Wendy Gadian, BA, PPRNCM

Job title

Principal Lecturer, Course Leader Acting – Musical Theatre


I am a musical director and arranger. I have been Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Acting Musical Theatre Course since 2008 and have been responsible for the training of all graduates from this Course.

I studied music at Chetham’s School of Music, University of Reading and the Royal Northern College of Music. Since then I have worked extensively as a professional musical director, arranger and composer in theatre and TV. Show credits include Divas at the Donmar  with Clive Rowe (Donmar Warehouse; 2000 & 2001), A Chorus Line  with Adam Faith (1997), 70 Girls 70 with Dora Bryan; (1992) (national tours), Square Rounds (National Theatre;1992-3), Maria Di Buenos Aires (National Opera Festival; 2004), Tipping The Velvet (BBC TV Drama; 2005), The Biz (BBC Children’s TV; 1992). Composing credits include: Speaking In Tongues (Hampstead Theatre/Derby Playhouse; 2000), The Lakers (inaugural production at The Theatre By The Lake, Keswick; 2000).

Throughout this period I was also a Visiting Lecturer at Trinity College Dublin, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Arts Educational Schools, Guildford School of Acting and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Prior to my appointment at Central, I was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company music staff for the season 2006 – 7.

My MD credits at Central include Jerry Springer – The Opera, City of Angels, West Side Story and Sweet Charity.

I have been an external advisor in musical theatre curriculum development to the University of Surrey Faculty of Arts (2012), Royal Brussels Conservatoire (from 2009) and University of Belgrade Faculty of Dramatic Arts (2012) and an external adjudicator for the Royal Northern College of Music (School of Composition) since 2009.

I am currently External Examiner for the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (MA Musical Theatre) and have served as an Ofsted Inspector for specialist musical theatre training (2016).

Whilst at Central I have authored successful funding awards from The Pilkington Trust (annual awards since 2012), The Rayne Foundation (2011 Moscow Art Theatre School outreach project) and the Clare Rich Scholarships.

Most notably in 2013, I created the post of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Associate Musical Director (in collaboration with the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation) to support the employment and mentorship of postgraduate musical directors.


Teaching Areas

  • Musical Direction and Piano Accompaniment
  • Acting Through Song
  • Musical Theatre Repertoire and Vocal Technique
  • Professional Development

Aread of Expertise

  • Musical direction   
  • Piano accompaniment
  • Vocal coaching (vocal technique and repertoire)
  • Vocal arranging
  • Pedagogy of conservatoire musical theatre training
  • Mentorship of new musical theatre writing

I am currently involved in a project entitled ‘The Pit Band as a Dramatic Player’, investigating the role of orchestration and musical arrangement in the development of story-telling and characterisation for the musical stage.

External memberships

  • National Council for Drama School Training Review Committee (2007-2009)


BA (Hons) Music, University of Reading

PPRNCM (Postgraduate), Royal Northern College of Music


Acting (Musical Theatre), BA

Other Details

Since working at Central I have undertaken a range of external professional practice including:

2015. Musical Director/Arranger, premiere of The Flannelettes by Richard Cameron, The Kings head Theatre, London  (director Mike Bradwell); published by Nick Hern Books

2014/16. Musical Theatre Consultant for The Pacifists Guide to The War On Cancer (Bryony Kymmings), Complicite/ National Theatre

2015. Guest speaker, Music Theatre Network with Mercury Musical Developments Conference, Arcola Theatre, London

2015. Guest speaker, Page To Stage Festival, Hampstead Theatre

2014. Published interview for The Stage Musical Theatre Supplement

2014. Guest speaker, Women In Music, GDST Schools, London

2013. Guest Panellist, the Theatre Sound Colloquium, National Theatre

2013. Musical Director for Rosie’s Bar (Clive Rowe) opening of The Crazy Coqs, London

2013. Guest Musical Director for Into To The Light, National Theatre

2011. Guest Musical Director Classical Spectacular, Leeds Castle

I have led outreach workshops in Performing Arts Colleges, schools, and Further Education colleges throughout Liverpool, Manchester, Derby, Nottingham  to support the progression of individuals and groups from under-represented sectors into Higher Education. This work has been funded since 2012 by successful internal funding bids and supported by a collaboration with DERBY LIVE!.