Edward was born and grew up in rural Herefordshire. An early love of music lead to him teaching
himself the guitar and drums from around the age of eleven. He was also an active member of the Hereford
Youth Theatre which sparked his love of performing.
In 1999 he went to Bristol University to read Mechanical Engineering but soon realised his passion lay in music and theatre, so he decided to completely change direction. After receiving his BEng (Hons) degree, and with twelve amateur shows through the Students’ Union under his belt, he moved to London to train at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, where he obtained a Postgraduate MA (Hons) in Musical Theatre performance, graduating September 2004.
Having already cut his teeth as a performer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years in a row with the then young Bristol company ‘Eyebrow Productions’ as Peter in Stephen Sondheim’s Company (2001) and The Balladeer in Assassins (2002), Edward then made his professional debut in a short repertory tour, rehearsing and performing no less than five plays back to back. This was closely followed by a “Lost Musicals” semi-staged reading revival of the 1969 musical Ann Veronica at the Theatre Museum in Covent Garden, and the role of Professor in the European Concert Premiere of South Pacific at Birmingham Symphony Hall alongside a star-studded cast including Les Dennis, Kim Medcalf and Alan Opie, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 2 at Christmas 2005.
Edward’s first big break came only a year after graduating when he recreated the title role of Buddy Holly in the revival of the hit musical Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story on the 2006 national UK and Scandinavian tour. He later reprised this role in 2008 at the Duchess Theatre, West End, after several other short engagements: Sweeney Todd at Shawford Mill, Frome, Prince Antonio in the Weymouth Pavilion 2007 Pantomime Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, Man 1 in Songs For A New World at George Wood Theatre, New Cross, and the principal role of Abu Hasan in the revival of the 1916 musical comedy Chu Chin Chow, based on the story of ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’ at the Finborough Theatre, London. Also, while playing at the Duchess Theatre, Edward took part in the first ever West End Eurovision 2008 representing the Buddy company.
Shortly after Buddy in the West End Edward was back on the road with Bill Kenwright’s original UK touring production of Can’t Smile Without You creating the leading role of Scott opposite “The One and Only” Chesney Hawkes. Like in Buddy this show gave Edward the chance to exercise his guitar prowess in this brand-new actor/musician 'juke box' musical playing the back catalogue of Barry Manilow’s music. In autumn 2009 he then got the opportunity to work at Vienna’s English Speaking Theatre playing Mortimer Brewster in the iconic dark comedy play Arsenic And Old Lace, a role made famous by Cary Grant in the 1944 Frank Capra film.
In early 2010 Edward originated the leading role of Howie Greenfield, Neil Sedaka’s lyricist, in Bill Kenwright’s original UK tour of Laughter In The Rain – The Neil Sedaka Story, a biopic musical about Sedaka’s life and music. Then followed three consecutive festive seasons with Scrooge, the musical of Charles Dickens’ classic tale “A Christmas Carol”, playing Bob Cratchit alongside the legendary Tommy Steele as Ebenezer. He first understudied and played the role in the 2010/11 national UK tour, taking over the role for the 2011/12 UK tour, before returning to reprise the character over Christmas 2012/13 in the show’s original home at the London Palladium.
Earlier in 2012, prior to Scrooge’s residency at the Palladium, Edward could be seen in the early television episodes of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hunt for Jesus in the ITV1 talent search Superstar. He reached Andrew’s personal top 20 from a competition of over 4,000 applicants. Soon after this, he went on to star as Roger Davis in the hit rock musical Rent at Greenwich Theatre, where the show won ‘Best Fringe/Regional Musical’ in the BroadwayWorld.com UK Awards 2012.
Another actor/musician show followed in 2013 in the form of Our House, the Madness musical, in which Edward played the role of Callum and lead guitar in the new actor/muso production from the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich, immediately followed by a UK tour. After this followed two short Rock ‘n’ Roll touring shows where Edward returned to the icon of Buddy Holly: The Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Tours Of Them All was three “dream gigs they never gave” from the era of Rock ‘n’ Roll in rep, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven featuring Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison, both on national UK theatre tours throughout 2014.
From Rock ‘n’ Roll to prog. rock opera, Edward went on to play Peter in the UK/European tour of Jesus Christ Superstar. The show toured throughout 2015 across the UK and into theatres and opera houses in Berlin, Mannheim and Hamburg. Edward also understudied the title role of Jesus in this production.
Immediately following this tour Edward went into rehearsals in early January 2016 with the original UK company of Motown The Musical playing the real-life character of Barney Ales, Motown’s head salesman. The show premiered on 8th March 2016 at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London’s West End, where Edward performed for the first year of its continued run. During this time Edward had the opportunity to appear along with the show’s company as guest performers on primetime TV, such as on Let It Shine for BBC1.
On 11th May 2017 Edward returned to the London Palladium to perform as Buddy Holly once more in a live recording of Friday Night Is Music Night for the BBC. He had been invited to appear as a principal singer in this special program alongside performers such as Michael Ball, Maria Friedman, Marti Pellow and Tommy Steele to celebrate the career of theatre impresario Bill Kenwright. The performance was aired on BBC Radio 2 on 2nd June.
During 2018/19 Edward could be seen touring the UK playing the role of Barry Gibb in Saturday Night Fever, singing the original soundtrack to the show as part of the Bee Gees. Following this in Autumn 2019 Edward landed the supporting role of Paul Seymour in the West End Premier of BIG The Musical alongside Kimberley Walsh’s Susan and Jay McGuiness as Josh (the Tom Hanks part in the 1988 movie). A company guest spot on BBC1’s Children In Need neatly rounded off the year…
…Just in time for the 2020 pandemic and lockdown to strike!!
Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that theatres will open their doors again soon, and we can start to find our new normal after this weirdly extreme year. Much strength and love to all those who have been adversely affected during this time. ♥
In between acting work Edward also regularly works as a guitarist and singer. He has played and sung with many function bands; as guitarist and singer with The Bluejays, the UK’s premiere rock ‘n’ roll band; sung in the four-piece close vocal harmony group Figaro, performing high end function events in the classical crossover style of “Il Divo”; sung various vocal tracks in the Beach Boys tribute act Westcoast in theatres around the UK and on board Royal Caribbean cruise ships; and regularly plays guitar and sings as Björn in Abbamania, the ABBA tribute show performing in No.1 theatres, festivals and stadiums all over the UK and around the world. Edward travelled to Europe with the show in early 2018 touring around France, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Belgium, has previously toured to Norway and as far abroad as Hong Kong… and even to ABBA’s home town of Stockholm in Sweden!
Edward has appeared in the short films We Are Amazing (2013), First Flight Out (2014) and Flowers For No One (2017).
Workshops include: All male roles in Aqua Springs at the Hazlitt Arts Centre (2012); Luca Bruni/Mario Gallo/guitarist [actor/musician] in San Domino at the Courtyard Theatre, London (2014); Louis/Lucifer in Celeste at the Capitol Club, Rome (2014).
Photo : Libby Christensen.