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 Riley
 
Martin's opera and music theatre includes, with Stephen Deazley: “Nightmare Scenario” for Operasonic, 2017, “Dr Ferret’s Bad Medicine Roadshow” for Scottish Opera, “Death’s Cabaret” for the Sacconi Quartet, “Tommy Foggo” for Matthew Sharp and “The Rattler”, for Mahogany Opera, 2016.  With Lynne Plowman: “Gwyneth & The Green Knight”, "one of the most brilliantly accomplished new operas I have heard for many a year" (The Times), “House of The Gods,” for MTW, “The Face In The Mirror” for W.N.O Youth Chorus and “Captain Blood’s Revenge” for Glyndebourne and “The Opera Fox” with Joe Cutler (All British Composers & Songwriters Award or nominated), “Song for Arthur” with Joe Cutler performed 2018 at Aldeburgh by Andrew Watts and Iain Burnside, two interactive operas for children: “Killing Cousins” and “A Close Shave for the Workhouse Kids” for Welsh National Opera, cited as best practise by the Welsh Assembly. Martin has projects in development with composers Felix Cross M.B.E and Trevor Wishart. Martin’s Music Dramas with David Burridge include "The Burning of The Boats", Deal Festival, 2013, "The Weight" for The World Champion Cory Brass Band 2014 and "Dancing on Armistice Day" with Dover and Dunkerque communities in 2016 and a Concert version in Folkestone in 2018. All were supported by Arts Council England. "The Heart of The Wood" will be premiered by The Big Reveal, Folkestone in November 2019
TV credits include “Grange Hill”, “Children’s Ward” and “Emmerdale” and his own series: “Gruey”, “Kevin’s Cousins”, (R.T.S nominated) “Tales from The Edge of The World” and “Boggart Sandwich”published by BBC Books, “Weirdsister College” and “The Worst Witch” series (BAFTA nominated) and “Wilderness Edge” with John Coombe,. Martin is co-director of Alive and Kicking Theatre Leeds. His music theatre adaptation of The Canterbury Tales is published by Oxford University Press