Karen Wimhurst started her career as a theatre composer. Her work with the theatre company Communicado received two Edinburgh Fringe Firsts, as well as opening Glasgow City of Culture 1990 with the show Jock Tamson’s Bairns. More recently her show with Maran Productions ‘Song and Dance Man’ about the life of Mahler won the Herald Angel Award
A selection of works...
Composer and MD for a production opening the new Shirling studio studio, Lighthouse Arts Centre Poole, November 2016
Communicado production touring March-May ’07 Nominated for Best Scottish Theatre awards
Get Up and Tie Your Fingers
Music Theatre commission commissioned by Sage Gateshead, Customs House and the Guild of Lillians.
2014 tour down the East Coast of England May – August 2014.
“The style of performance was innovative, not least in the fact that a new category of modern ‘choral theatre’ was forged... The music element stretched everyone involved artistically because of the ambition and intricacy of Karen Wimhurst’s composition...’
- The Stage.
Mahler: Song and Dance Man
The life and music of Gustav Mahler told and sung by Mike Maran with especially commissioned music by Karen Wimhurst.
Five star reviews in Edinburgh - The Herald said, 'It will be difficult to find a better show at the Fringe this year' and awarded Mahler: Song & Dance Man it's prestigious Herald Angel for the production’s outstanding contribution to the Edinburgh Festival.
The music is performed live on stage by a stunning sextet in which the accordion and clarinet masterfully highlight the Jewish roots of Mahler’s inspiration. This score itself takes us through funeral marches, to brass bands, to the sleazy backroom if his father’s bar as well as the gorgeous love themes such as the famous ‘Death in Venice’ Adagietto, here beautifully played by string quartet. Karen Wimhurst ‘amazing arrangements of fragments of Mahler Symphonies’ (the Herald) caused the show to be pick of the week the Guardian’s classical listing at the Edinburgh Festival.
What They Left Behind
Composer and MD for Wimborne Theatre community production based around the legacy of the first world war in the locality.
Music for a Red Earth production on Hambledon Hill, North Dorset as part of the Inside Out festival 2007 of international experimental site specific theatre
The Great Rinsing
Composer and musical director of this site specific production by the Wimborne Community Theatre Company at the old Pump House.
Score for Mike Maran productions. Touring April –May ‘07.
Edinburgh festival 2007
Jock Tamson's Bairns
A gigantic, experimental production on the nature of the Scots inspired by Burns and MacDiarmid. Performed by a cast of twenty five in Glasgow’s Tramway and commissioned by the 1990 Glasgow Year of Culture.
Song cycle premiere Vocem, the Purcell Rooms May 1991. Fringe first, Edinburgh Festival 1989. Commissioned by Communicado.
Guest composer/musical director with the Clarence Brown Theatre, University of Tennessee, USA. January-March 1991.