Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse and Oldham Coliseum.

Whilst at the Oldham Coliseum he also scored the songs and incidental music for Derek Walcott’s play, Pantomime, and was Musical Supervisor for the English Premiere of The Steamie.

In 1991, Kelvin’s career took him around the world performing Cabaret on some of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships, returning to dry land in 1997 when he resumed his career in theatre touring with the Three British Tenors.  1998 saw the launch of Kelvin’s Corporate Entertainment and Production Company, Kelvin Towse Entertainment Services, designed to create music and scripts for business as well as theatre, producing, in 1999, the highlight of Oldham MBC’s 150th Year Celebrations, The Oldham Story - A Theatrical Time Travel Experience.  This led to his first commission to score a video for Oldham Chamber of Commerce, reviewing their business year. 

Earlier that year, Kelvin was approached by Mike Rooke to compose the songs for Ratsss!, a family musical.  Mike had already put together a libretto with lyrics, prior to an entry into the Vivien Ellis Prize in 2000. Of the 186 entries, it reached the final ten selected musicals, and in 2004 had its first presentation by the Oldham Theatre Workshop.

2000 also took Kelvin back on tour, firstly as assistant MD for Blood Brothers, for which he also MD’d regularly, with Linda Nolan, Denise Nolan and Barbara Dickson playing Mrs Johnstone.  His work with Bill Kenwright Ltd. lasted almost 3 years and included the national tour of Whistle Down The Wind as Associate Musical Director/Conductor and MD for Joseph And the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on the UK No.1 tour prior to its West End run.  He also made his West End Debut as MD with the same production starring Stephen Gately.

In 2003 he returned to the Derby Playhouse to MD The Entertainer, his first production there since 1993, finding himself, this time, on stage as opposed to in the pit, playing the ‘straight man’ MD to David Threlfall’s Archie Rice.

This was to be the first of many productions at the Playhouse, which would see him being commissioned to score a number of plays as well as arrange and MD.  His first work was Dracula, followed by A Christmas Carol, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Frankenstein and Merlin and The Winter King. Playing Merlin was Ben Roberts, with whom he had worked with as Scrooge on A Christmas Carol, and who was to also star in Romeo & Juliet and Animal Farm, both of which Kelvin MD’d.  Other commissions at the playhouse include the UK premiere of James Griffin’s comedy Serial Killers with Mark Little, Arabian Nights and Henceforward for which he was also Sound Designer.  His work with the Egg Theatre Academy has included arranging and musical directing for Hooray for Hollywood as well as the Community production of Animal Farm.

Following the revival of the hugely successful A Christmas Carol, also at Derby, Kelvin was Musical Director for the UK Premiere of Johnno, a new adaptation of David Malouf’s iconic novel, a new version of As You Like It, directed by David Freeman, Musical Arranger for Stephen Edward’s brand new musical Moon Landing and MD/Arranger for Treasure Island.

2007 also brought Kelvin’s first TV commission, scoring the first in a new season of documentaries for the BBC’s Panorama programme. Following on from this, in 2008, Kelvin once again teamed up with Producer/Director Roger Corke for another investigative film, this time for Channel 4’s Dispatches series.

2008 took Kelvin back on the road and saw him returning to Blood Brothers to MD the UK and Ireland national tour. Whilst he was asked initially to MD for only 16 weeks, he was to hold this post until the end of 2015! A break in the Blood Brothers tour during December/January 2010/11, however, made it possible for Kelvin to return to “pantoland” after 10 years, and give him the opportunity to work at the Arts Theatre, Cambridge for the first time as MD/Arranger for Aladdin.

2011 brought another busy year on tour with Blood Brothers, although Kelvin did find time to team up with director Roger Corke once again, and compose the music for Red Run Media’s ski instructional DVD and App, Ski Better With Ali Ross. He was also commissioned by Trevor Barlow from Cambridge Holiday Orchestra to create a new work to celebrate New Year. His Hogmanay Suite for Orchestra, Choir and Bagpipes, bringing a fitting end to their New Year Course and 2011. Hogmanay was published by Europa Edition later in 2012. Trevor Barlow was to commission Kelvin once again in 2013, this time to develop a work celebrating the music from around the British Isles. So, using a vibrant mix of folk songs, jigs, hymns and anthems, Kelvin created A British Isles Fantasia, for orchestra and choir.

During the summer break of the 2014 Blood Brothers tour, Kelvin was asked to conduct the British Isles Amateur Premiere of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Sunset Boulevard for Taylorian Productions at the Gaiety Theatre, Isle of Man and he was to return in 2015 to conduct another British Isles Amateur Premiere for Taylorian Productions, this time Andrew Lloyd Weber’s global phenomenon, The Phantom of The Opera. 2015 also saw his last tour of Blood Brothers before he concluded the year with his first pantomime for Qdos Entertainment, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Venue Cymru, Llandudno.

2016 took Kelvin back to Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and a brand new UK tour with X Factor winner, Joe McElderry donning the coveted coat. A brief visit back to the Isle of Man allowed Kelvin to supervise the music for Taylorian Producions’ 10th anniversary production of Lionel Bart’s Oliver!, before he went on to conduct the UK tour of The Sound of Music. 2016 came to a close by joining forces once again with Joe McElderry, who, this time, took the leading role of Aladdin for Qdos Entertainment’s prodcution at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton.

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