John Telfer took a degree in Music/Theatre at York University, then trained as an actor for two years at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, to which he has frequently returned over the years to teach, direct, and musically direct students.
He joined Richard Cottrell’s Bristol Old Vic Company straight from Theatre School, where he spent, initially, 5 happy years in a variety of plays.
Favourite shows have included a magical Midsummer Night’s Dream, also seen at the London Old Vic, and Amadeus at Chester, playing Salieri.
The 80’s were generally a time of touring- including Orwell’s England for The Royal National Theatre- and television work. He was one of the Actor/Presenters on ITV’s children’s shows Let’s Pretend, and played DC Pettit in 4 series of the much loved Bergerac.
TV appearances since then have included roles in Without Motive, Casualty, Licence To Live and Skins.
Recently he has been touring playing Johnny Cradock, and Philip Larkin.
He has narrated for The Brodsky String Quartet and also for the Bristol Ensemble and made literally dozens of radio broadcasts in plays and short stories, and Poetry Please.
Audio books are another enthusiasm, recently completing all 50 of Leslie Charteris’ Saint catalogue; Hans Fallada’s Alone in Berlin was placed 9th in the Telegraph’s 20 best Audiobooks of all Time.
He is also Alan Franks, the vicar in The Archers.
He has written musical scores for Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, The Bristol Old Vic, The Mermaid Theatre, Birmingham Rep, The Royal National Theatre, the Cambridge Theatre and The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, for which he and Clive Hayward wrote four pantomimes. He has also composed music for numerous Radio 4 dramas and for BBC2’s Everyman programme When Did You Last See Your Father?, ITV’s Let’s Pretend, the theme tunes for Ozzie The Owl and West Foot Forward (ITV), and was the arranger/musical director for three musical documentaries, Loose Gags, Songs and Sketches on Radio 4, and Festival Follies and Merman on Radio 2.
John has also composed four musicals: Massacre (with Bill Pryde) based on Marlowe’s Massacre At Paris for York University and the Edinburgh Festival; You’re Not Singing Any More (with Chris Bond) about a group of football fans, which was showcased at Bristol City Football Club, Checking Out (which features romance and murder across two continents) and Muscles the Musical (both with Alec Reid), which was premiered at The Landor Theatre in London.
His work as a director includes The Follies of Weston Super ‘The Owl and The Pussycat went to See…, Die Fledermaus for Bristol Opera, and the premieres of Eric Wetherell’s A Foreign Field and The Snow Child.
He was producer for The Bristol Gilbert and Sullivan Society for some years and fronted the Bristol Rock band AFGM.