Theatre and Site Specific
Rachael has a strong theatre background, as an actor and street performer as well as in music. As an actor Rachael has worked with bio mechanics and physical theatre, on stage and outdoors – Rachael is perfectly at home against the elements. Musically, in addition to harp and vocals Rachael can offer theatre productions intermediate skills in percussion, kora and dulcimer, and basic skills in clarinet, accordion, guitar, bass guitar and piano. She is also an experienced MD, composer and arranger. Below is just a selection of her diverse range of projects.
La Machine. 2008 – Present: Nantes-based La Machine create large-scale outdoor spectacles with huge mechanical animals. Rachael’s work with them has taken her to many French cities, the UK, Japan, and most recently China in October 2014. Her main role involves playing a silver electric harp on top of a moving cherry picker, driving through city streets at a 20 foot height next to a mechanical spider the size of a small building and with a troupe of other arial musicians. Pictured right is the finale of the 2014 Beijing show with Long Ma the dragon – Rachael plays in a temple whilst being lowered from the sky by a construction crane.
“The musicians, high on forklifts and cherrypickers around the square, are beginning to drone. Fire bursts from rusty mortars, the manipulateurs climb into position, the band begins its sombre overture, and at last the spider stirs, its eyes flittering, its great legs probing the sea of umbrellas and cameraphones…” – Phil Hogan, The Observer, Sept 2008
Proper Job Theatre. August 2011 – December 2013: As an actor-musician and musical director Rachael works regularly with Hudderfield-based Proper Job Theatre Company and has been a part of A Christmas Carol (2011), Pinocchio (2011 and 2012) and The Secret Garden (2012 and 2013).
“Supported by the harp-playing Blue Fairy, played by Rachael Gladwin, and the technical and versatile skills of the two main actors, the story flowed with great ease and drama” – Derek Greenwood, The Halifax Courier, December 2011
The Hired Man. Feb 2013-April 2013: The spring of 2013 saw Rachael on tour as an actor-musician (harpist, vocalist, percussionist) with Melvyn Bragg and Howard Goodall’s The Hired Man, directed by Daniel Buckroyd. With a 13-strong all singing, all acting, all playing cast, the show played to sold out audiences, standing ovations and exceptional reviews for the entire run:
“The musical standards… are outstanding; it sounds like musicians also playing roles, rather than actors playing instruments as we see in Watermill shows. I thought Rachael Gladwin’s harp playing was particularly beautiful.” – Gareth James, Culture and Travel Blog, March 2013
~~~~~ Theatre | Harpist, Musician, Performer, Composer ~~~~~