Warner Brown is an internationally-renowned writer whose work encompasses everything from the traditional form to the radical avant garde. He has collaborated with the composers Angelo Badalamenti, Michael Feinstein, Jenny Giering, Tony Hatch, David Heneker, Gwyneth Herbert, Michael Reed, Jimmy Roberts, Joshua Schmidt, Jim Steinman, Charles Strouse, George David Weiss and, by permission of the Cole Porter Trusts, the late Cole Porter. For BBC Worldwide, Warner wrote the $40,000,000 arena show Walking With Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular, creating an entirely new genre of theatrical presentation which has become ‘the biggest family show of all time’. His work on this has won many international awards, including the Billboard Magazine Creative Content Award. Two companies tour internationally – playing in venues from Madison Square Garden to the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai. An episode of CSI: Las Vegas was based upon the show and it has even earned the ultimate honour of being parodied on The Simpsons.
Warner works with equal ease on both sides of the Atlantic. His latest British musical Son Of A Preacher Man, featuring the songs of Dusty Springfield, was directed by Craig Revel Horwood, while his American musical The Gold Room, with music by the legendary Michael Feinstein, was workshopped with Victoria Clark, Melissa Errico and Jonathan Groff, directed by Jeremy Sams. The Cole Porter Trusts in New York granted Warner the stage rights to the Porter catalogue for his dark original musical The Black and White Ball, directed by Matthew White, and Warner is part of the consortium including choreographer Arlene Phillips and musical director Mike Dixon for the new internet-based project Reality – The Musical.
Warner has also written a number of plays, including Laughing Dove, Wavelength and The Prospero Suite, directed by John Doyle. He has worked extensively in Europe, beginning with Musical Of The Year – starring the unlikely combination of Sir Peter Ustinov and Al Jarreau – and directed by Julia McKenzie. His musical Garbo received its world premiere at Oscarsteatern in Stockholm, Sweden. For this he wrote book and lyrics, with music by ‘Meatloaf’ rock legend Jim Steinman and Michael Reed. Warner’s musical Flickers premiered at Broadway’s Circle-In-The Square Theatre. For Gillian Lynne, he wrote Dance For Life at London’s Her Majesty’s Theatre, starring Dame Darcey Bussell and Sir Derek Jacobi.
Warner has extensive writing credits for the BBC and was Script Associate of the BBC Classic Musicals Series, for which he adapted fourteen musicals and directed such artists as Anthony Newley, Tyne Daley, Barbara Cook and Steven Berkoff. He has music publishing deals with Warner/Chappell Music, MTI Europe and Concord Theatricals for a number of his musical theatre works.
Warner’s first West End musical, The Biograph Girl, was written with his mentor David Heneker and went on to play internationally. It has recently been revived at London’s Finborough Theatre, directed by Jenny Eastop. Mr Heneker and Warner were the subjects of the BBC2 tv documentary The Making Of A Musical and Warner wrote the New Version of the classic Heneker/Cross musical Half A Sixpence, produced by Bill Kenwright, starring Gary Wilmot and directed by Bob Tomson.
Further work in London includes Six For Gold, a critically-acclaimed series of six one-act musical plays performed over a two-night cycle; his new version of Cinderella at the London Palladium; the ‘musical noir’ Tallulah For A Day, starring Marti Webb, and the revue Sleep With Friends, starring Janie Dee. His musical fable The House On The Corner was reviewed as ‘the class act’ of the Edinburgh Festival.
In October 2012, with literary agent Caroline Underwood, Warner inaugurated The S&S Award, in honour of his late parents. This international Award, presented in association with Leicester Curve, was judged by a panel of industry luminaries, including Kent Nicholson of Playwrights Horizons in New York, Nica Burns of Nimax Theatres and Nikolai Foster of Leicester Curve, and went to the best new unproduced musical of the year. The Award was presented, at its annual London Gala at The Other Palace, by Michael Ball, Don Black, Nigel Harman and Janie Dee. The S&S Award has now transformed into S&S Theatre Productions, a company dedicated to producing radical new musical theatre with co-production links between London and New York.