Behind the mask: Cast & creatives

John Maher

Musical Supervisor, Keyboard 2 & Guitar 2

John has been the Musical Supervisor and Head Arranger of Thriller Live since its first production in 2007. He is the Musical Director of the show in London and has overseen all its UK, European, Asian, South American, Australasian and African tours. John is also the Director and Musical Supervisor of the smash hit Beatles show, Let It Be, which has played in London, Broadway, Europe, Asia, North America & New Zealand. John has worked with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Macy Gray, Tommy Emmanuel, and is the Musical Director for the legendary band Dr Hook.

John was the UK Musical Supervisor of Million Dollar Quartet on the West End and is supervising its 2016-17 national tour. He was the Musical Supervisor and Arranger of the Marc Bolan musical 20th Century Boy (directed by Thriller’s Gary Lloyd) which toured the UK in 2014.

A native of Sydney, John completed a music degree at the NSW Conservatorium, going on to become one of the busiest and most successful Musical Directors in Australia. He was MD of RENT, The Rocky Horror Show (8 productions, so far), Return To The Forbidden Planet, Oh! What A Night, The Complete Millennium Musical, Chair In The Landscape, Lipstick Dreams, Songs From Side Show Alley, Pizza Live On Stage, Who Let The Wogs Out?, Long Gone Lonesome Cowgirls, Virtual Unreality, Ricordi, and many others.

Since moving to London in 2002, John has been MD of Dancing In The Streets (West End, European Tour & UK Tour), Hedwig And The Angry Inch, The Next Big Thing, Departure Lounge, Grease, RENT (again!), Rocky Horror (again!!), Jesus Christ Superstar (Scandinavia), What A Swell Party (Cyprus) and on the cult hit Dude, Where’s My Teddy? (Wimbledon and Edinburgh). John was one of the regular conductors of the Queen musical, We Will Rock You, in London for several years. In 2008, John was the MD of the Dream On concert at the London Palladium and of the world premiere season of Can’t Smile Without You.

Other work in the UK and Europe includes Godspell, Fame and Evita (Lebanon), as well as numerous concerts. He played keyboards and guitar with The Guild Of Thieves (13 piece soul band) and was the guitarist for some time with legendary band, The Drifters. He has played acoustic guitar with many singer/songwriters, including his dear friend Kristina Lao. John can be heard on Kristina’s EP (www.kristinalao.com).

John also composes music for stage and film. He worked for several years with Australia’s Bell Shakespeare Co. A particular highlight was his score for Steven Berkoff’s acclaimed production of Coriolanus. Other scores for Bell included Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. John also appeared as a live musician in Bell’s productions of Twelfth Night and Pericles. Other music for theatre includes Death And Taxes (by Andrew Upton), Ashes To Ashes, Paradise, Animalia, Telling Tales, Then The Mountain Comes, Faust’s House, Eat Cake, Jingle Belrose and the ballet scores, Of Dust And Men and Thermoplyae Revisited. John arranged and conducted the strings for the animated feature film Snow White: The Sequel (narrated by Stephen Fry). He has composed music for many short films, including Jacko, The Bill, Putting Kids First, The Other Half, Trattoria Paradiso, ’98, and Love, Mickey.

John also works as a director. His directing credits in Australia include Angry Penguins, Up The Shops, Meet You At The Mona Lisa and Long Gone Lonesome Cowgirls. In the UK and Europe he has directed Jesus Christ Superstar, Departure Lounge, Hedwig And The Angry Inch, and Unzipped – The Ultimate Package Musical. He also directed the UK premiere of Australian composer Sean Peter’s eye-poppingly titled show, Everything’s F**ked.

John uses Bare Knuckle Pickups in his Thriller guitars and is a BKP Artist. bareknucklepickups.co.uk

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