The Man Who Cannot Sleep

Kelly Ryall

Kelly is an award-winning composer, musician and sound designer for theatre, dance and
film. Kelly is recognised internationally for creating immersive and multi-layered musical
landscapes for the stage and screen.

His recent focus has been to establish a music driven theatre/performance practice, where score not script is the driver behind a work. ANIMAL directed by Susie Dee and THE BACCHAE directed by Adena Jacobs (Melbourne Festival and Dark Mofo) are the first of these works and were received to public and critical acclaim.

Kelly’s music for theatre includes: for Melbourne Theatre Company, DI VIV AND ROSE, HAYFEVER, THREE LITTLE WORDS, DOUBLE INDEMNITY, PEDDLING, RUPERT (which toured to Sydney’s Theatre Royal and The Kennedy Centre in Washington DC), THE CRUCIBLE, ON THE PRODUCTION OF MONSTERS, RETURN TO EARTH, DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE, GOD OF CARNAGE, SAVAGE RIVER (with Griffin), DANCE OF DEATH, ON THE MISCONCEPTION OF OEDIPUS; for Sydney Theatre Company, BOYS WILL BE BOYS; THE TRIAL (with Malthouse); for Queensland Theatre: SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE; for Bell Shakespeare, ROMEO AND JULIET, AS YOU LIKE IT; TARTUFFE, PHEDRE, HENRY IV, MACBETH, JULIUS CAESAR and THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES; for Malthouse EDWARD II, THE SHADOW KING (toured to Barbican), DANCE OF DEATH, ONE NIGHT THE MOON, DIE WINTERREISSE (with Thin Ice and Brisbane Festival); for Griffin, THE BOYS (with Sydney Festival), AND NO MORE SHALL WE PART, DREAMS IN WHITE, MERCURY FUR and DON’T SAY THE WORDS; THE BACCHAE (Fraught Outfit, Melbourne Festival, Dark Mofo); and for Belvoir Theatre, TITLE AND DEED, NORA, HEDDA GABLER; CINDERELLA; KILL THE MESSENGER; and LOVE ME TENDER.

Music for dance includes 10,000 SMALL DEATHS with Paula Ley (Dance Massive); TEAM OF LIFE, FLESH AND BONE and SUNDOWNER for KAGE; EXPECTATION with Carlee Mellow; PIECES FOR SMALL SPACES with Lucy Guerin Inc; and PIECE FOR PERSON AND GHETTO BLASTER with Nicola Gunn including Australian and world tours.

For film, Kelly’s work includes composition on the short films: EYE CONTACT; TOMORROW; STASIS; THE CURTAIN BREATHED DEEPLY; LOIS; ONE NIGHT; FINALE; MEAT; SANDWICH; SQUOKA; MARCH; BE FAMOUS; WINNER; RUNAWAY; and APOCOLYPSE BEAR; as well as music for many TVCs and the documentary film MEMORY PLAY for the ABC. Kelly has won four Green Room Awards and a Melbourne International Arts Festival Award and been nominated for a Sydney Theatre Award and numerous Green Room Awards. Kelly was a member of band High Pass Filter for many years and toured internationally with the band, performing with groups such as Beastie Boys, The Boredoms, Fugazi, Lee Scratch Perry and Tortoise.

Kelly is currently creating music for AGAINST THE TIDE, the interactive and immersive experience on the Parramatta River; and YOU ANIMAL, YOU with Force Majeure. Upcoming work includes WORKING WITH CHILDREN for MTC and BROTHERS WRECK for Malthouse and State Theatre Company of South Australia.

Listen to Kelly’s work at

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