In the bustling heart of London’s West End, the world of theatre has seen numerous illustrious names rise and make their mark. Among them is Katy Richardson, the vibrant musical director and supervisor who has given life to iconic performances such as Death Note, Rent, and Bonnie and Clyde. Supported by the guidance of Bronia Buchanan’s BBA Management, Katy’s journey from a child passionate about music to a renowned figure in the theatrical realm is nothing short of inspiring.
SIX: A Meteoric Rise
It was Katy’s involvement with the record-breaking SIX the Musical that threw her into the spotlight. As the UK musical supervisor for the Tony Award-winning show, she was instrumental in molding it into the cultural phenomenon it has become today. The musical’s undeniable success during its initial stint at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and subsequent sold-out run at London’s Arts Theatre, is a testament to the brilliance of the team behind it.
Katy reminisces about the early days of SIX, stating, “I remember listening to the demos before I agreed to do it and then being in rehearsals and thinking, ‘God, I think this is really good. It’s really clever…’”. Her intuition was spot on, as the performance continued to sweep the nation and eventually led to a monumental display at the 2019 Olivier Awards.
Charting Katy’s Path
Delving into Katy’s past, it’s clear that her love for music was ingrained from a young age. Her childhood was marked by lessons in various musical instruments, with piano being her first love. Inspired by her parents’ eclectic musical taste, ranging from the rock anthems of Queen to the smooth ballads of Frank Sinatra, Katy’s journey into the arts was a natural progression.
Post-university, her musical pursuits led her to the hallowed halls of Urdang, London’s premier performing arts academy. It was here that her talent began to shine, eventually catching the attention of Mike Dixon and, subsequently Bronia Buchanan. After a brief stint at Urdang, Katy’s pivotal break came when she was approached to be the musical director for SIX at Edinburgh Fringe.
Bronia Buchanan’s BBA Management: The Game Changer
One must discuss Katy’s success by shining a light on the influential Bronia Buchanan and her agency, BBA Management, recognised in the industry as a team that “really looks after creatives”. The agency’s meticulous attention to detail, paired with their unmatched industry knowledge, has supported in getting Katy’s career to the next level. Katy sums up her experience by stating, “Bronia Buchanan’s always saying my name to people. It just feels like you’ve got someone else on your side.”
Advocate for the Underrepresented
Beyond the curtains and the applause, Katy also uses her platform to address the stark imbalance in the theatre industry. She co-founded the Musical Director Mentorship Scheme in 2021, ensuring female representation and aiming to pave the way for more women in leadership roles in theatre.
Additionally, as an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, Katy has always been vocal about supporting trans artists and ensuring their inclusion and comfort. She emphasises, “If you’re going to have trans artists in your rehearsal room, you have to support them.”
The Road Ahead
Katy’s recent involvement with Death Note: The Musical and the “true crime punk rock musical” LIZZIE at Hope Mill Theatre ensures she remains at the forefront of innovation in the theatre world. Her trajectory, supported by Bronia Buchanan’s BBA Management, has been remarkable, and the world waits with bated breath for her next masterpiece.