Carol Donaldson is an acclaimed theatre composer and has been performing and composing professionally since the 1980’s. Carol’s work has been heard in West End theatres as well as across the UK notably at the Coliseum, Oldham and The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster.
Carol Donaldson’s beginnings as a theatre composer:
It all started in the 80’s when I joined feminist comedy cabaret theatre group ‘Red Stockings’ as their pianist, touring the country for years. We performed at the Clause 28 Rally at Manchester’s Freetrade Hall. We were a feisty quintet of women (Amelia Bulmore, playwright Helen Edmundson, producer Liz Pugh and actress Henny Whitun-Jones).
I had become bitten by the theatre bug and so ….
‘MEAT PIE SAUSAGE ROLL’! (MD/Composer )
I composed the songs and played the shows for the hugely popular new musical ‘Meat Pie Sausage Roll’ at The Oldham Coliseum.
Written by Cathy Crabb and Lindsay Williams. Dir Kevin Shaw, designed by Alison Heffernan.
‘lovingly drawn and the songs are a canny mix of musical fare that decorates most big venue musical hits with rousing, football chants. ‘Northern Soul
‘Donaldson mixes original compositions with existing tunes and chants and with a large community chorus to belt them out there are plenty of uplifting stage-filling moments.’Manchester Theatre Awards
‘football chants and new songs composed by Carol Donaldson.. one stands out, ‘Just The Light’, a beautiful duet about two people struggling to admit a mutual attraction.’Attitude Magazine
‘Inventive, comical and full of heart… Carol Donaldson’s original compositions combine popular Oldham Athletic football chants such as Oh Lanky, Lanky into the songs to portray the passion of the fans’The Reviews hub
TREASURE ISLAND (MD/Composer )
The Duke’s production of Debbie Oates’s ‘Treasure Island’ in Williamson Park in Lancaster for Summer ’17 and @The Dukes, Winter ’14.
‘Catchy sing-along songs by Carol Donaldson and a talented hard working supporting cast .. director Joe Sumsion has come up with another welcome slice of fast moving relief from familiar festive fare’Blackpool Gazette
‘DREAMERS’ (MD/Composer )
A new musical written by Cathy Crabb and Lindsay Williams, set in the nightclub of the same name in Oldham.
4 star review from the Guardian :
With an all female cast, including Sally Carman (‘Shameless’, Coronation St), Olivier nominee Rachel Leskovac, and all female community chorus the show has original songs by Carol and a host of anthemic 90’s Indie Classics. There was a real buzz about ‘Dreamers’, large groups of women, hen nights etc went and it became ‘The Dreamers Phenomen’ – it sold out many nights and broke the records for bar sales!The Coliseum
Listen to an excerpt of ‘Oh God Why’ from Dreamers on Soundcloud
CINDERELLA (MD/Theatre Composer )
Written by Ian Kershaw (‘Shameless’, Coronation St) Dir: Joe Sumsion and produced by the Dukes Theatre, Lancaster Christmas ’14.
It’s a feministy reworking of the tale and has original folky & bluegrass influenced songs in!
Listen to Zing-Zoom from Cinderella on Soundcloud
Other theatre credits:
‘SLAVE –a question of Freedom’
MD & Composer for Feelgood Theatre Co. The true story of Mende Nazer.
Premiere at The Lowry, Salford November ’10. Followed by 2 National tours including The Riverside Studios, London Sept ’11. Excerpts also performed at The House of Lords.
Awarded Pete Postlethwaite award for Best New Play.
The Library Theatre Co. Manchester in the 90’s:
A Christmas Carol, Our day out, Aladdin, Jungle Book, Peter Pan, Working , Robin Hood
West End productions (theatre composer) in the 90’s:
‘Tom Sawyer’– Composer and MD A new children’s musical. Book by Debbie Oates. No 1 National tour including the Savoy Theatre, West End.
‘Aesop’s Fables’ – Composer and MD. A new children’s musical. Book by Debbie Oates. No 1 National tour including the Savoy Theatre, West End.
‘Book of Dreams’ – Composer and MD. A new children’s musical. No 1 National tour including the Strand and Royalty Theatres, West End