Special Projects

  Projects 1967 - 1974 Projects 1995 - 1999
  Projects 1975 - 1979 Projects 2000 - 2004
  Projects 1980 - 1984 Projects 2005 - 2009
  Projects 1985 - 1989 Projects 2010 - 2014
  Projects 1990 - 1994 Projects 2015 onwards

As a singer, dancer and instrumentalist, John Kirkpatrick has been one of the most prominent figures on the English Folk Scene for many years. He has performed and recorded extensively both as a soloist and as a member of duos, groups and bands, presenting a repertoire of music, songs and dances firmly rooted in traditional English practice. He is also regarded as a particularly fine exponent of the button accordion, the anglo concertina and the melodeon, and is frequently called upon as a mainstream session musician in fields of music quite outside the folk idiom.

On radio, he has hosted several programmes himself and been a frequent contributor to others, particularly in the specialist folk music slots, but also in the broader arts programmes such as Kaleidoscope, Night Waves and Reading Music.

In the theatre, John's fluency with traditional music has meant he can contribute an atmosphere of great authenticity to historical plays, but he is also a flexible composer and songwriter and an inventive choreographer, and has covered an enormous range of styles. His experience as a workshop leader and teacher of singing, instrumental and dancing skills makes him ideally suited to helping actors find their best performance, and he is able to concoct arrangements to suit all levels of ability from enthusiastic beginners to seasoned professionals.

From 1980 to 1998, John Kirkpatrick was a frequent collaborator in many of the productions at the Victoria Theatre, later the New Victoria Theatre, in North Staffordshire, under its Director, Peter Cheeseman. This is Peter's programme note from their last project together before he retired - "The Tempest"

"John has worked for many years with us at the old and New Vic, coming in the 70s to work on our Wedgwood documentary 'Plain Jos' and Nigel Bryant's eloquent adaptation of Rosemary Sutcliff's novel 'Song for a Dark Queen'.

John's involvement with folk music began in the church youth club he attended as a boy in London, becoming one of Britain's foremost folk performers, as accordion player, singer and songwriter. He has regularly played as a soloist and has been a member of a number of famous bands such as Steeleye Span, The Albion Band and Brass Monkey. In both capacities he tours all over Britain and Europe.

He is an assiduous researcher in the folk tradition on which his own powerfully rooted compositions are based. Here at the Vic he has helped us stay closely plugged into that marvellous heritage and contributed to many a production from providing simple introductory incidental music to composing complete musical productions like 'Song for a Dark Queen'. I have worked with him on many shows, and especially remember our close involvement together on the documentary, 'The Dirty Hill', John helped to shape, wrote all the songs and also appeared as a singer-narrator. He did a similar job on our recent revival of 'The Jolly Potters'.

John is a very versatile artist, and created the movement for Godber's raunchy night-club comedy, 'Bouncers', as well as the graceful historical dances for shows like 'Plain Jos' and the robust folk dances and songs for our Breton 'Beauty and the Beast'. It would have been very sad for me not to have John Kirkpatrick alongside for this production, and so he is".