David S. K. Henson
Head of Subject:
Performance, Composition and Performing Arts
MMus Musical Theatre
BA Musical Theatre
Combining both a varied career in performance and teaching David has been involved in broadcasting, oratorio, lieder, early and contemporary music both in this country and Europe. He continues to take an interest in the performer’s platform and recently played the role of Everyman in a new work ‘Mankind’ by Michael Finnissy at the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music.
In addition to performance and teaching early in his working life David has a rich profile embracing roles such as Educational Officer at the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and collaborating with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group under the direction of Simon Rattle, directing new music and recently directly new writing in musical theatre in conjunction with Mercury Musicals at various professional venues in London, Greenwich, Kings Head and Union Theatre.
He is an experienced teacher, lecturer and researcher in all aspects of the performing arts, broadcaster, director and recitalist. After leading the department for postgraduate studies in Acting Musical Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama pursued a career in directing new writing and theatrical productions in off west end venues. Currently holds the post of Head of Study: Performance, Composition and Performing Arts at London College of Music. Most recently
David has the honour of being chosen to be a member of Who's Who Network of Executives and Professionals
and has been approved as a Super Professor with status confirmed on Faculty Row, USA.
For profile please visit by clicking link
Throughout the past few years he has worked as an external examiner: MA in Drama and Education for the City of Birmingham University; BA Acting at Birmingham School of Acting; BA Acting at East 15, currently external for BA Creative Studies (Dance, Directing, Acting, and Music Management) at Newcastle College (Teesside University); BA Dance at London Studio Centre (Middlesex University) plus recent consultancy to Bath University for their new BA Acting degree programme. Over the years he has run workshops and tutorial sessions at the Actor’s Centre in Covent Garden, London teaching acting, sung and spoken voice. Many of his students hold high positions in conservatoires and higher education and others currently appear in the West End, TV and the media. Directing credits range from Baroque Opera to contemporary Music Theatre in a range of venues from Cathedrals to Birmingham Symphony Hall, the classical theatrical repertoire with productions at Repertory Theatre, Birmingham and several off west end venues including the Kings Head and the Union Theatre and musical theatre most recently including productions of ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ in Amsterdam and 'Company' and 'Into the Woods' at Watermans Theatre, Brentford, London.
Other performance work includes: projects, aided by the support of the Cadbury Foundation, working with University (Modern Language) students developing communication skills and pluricultural awareness; collaborative performance work with the BCMG involving the devising of Greek myths and composition classes based around the compositional styles of composers such as Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Mark Anthony-Turnage and David Lang. He is also executive director to a film company plus instigating a new performance company to raise the profile of new writing and rarely performed musical theatre.
When not teaching/directing he has been a freelance consultant for drama and music to the Ministry of Education and University in Singapore; the CBSO;the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (working closely with Sir Simon Rattle) and the music recording industry. Recent appointments include (i) visiting lecturer in music theatre and education at Wolverhampton University; (ii) director of Theatre Studies; Voice and Acting at the Birmingham Theatre School (iii) directing ‘Venus and Adonis’ by John Blow, recreating the original staging and choreography plus ‘As You Like It’ performed at the Birmingham Old Repertory Theatre. More recently has directed a new musical theatre project 'Falls' and two original works ‘Fax of Life’ and ‘The Unit’ all performed at the Greenwich Music Theatre Festival and the home of the Water Rats in Kings Cross plus a recent workshop production of 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles' at Park Theatre, Islington in June 2013 (iv) David continues to direct work at the London College of Music and has recently directed 'Company' (2012) and 'Into the Woods' (2013) by Sondheim and is embarking upon a new production of 'Ordinary Days' by Adam Gwon to be performed in May 2014 plus (v) adjudicating and examining for the past 25 years at many music and drama at festivals around the country as well as continuing work for the Guild of Drama Adjudicators.
David is an experienced examiner in both music and acting and has worked for over 25 years as a visiting examiner for London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He currently works in the field of examining Drama and Musical Theatre for London College of Music Exams. He continues to take an interest in new musical theatre and is currently seeking ways and means of encouraging new musical theatre work alongside an involvement with the development of new comedy writing.
His current research interests are in the processes of the performer within musical theatre; the music of Shakespeare and specific voice related issues based within the world of performance. He has spoken on the subject and given papers at conferences regarding this area of work and is soon to deliver papers at two conferences: School of Advanced Studies in April 2013 and at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in July 2013 at the Musical Theatre Symposium – Song, Stage and Screen V111. He has recently proposed a conference and prepared papers concerning New Writing within Higher Education under the auspices of HEA.
David has contributed to the various developments in arts education within the UK education system since the late 60s and has been very involved in every aspect of the assessment process within the field of performance and the arts in general. David has been creator, writer, assessor, external verifier and Chief Examiner for GCE Music and Drama, CSE Music and Theatre Arts, GCSE Musicianship and History; A Level Performing Arts; A level Drama and Theatre Arts, GNVQ Performing Arts Preliminary, Intermediate and Advanced.
He has also brought this expertise into the world of Higher Education and has written and contributed to many undergraduate and postgraduate courses that are currently running in various important institutions within the UK including the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. With this experience it is not surprising that he now publishes his findings within this work. The first publication entitled Musical Theatre: Exploring the World Through Song published by Lamda Publications in 2008 plus a CD to accompany the book where David can be heard playing examples from the musical theatre repertoire. Please click on the link below:
Most recently the first of a series of books based on his teaching work concerning the development of the actor-singer entitled Musical Theatre: A Workbook - Book published by Palgrave Macmillan December 20 2013. ISBN 978-1-137-33162-52013. Please click on the link below: