Meet our prestigious third-year musical directors, straight from the West End

20 April, 2021

For our 2021 third-year musical we have two casts performing ‘The Little Prince’ with two contrasting, creative concepts. In-line with our ethos in connecting our Training Professionals with high-end industry practitioners, our third-years are already working with two of the West End’s most innovative and respected Directors to bring these concepts to fruition:


Franny Rafferty

Associate Director, SIX The Musical

Franny Rafferty - headshot
Royal Central School of Speech & Drama

Recipient of the MGCFutures 2017 Assistant Director Award with Mercury Colchester.

2018 Shortlisted for JMK/Leverhulme Assistant Director, Northampton Royal & Derngate

Current project’s: Directing: THE LITTLE PRINCE for ICTheatre (Brighton); Associate Lecturer at Wimbledon College of Art/UAL (Module 8 Director); Associate Director for SIX THE MUSICAL (UK Productions); Director attached to Barlow & Smith’s new musical Vanya’s; and writing-developing WRECKCLAMATION.

Previous credits as Director: MORE LIGHT by Bryony Lavery (Online rehearsed reading, Drink The Ink & Magnetic Studios); SAVING RACHEL (Fertility Fest 2019, Olympia); VANYA’S by Barlow & Smith (MMD workshop); THE FIELD by Lydia Thomson for Rapid Write Response (Theatre 503); A WEST END CHRISTMAS (Cadogen Hall); The Fun Club presents… [WORKING TITLE] (Camden People’s Theatre); Jonathan Larson’s TICK, TICK… BOOM!, and THE ACCRINGTON PALS by Peter Whelan (Bridewell Theatre).

As Associate Director: SIX THE MUSICAL (UK Tour, West End and NCL Cruises 2019-2021); TURN OF THE SCREW (UK Tour 2019); THE RINK (Southwark Playhouse); TITANIC THE MUSICAL (UK /Ireland Tour and Hamburg State Opera); and SPAMALOT (UK Tour 2018).

As Assistant Director: PICKLE JAR (Soho Theatre); TURN OF THE SCREW (Mercury Colchester and UK Tour 2018); EVER ONWARD Workshop (The Other Palace); and SPAMALOT (UK Tour 2017)

As a Production Co-Ordinator for Fiery Angel I worked on THE 39 STEPS (West End, UK Tours, and Overseas), THE PAINKILLER (Belfast, NI), GOODNIGHT MISTER TOM (West End & UK Tours), GHOST STORIES (Arts Theatre West End), TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (UK Tour), DIAL M FOR MURDER (UK Tour); and SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS (West End and UK Tour).

As a Producer for the Lyric Hammersmith I produced the Olivier award nominated Alan Parker’s BUGSY MALONE directed by Sean Holmes with choreography by Drew McOnie. During my time at the Lyric I also produced HERONS by Simon Stephens, DICK WHITTINGTON by Joel Horwood, CINDERELLA by Tom Wells, the UK Tour of SECRET THEATRE and Pins and Needles’ FATHER CHRISTMAS.

In 2017, co-founded The Fun Club with Sara Page and Alastair McPhail, co-directing/writing/performing in THE FUN CLUB PRESENTS… (Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018).


Ed Burnside

Resident Director, Matilda

Ed Burnside - Headshot

Ed is currently the Resident Director of the RSC’s production of Matilda The Musical in London. Most recently, Ed has been Children’s Director on Netflix series The Crown (Season 3) working alongside director Benjamin Caron.

He was Deputy Associate Director of the Japanese and Korean productions of Stephen Daldry’s Billy Elliot The Musical. He was also the Resident Director for the first UK and Ireland Tour of Billy Elliot The Musical.

As Director: Matilda The Musical at Home (SKY VIP), Black (Theatre Royal, Stratford East, Adelaide Festival, SOHO Theatre, Edinburgh Festival – Total Theatre Award Nomination for Innovation and Experimentation), Persuasion, Far From The Madding Crowd, Northanger Abbey (Dorset Corset National Tours), Le Gateau Chocolat (Menier Chocolate Factory, Sydney Opera House) Cinderella (Fareham and Redditch), Jack and The Beanstalk (Fareham), Diamond (Brighton Dome), Threepenny Opera (Old Market), The Circle Game (Brit School, Brighton Festival).

As Associate, Revival, Resident Director: Matilda The Musical (Cambridge Theatre, London), Billy Elliot The Musical (UK and Ireland Tour, Hamburg). Deputy International Associate Director of Japanese and Korean productions of Billy Elliot The Musical. Starting Line (Paralympics 2012), Twisted Dreams (Street late night circus – Glastonbury Festival).

Workshops include: New versions of Closer Than Ever and Starting Here Starting Now (with orchestrator Julian Kelly) (Chichester – with special permission from Richard Maltby and David Shire), Marry Me A Little (Chichester). The Puppy That Ate Christmas and Smouldering (New Writing South).

Ed has been a visiting director and lecturer at Central School of Speech and Drama, University of Chichester, Trinity College of Music, BRIT School, Croydon, Italia Conti (Acting Department) and Urdang, London as well as delivering workshops for The Old Vic.

Ed trained originally as an actor. Notable acting credits include: Power (National Theatre), Iphigenia at Aulis (Oxford Playhouse), The Iron Eyelashes (Dublin, Ipswich) and Bright Star (BBC Films).




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