Claire McKenzie studied Composition and Musical Direction at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she graduated with First Class Honours and a Masters Degree with Distinction. While studying she received the Patrons Prize for Composition from the Royal Schools of Music, the Stevenson Scholarship as well as the Paul Kelly Prize for Drama.
Claire has recently completed a residency at the Royal Lyceum’s 14/15 Season and worked as a composer and sound designer on their productions of The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Winner Best Production at the CATS Awards 2015), Faith Healer, Hedda Gabler, The Venetian Twins and The BFG.
Other work as composer and sound designer for theatre includes; Long Day’s Journey into Night, A Christmas Carol (Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh) Hecuba, Mill Lavvies (Dundee Rep); The Girl Who, Forest Boy (Edinburgh Fringe, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland); Roman Bridge (National Theatre of Scotland), Fox Attack (NTS /Oran Mor); Hansel and Gretel, After The End, Divided City, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella (Citizens Theatre), Spring Awakening, Medea, The Threepenny Opera, A Man of No Importance (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland).
Along with writer Scott Gilmour, Claire recently founded Noisemaker, that has produced Freak Show, playing at The Arches, The Actor’s Church Covent Garden, The Roundhouse, and Edinburgh Fringe where it won the Scottish Daily Mail Award; Forest Boy, which played at the Edinburgh Fringe and Arcola Theatre, London and recently won the S & S Award for best new musical. Their most recent piece, The Girl Who played at Edinburgh Fringe 2014 in partnership with the RCS and Theatre Bench and is currently being developed for a further production at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, New York. They are currently developing Little Red for Dundee Rep’s 2016 season.
TV, film and radio credits include; Arrangements for Children in Need 2012-14 (BBC Scotland), Scottish Olympic Homecoming Event; My First Spellbook (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), for which she was nominated for a BAFTA New Talent Award for Original Music.
Future projects include; The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Lyceum), The Rifles World War I Centenary Project (Citizens’ Theatre/South Lanarkshire Council), Little Red (Dundee Rep), The Iliad (Lyceum) and the Royal Botanics Winter Garden Event in Edinburgh.
A Selection of Recent Reviews;
“There are moments when this great dramatic poem soars into song, in a striking score by Claire McKenzie” The Scotsman, Hecuba (Dundee Rep)
For Forest Boy;
"British Musical theatre is in safe hands... For a show with real heart and the chance to see the best of the next generation then Forest Boy is simply unmissable." ★★★★ Broadway Baby
"Their goal to create and develop fresh and innovative music theatre has certainly been realised." ★★★★ The Herald
"Relentlessly gripping... terrific music with a furious passion... Become the next awestruck audience offering a standing ovation." ★★★★★ Three Weeks (on FreakShow)
''A score by Claire McKenzie that produces some breathtaking set-pieces and some stunning moments of lyricism'' The Scotsman, for Divided City
ʻʼThe songs transform Hansel and Gretel into a Christmas show that is entertaining and thoughtfulʼʼ The Stage
''The Citizens' produced a beautiful, lyrical and strange version of Beauty and the Beast, with fabulous music and high-octane drama...a superb piece of musical theatre, beautiful to look at, magnificently acted, and powerfully sung''. The Scotsman for ʻBeauty and the Beastʼ, The Citizensʼ Theatre
''Claire McKenzie's sophisticated score is crucial'' The Times for ʻBeauty and the Beastʼ, The Citizensʼ Theatre
''Melodic anthems that celebrate Glasgow have a catchy vitality that makes you want to sing along''
''the songs unerringly hit the mark...Claire McKenzie's score has a real feel for the situations and challenges faced by the young characters''
The Herald for ʻDivided Cityʼ, The Citizensʼ Theatre
''the lush, romantic live score by Claire McKenzie is as sober as it is nourishing'' The Guardian for ʻCinderellaʼ, The Citizensʼ Theatre
ʻClaire McKenzie displayed her prodigious compositional talent in the piano concerto, ʻBlack and White Romanceʼ. The Herald, for Black and White Romance, RSAMD ʻPlugʼ Festival