My main love is writing music and words for the theatre, and during the pandemic this was extended to digital theatre, with a new venture into animation. Lady M is a piece about a life coach with a story of her own—inspired by Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth. I originally wrote Lady M for the stage, but am now enjoying the process of animating it in three episodes: Midday Hags, Mr King and Banksy’s Ghost (in development). Parts one and two are available to view on Scenesaver and our YouTube channel, and have picked up awards from the Toronto Liftoff Film Festival, the Toronto Independent Film Festival of Cift, the Stockholm Short Film Festival, the Canada Shorts Festival and the International Cosmopolitan Film Festival of Tokyo. Episode three is due to be screened in 2022.
It was a pleasure to write three original songs and underscoring for our major video project Shakespeare (she/her), directed by Wayne T Brown.
Melody is a two-person musical tracing the story of a quiet hotel receptionist with a secret past. Melody played to full houses at Oxford’s Old Fire Station, Jam Factory and Jericho Tavern, Ross-on-Wye’s Phoenix Theatre and the Unicorn Theatre in Abingdon. We received wonderful feedback from audiences and reviewers, and a filmed version is planned for 2022.
Verity is a 90-minute musical giving a glimpse into the chaotic life of an ordinary woman – jilted at the altar, facing the sack and hassled by her family. After its debut to full houses at Oxford’s Old Fire Station in 2014, the show returned in 2018 to the OHS Drama Studio, before earning a four-star review at the Edinburgh Fringe: read all about it here! Cast recordings are available here, and video extracts of the stage production can be found on my Youtube channel.
Other works in the pipeline are Mrs Pack, a musical about a wet nurse at the Stuart court (due to première at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2022); The Great, tracing the astonishing life of Tsar Peter I; and Dexter, a ‘prequel’ to Verity, giving the groom’s side of the story.
Daddy’s Girls, a 90-minute musical for three voices, traces one day’s reunion of three half-sisters, summoned by the mysterious Sister Dora to sift through their late father’s effects. As the day progresses, we discover three very different memories of this enigmatic man – as well as the uneasy relationships between the sisters themselves. Daddy’s Girls has been performed at the Burton Taylor and Old Fire Station theatres in Oxford, featuring Jane Hainsworth, Rebecca Martin and Sarah Leatherbarrow, and you can hear a selection of songs from the show here.
Love Online, a romantic comedy written with Andy Milburn about two singles who live two doors apart but meet on the internet, has been staged by the Quince Players, the Starburst theatre company and Sainsbury’s Singers. A selection of tracks recorded live at a pre-production showcase can be heard here.
Other compositions include music for our major digital project Shakespeare (she/her), available to view on Scenesaver; a primary school musical based on ancient Greek tales; a soundtrack for Philip Hind’s documentary The Ultimate Survivor, and a piece for the Lunas Dance Company, Time Was, Time Is, Time Will Be, which was performed at the Old Fire Station in May 2014 (pictured below).
I also write and arrange music for soloists and ensembles and compose songs for special events and for theatre workshops, including Creation Theatre‘s Put on a Musical Play in a Week projects.
Reviews and Testimonials
“A really compelling piece of theatre … poignant, thought-provoking and utterly engrossing”
—Oxfordshire Classical Music
“Clever and entertaining … brilliantly written … you captivated me!”
“Moving, funny, fascinating, absorbing.”
“Well written, very current, clever, fun, very, very enjoyable. Well directed. Well acted. Loved it.”
“Poignant, funny, painful, uplifting and deeply human.”
“A veritable modern masterpiece … A fabulous piece on so many levels”
“Such a gorgeous and clever score, loved it. Jazzy, catchy, dissonant, interesting”
“Great songs, clever clever lyrics, funny and touching storyline and as for THE CAST – stellar would just about cover it.”
“Fantastic lyrics and music, with a great company of singers!”
There is both humour and pathos in Nia Williams’s clever new musical … laughter, pensiveness and occasional bickering … entertaining songs and dance routines … wonderful moments … the songs were very catchy
—Nicola Lisle, The Oxford Times
“Great storyline with a nice twist. Very engrossing … Loved it “
“Excellent – both funny and sad“
“Tuneful, catchy songs with clever, amusing lyrics”
“The acting was superb & I liked the choreography. What fantastic singers!”
— Showcase Audience Survey