Keyboardist, alto horn player, composer, and founding member of Loose Tubes, Django Bates will compose the score for a new stage production of Jules Verne’s classic 1873 novel Around the World in 80 Days, running at the St James Theatre from 26 November 2015 to 17 January 2016 (press night is on 3 December 2015). In an adaptation by playwright Laura Eason, a writer on hit Netflix series House of Cards, the production will be directed by Lucy Bailey.
Bates has worked closely with Lucy Bailey on a variety of theatre projects including Gobbledegook for The Gogmagogs, Baby Doll, (Birmingham Rep, National Theatre, Albery Theatre), Stairs to the Roof and Tonight at 8:30 (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Postman Always Rings Twice (West Yorkshire Playhouse, Albery Theatre), Titus Andronicus and Timon of Athens (Shakespeare’s Globe). Other theatre credits include As You Like It and Julius Caesar (RSC) and House of Games (Almeida).
The composer was a leading light in the 1980s European jazz renaissance. The Dutch Metropole Orchestra, The Brodsky Quartet, Joanna MacGregor, Britten Sinfonia, Royal Shakespeare Company and Duisburg Philharmonic are some of the many groups that have commissioned new works from Bates. As an internationally respected musician he has appeared alongside Bill Bruford, Dudu Pukwana, Sidsel Endresen, Wynton Marsalis, Michael Brecker, Tim Berne, and Ronnie Scott. In 1997 he was awarded the prestigious Danish Jazzpar prize, dubbed the ‘Nobel Prize of Jazz’. Bates is currently a professor of jazz at the University of the Arts, Bern, Switzerland.
Around the World in 80 Days is produced by Simon Friend Entertainment, St James Theatre Productions and Ros Povey Productions. Casting will be announced shortly.