neil-rutherford

Neil Rutherford – Musical Theatre Consultant

Director/Casting Director/Writer

After gaining a BA Hons Degree in Performing Arts from Middlesex University, Neil’s West End acting credits included leading roles in Fiddler On The Roof at the London Palladium opposite Topol, City of Angels, Aspects of Love, A Judgement in Stone, Royal Variety Performances, Annie, Romeo and Juliet, La Boheme, Jesus Christ Superstar, June Moon, Let’s Face It, Company, Salad Days and Les Miserables. On television Neil was a guest lead on Eastenders (BBC), The Tailor of Gloucester (Thames), The Vampyr (BBC), presenter for several seasons of the BBC’s Singing Together, and in the films, Amy Foster,  Swept from the Sea, Wilt, and The Colour of Funny. Neil also appeared in numerous commercials, and has sung on over 15 original cast recordings.

Neil was director of Tell Me On A Sunday, Oscar, Not Quite Bedtime, The Ugly Duckling, an open air production of The Pirates of Penzance, and Sara Kestelman’s one woman show All About Me at the National Theatre and The Kings Head. He was also director for two seasons of the Stephen Sondheim/Cameron Mackintosh Mercury Workshop New Musicals Forum directing over twenty musicals by up and coming composers, lyricists and authors. 

Neil was Production Associate at the English National Opera, and then became Production Associate and Head of Casting for the Ambassador Theatre Group, the UK’s leading theatre producers and theatre owners; a position he held for 10 years. His numerous West End, UK and international casting credits include All New People starring Zach Braff, The Misanthrope staring Keira Knightley and Damien Lewis, Bart Sher’s production of South Pacific (UK and Australia); Spamalot directed by Christopher Luscombe; Legally Blonde (UK and Australia) directed by Jerry Mitchell; Into The Woods for the Royal Opera House; Marianne Dreams at the Almeida both directed by Will Tuckett; 9 to 5 The Musical directed by Jeff Calhoun; Vincent in Brixton and The Last Cigarette directed by Richard Eyre; Fat Pig written and directed by Neil La Bute; Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard directed by Craig Revel Horewood; Riflemind directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman; Sweeney Todd directed by John Doyle (UK and Broadway), Pinter’s The Lover and The Collection, several productions of the 50th Anniversary productions of West Side Story (UK, Europe and Australia); Guys and Dolls directed by Michael Grandage (UK and Australia); The Three Sisters directed by Michael Blakemore; Exit the King directed by Neil Armfield; several productions of Noises Off directed by Jeremy Sams and several more productions of The Rocky Horror Show (UK, Europe and Australia) directed by Christopher Luscombe.

Having left ATG in 2012, Neil set up his own company Neil Rutherford Productions, casting and directing around the world. Most recently he has worked as Associate Director and Casting Director for Opera Australia  including major productions of  South Pacific, Orpheus in the Underworld  and The King and I. He also wrote, designed, directed, orchestrated and produced his third musical Beyond Desire which was nominated Most Outstanding New Work in the Australian Theatre Awards 2015. He was also the host for the Sunday Opera Gala’s at the Sydney Opera House. In London, he most recently directed A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Forum, and the Associated Studios Showcase. In the summer of 2016 he directs a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Stockholm for Polar Eclipse Theatre, for whom he is also Artistic Director.

As a writer, Neil has written several plays including The Class Room and Being Brother, the latter of which he is currently writing the screenplay. He wrote book, lyrics and music for the musicals Not Quite Bedtime, which won several Fringe First Awards at the Edinburgh Festival, and Letters which was originally sponsored by Sir Cameron Mackintosh and subsequently was recommissioned for Channel 4’s season of televisual musicals. 

Neil regularly lectures at major drama schools in musical theatre, audition and acting technique, holds audition master-classes throughout world, has released an auditioning DVD and has been an audition panelist and casting advisor to Channel Four, BBC, and ITV. His book Musical Theatre Auditions and Casting is published worldwide by Methuen Drama/Bloomsbury Publishing and now in its 5th reprint. Neil is also writing two film scripts, Being Brother and Death in Little Venice, as well as the novel of Beyond Desire.