Stephen has written the music and lyrics to five original musicals: GREAT EXPECTATIONS (2002), TREASURE ISLAND (2003), THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS (2008), THE RAILWAY CHILDREN (2011) and ARBUCKLE (2016). The last three being in collaboration with writer, Ben Sleep; their most notable successes being the The Wind in the Willows tours in 2009 & 2010 (UK) and 2015 (Far East) and the hugely popular Railway Children UK tour 2016 (more planned for 2017). Two songs from Treasure Island will be used in the forthcoming feature film, Little Darlings (ManMade Productions). He has also ‘collaborated’ with a certain Roald Dahl on some songs for JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, produced over Easter 2014 at the Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage.
After an arduous two years’ gestation, Stephen and Ben are proud to announce the safe arrival of their most recent offspring – a musical based on the 1921 scandal surrounding Roscoe ‘Fatty’ ARBUCKLE. It focuses on the crucial drama in his life, where he quickly turned from being a nation’s treasured funny man into a toxic figure of ridicule and despair. Sex, jealousy, greed, fame, infamy, betrayal, public anger, press manipulation, they’re all in there! The latter two being a particular lightning rod to today’s public affairs.
In between his writing, Stephen has spent time as a pianist on a world cruise where he produced arrangements for the on-board cabaret. He is a songwriter, theatre composer and music tutor as well as being a secondary school music teacher for nearly ten years, during which time he regularly taught singing and directed the music for many shows, including Guys and Dolls, Little Shop of Horrors and Cabaret.
He has composed and arranged music for several companies, most significantly for the outdoor touring productions of ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’ (THE MEDAL, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, HAMLET, AS YOU LIKE IT and HENRY V). Also, Stephen has been the musical director on a number of shows including Third Theatre’s acclaimed production of Bizet’s Carmen.
He takes great care over his own arrangements, orchestrations and the recordings of his own works. More recently, he has taken music theatre workshops for the Brit School; taught at Stagecoach Theatre Arts Schools and has been rehearsal pianist for several production companies.
Where does the inspiration come from? Stephen thinks up many of his tunes and lyrics whilst sailing and canoeing around the coast and along the rivers of the UK.
To find out more about Stephen's other musical projects over the years please go to stephenkingsbury.com
Ben began writing in 2006 when he was a finalist for the BBC’s Witty and Twisted search for new comedy writers and performers. After being assigned a mentor at the BBC, he went on to write for numerous Radio comedy shows, including: Look Away Now; Newsjack; Play and Record; 7on7 and Recorded for Training Purposes. In 2008 he collaborated with Stephen Kingsbury on a new adaptation of The Wind in the Willows, which toured in 2009/10 and is set to tour again in 2011.
In 2011 Ben and Stephen wrote a new adaptation of The Railway Children, which premiered at The Key Theatre in Peterborough and then toured the UK in 2011. When Stephen let him have some time off, Ben worked on a new sitcom, ‘Keepin it Real’ which is currently in development with the BBC.
Ben has also been busy appearing in the UK tour of The Phantom of the Opera and more recently he starred as Mr Bennet in Pride and Prejudice at The Lyric Theatre, Belfast. Stephen and Ben are currently putting the finishing touches to a musical adaptation of the scandal that destroyed the comedy film career of Roscoe Arbuckle in 1921.