Martin Riley

Martin is a freelance writer, director and performer. He has worked as a teacher and lecturer in drama and has been a story teller, a Punch & Judy Professor’s assistant, a dustman, a cinema usher as well as a playwright, TV scriptwriter and librettist Martin was one of the founder members of Alive & Kicking Theatre Co. and, over the years has written and directed many of their shows and projects. Martin says “I love interactive, improvised and problem solving drama and thoroughly enjoy the magical times when, without prompting, the children climb confidently into the driving seat and take the whole show in the direction they want to go. Even my operas have elements of audience involvement but it is only Alive & Kicking who have participation at the very heart of the experience. I am committed to furthering literacy amongst children and believe all children, indeed, all of us, are natural storytellers. Terry Pratchett was right to want to abandon our taxonomic label, Homo sapiens, Wise man, and rename us Pans narrans, the Storytelling Chimp. Communicating through drama and dance comes as naturally to us as music: reading and writing is just an extension of this. Given the confidence and the tools and the listening and reflective ear of engaged mentors all children can be authors.”
Martin’s TV credits include Grange Hill, Jackanory, Playbus and Emmerdale and his own series, GrueyKevin’s Cousins, (R.T.S nominated) Wilderness Edge with John Coombes and The Worst Witch (BAFTA nominated). Amongst his theatre and libretti are a best-selling dramatisation of The Canterbury Tales published by Oxford University Press, Gwyneth & The Green Knight (Academy Award) and House of The Gods for Music Theatre Wales, The Face In The Mirror, for Welsh National Opera, and Captain Blood’s Revenge with Lynne Plowman for Glyndebourne in 2013. Martin’s collaborations with composer Stephen Deazley include Dr Ferret’s Bad Medicine Roadshow for Scottish Opera and Death’s Cabaret, a Love Story for Matthew Sharp. Chanticleer & The Opera Fox with Joe Cutler was nominated for the 2012 British Composers and Songwriters Awards. This autumn Martin will be helping to deliver his new site specific two day interactive, Killing Cousins, a Tudor Time Travel adventure for Welsh National Opera.