We'll update you as we add to our team but we are thrilled to have our creative team led by one of New Zealand's leading musical theatre directors.
David Sidwell - Director
With more than 40 years involvement in music and theatre as director, musical director, composer, orchestrator/arranger and pianist in a broad range of musicals, it is no wonder David Sidwell has become one of the country’s most highly acclaimed directors of musical theatre productions.
As an accomplished pianist, David has worked with numerous New Zealand recording artists and featured as the pianist for the New Zealand Film Archive touring road shows. His work as arranger and orchestrator has taken him throughout New Zealand, Australia, Russia, and the USA.
As a composer, David’s composition, Recuerde el Pasado, had its world premiere in Kazan, Russia at the “Muz-Tranzit” festival, 2007. His work Conversation Between Theremin & Soprano premiered in August 2011, featuring Lydia Kavina (Theremin) and Pamela Wallace (Soprano) and more recently in Kazan at the International conference “Galeyev Readings”, Kazan Tupolev National Reseach Technical University.
David has provided the soundtrack for Yaniv Saves the World. He is working on a new soundtrack for Totem & Ore, a documentary film, as well as a musical based on the short stories of Russian author Nikolai Gogol. A concert workshop performance of this work was performed in 2016 and a full stage production in development.
In his early career as Musical Director, some of David’s many productions include; Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar, Chicago, Evita, Annie, Hello Dolly!, Nunsense I & II, Juke Box, A Chorus Line, Les Misérables, Gypsy, Grease, Oklahoma, Pippin, Chess, and Legendary Divas starring Ali Harper.
With the support of musical theatre giants Bobbie Alderton and Robert Young, David made the ambitious move to Director. His many successful productions include; My Fair Lady, Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Hair, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Mack and Mabel, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Chess, Jesus Christ Superstar, 70, Girls, 70, Les Misérables, Tell Me On A Sunday, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Fame, Seussical, Blood Brothers, Godspell, Little Shop of Horrors, Crazy For You, Forbidden Broadway, AIDA, Pippin, Hairspray, Avenue Q, The Wedding Singer, The Secret Garden, Big - the musical, The Full Monty, High School Musical, the ‘audience participation’ version of The Sound of Music, a ‘new experience’ Grease and the sensational Hamilton seasons of The Rocky Horror Show (2005, 2016), Cats, Oliver starring Richard O’Brien as Fagin, The Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia!, Evita and Sister Act.
Working professionally with theatre groups in Australasia, David has had rewarding seasons as Director for Andrew Lloyd Webber & Friends (Gold Coast & New Zealand), Westend to Broadway with Wellington Musical Theatre and Orchestra Wellington, Tell Me On A Sunday (Circa Theatre, HGAF), the critically acclaimed Wellington productions of West Side Story and Phantasmic. David in 2018 Performed with Ali Harper in New York.
In 2019 David will direct Bonnie and Clyde for St Peter’s Cambridge, Sweet Charity for Hamilton Operatic Society, We Will Rock You for Clarence Street Theatre Trust and Dog Fight for BOLD.
He was recently honoured with the prestigious ‘Freedom of the City’ award, an accolade bestowed by Hamilton City recognizing David’s services to the arts and culture in the city over the past thirty years.
Nick Braae - Musical Director
Nick is the world’s leading expert on the musical style of Queen, having completed a PhD on the band in 2016. He has published a book and numerous articles on the group, and talked about Queen for events, conferences, broadcasts, and at universities in the UK, US, Norway, France, Germany, Sweden, Australia, and NZ. He was also fortunate enough to interview Brian May for this work in 2014, which has remained a career highlight.
Nick has also been involved in a number of shows in recent years as a musical director, composer, arranger, and keyboardist, and is thrilled to be bringing these two pathways together for the epic production that is We Will Rock You.
Hannah McFarlane - Choreographer
Hannah has been dancing for as long as she can remember, starting with ballet and later adding jazz, contemporary and tap in her hometown dance school of Limelight Dance Academy. In 2015 she graduated from Whitireia Performing Arts in Wellington with a diploma in Performing Arts (Commercial Dance) and following her return home she taught for three years in all styles. In 2017 she joined the LDA team full time as the Office Manager.
Since the move back home Hannah has been involved in many productions within Hamilton including Legally Blonde, Mary Poppins, Sister Act, the NZ tour of Cat in the Hat and currently Sweet Charity. This year Hannah is returning to her studies to complete a Bachelor of Business at Waikato University. She is very excited to take on the new challenge of choreography for the stage and drawing on all she has learn though full time dance, teaching and performing.
Jason Wade - General Manager
Jason has been the General Manager of Clarence St Theatre for the past four years. In this time he has grown the theatre to be a key regional performing arts facility. Previously to this he was the Business Manager and Chairperson of Hamilton Operatic Society overseeing one of the Society's most successful periods producing over 12 shows attracting audiences of over 60,000 people.