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Richard Hartley

Original Musical Arrangements


Emmy Award-winning composer Richard Hartley’s latest score is Great Expectations, Mike Newell’s new re-working of the Dickens classic, it boasts a stellar cast including Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Irvine, Holliday Grainger and Robbie Coltrane.
This is the sixth time he’s collaborated with Newell – the others being Dance With a Stranger starring Miranda Richardson; An Awfully Big Adventure starring Hugh Grant; The Good Father, starring Anthony Hopkins; Bad Blood and Soursweet.
Other major credits include: Bertolucci’s Stealing Beauty starring Liv Tyler and Jeremy Irons; The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, starring Geoffrey Rush; Rogue Trader starring Ewan McGregor; Nicolas Roeg’s Bad Timing); The Van directed by Stephen Frears; A Thousand Acres, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Jessica Lange and Rough Magic, starring Russell Crowe and Bridget Fonda.
In total more than 50 features, including the cult The Rocky Horror Picture Show back in 1975, for which he
wrote the incidental music and was music arranger, musical director and a member of the band. Originally recruited to help with auditions for the London production of Jesus Christ Superstar he struck up an immediate friendship with the director Jim Sharman and through him met Richard O’Brien. The three of them then went on to work together on Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror stage show at the Royal Court Theatre and its later sequel Shock Treatment (20th Century Fox) which was also developed into a film with songs composed by Richard O’Brien and Hartley.
He won an Emmy for his score for Hallmark’s landmark television film Alice in Wonderland, with an historic cast including Whoopi Goldberg, Peter Ustinov, Gene Wilder, Robbie Coltrane, Ben Kingsley, Miranda Richardson and Ken Dodd. Other major television credits include: Murderland starring Robbie Coltrane; The Lion in Winter, starring Glenn Close and Patrick Stewart, and was nominated for another Emmy for his score to Don Quixote, starring John Lithgow and Bob Hoskins. 

Richard has provided the music for many prestigious stage productions at the National Theatre directed by Richard Eyre including: David Hare’s Amy’s View, Murmuring Judges, Absence of War, Christopher Hampton’s White Chameleon as well as Tennessee Williams’ Night of the Iguana and Sweet Bird of Youth. He has also worked for the RSC, the Almeida, the Royal Court and the Theatre Royal Stratford East.

It is 40 years since Richard met Richard O’Brien in a damp rehearsal room near Regent’s Park to work on The Unseen Hand by Sam Shepherd. How time flies…