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Cleary, Pippa

Jake Brunger (book and lyrics) and Pippa Cleary (music and lyrics) met at Bristol University, where they were studying Drama and Music respectively.

Their stage musical adaptation of Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole recently ran at Leicester’s Curve Theatre and their original new musical Prodigy, commissioned by National Youth Music Theatre (NYMT), opened at the St James Theatre in August 2015.  They wrote a new adaptation of Treasure Island, which played a six week run at Singapore Repertory Theatre in October 2015.

Their first musical Jet Set Go! opened at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival at George Square Theatre. Following the Festival it played a sell-out season at Theatre 503 in London and a new production in March/April 2009 ran at Jermyn Street Theatre for three weeks with a cast including Mark Evans and Tim Driesen. Jet Set Go! is licensed by Josef Weinberger Ltd and is now regularly performed in the UK and abroad.

Their second musical The Great British Soap Opera ran at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe Festival - again at George Square Theatre - and subsequently transferred to Jermyn Street Theatre in September 2009.

In 2010, Jake and Pippa were commissioned by David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers to write the stage musical adaptation of Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers, which received a workshop at St Pauls Girls School in Hammersmith directed by Thea Sharrock. In August 2011 Jake and Pippa wrote a new musical for Youth Music Theatre (YMT) called The Lost and Found Office, which was directed by Gemma Farlie at Kingston University.

In March/April 2012 they wrote a new song called “Hey Beautiful People" for the musical revue A Song Cycle for Soho, which ran at Soho Theatre starring Claire Moore, Michael Cantwell, James Gillan and Niamh Perry and was released on CD in May 2012 by SimG Records. They wrote the theme song for West End Bares 2014, a charity event raising funds for TheatreMAD, and for Back to the Musicals, a concert series celebrating the history of musical theatre at the Pheasantry in Chelsea.

In June 2013 they were the first British writers to be accepted onto the Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project in Chicago, where they were mentored by Tony-nominated lyricist Craig Carnelia and Jon Lind, former head of A&R at Hollywood Records, culminating in a sell-out concert at the Josephine Louis Theater.

In November/December 2013, their new musical adaptation of Red Riding Hood ran for six weeks at Singapore Repertory Theatre, where it was seen by over 20,000 people. Red Riding Hood is available for worldwide licensing by Rodgers and Hammerstein. They also wrote the music and lyrics for The Snow Gorilla, which was the 2013 Rose Theatre Kingston Christmas show, featuring the voice of Brian Blessed.

Their work is regularly performed in cabarets and concerts across London including at the Queens Theatre, Novello Theatre, Pheasantry, Landor, Greenwich Theatre, Battersea Barge and Arts Theatre. They were finalists for the 2010 and 2013 Stiles and Drewe Prize and the 2012 Craig Barbour Award and in January 2013 Pippa won the Arts Foundation Fellowship for Musical Theatre Composition.

In addition to their work together Jake’s credits as a playwright include Pub Quiz (Manchester Royal Exchange Studio, which he also directed), ‘Ave It (Old Vic Tunnels), Chavs (Lyric Hammersmith Studio), People Like Us (Vineyard Theatre, New York / Old Vic New Voices) and Four Play, which will be seen as part of the 2015 Old Vic New Voices Festival at the Old Vic Theatre. For more information on Jake please click here.

Pippa won The Times Christmas Carol Competition 2011 with "In the Snow", which is published by Novello, the Music Theatre Matters Prize for Composition and she is the current recipient of the Arts Foundation Award for Composition for Musical Theatre. She writes children’s songs for CBeebies presenter Katy Ashworth’s Katy’s Roadshow and runs her own toddler and baby music class business Pippa’s Poppets. For more information on Pippa please click here.

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