NORTHERN Irish musician, singer and electronic composer Hannah Peel has written the score for Pilot Theatre and York Theatre Royal's production of Graham Greene's iconic Brighton Rock.

Adapted for the stage by Bryony Lavery, Greene's thriller is set in 1930s' gangland Brighton, where 'Pinkie' Brown, a teenage would-be gangster with psychotic tendencies, strives to hang on to his mob rule in the town. After the murder of Daily Messenger man Kolley Kibber (an alias for former gangster Fred Hale), Pinkie is trailed by amateur detective Ida Arnold, who tries to save Pinkie's girl, Rose, from his violent behaviour.

"The menacing aspects to the 1930s' story are even more resonant today, so I'm really excited about working with Pilot Theatre for this incredible stage version of Brighton Rock," says Hannah. "With an even greater sense of darkness in the current world climate, my mind is already buzzing from the amount of music and sonic possibilities we will be bringing live to the stage."

Hannah has not only attended rehearsals but will be performing her compositions live from tomorrow on the Theatre Royal stage, with the exception of matinee performances on March 1 and 3 March, when Laura Groves will take over.

Producer Ben Pugh had seen Hannah performing at the New Music Biennale at the Albemarle Music Centre in July as part of the Hull, UK City of Culture programme and promptly contacted her. "I then met the Pilot director, Esther Richardson, and we had a really good chat about Brighton Rock," Hannah recalls.

She is in fact no stranger to theatre. "Around the time I was playing shows with [singer/songwriter] David Ford, I was also involved in theatre in Liverpool. The biggest show was King Cotton at the Empire in Liverpool and I did a new commission for the Everyman and the Playhouse too.

"Since then, I haven't done a theatre piece for a while but I had no doubts about doing Brighton Rock. I love doing things for TV and film too, but this was a wonderful opportunity."

As it happens, Hannah was familiar with the work of Pilot Theatre, the resident company at York Theatre Royal. "My first essay for my theatre studies A-level was on a Pilot Theatre show, Lord Of The Flies," she recalls.

Hannah has revelled in creating the music for Brighton Rock. "It's the thriller element and the darkness that I'm drawn to, and the inner workings of a psychotic mind," she says. "You have a free rein to work on the music, and one of the things I loved was the references to 'Pinkie' having been in a choir, and the references to church music, and though 'Pinkie' now hates music, he also sees it as a saviour."

Although Northern Irish by birth, Hannah has strong connections with Yorkshire. "We moved to Yorkshire in the 1990s, so I went to school in Barnsley, playing the trombone in brass bands, hence I still have an interest in brass band music," she says.

Brighton Rock will open at York Theatre Royal from February 17 to March 3 and then will tour to Brighton, Colchester, Hull Truck Theatre (March 20 to 24), Cheltenham, Winchester, Watford, Birmingham, Newcastle, Mold, Derby and The Lowry, Salford Quays. Box office: York, 01904 623568 or at; Hull, 01428 323638 or

Please note, Brighton Rock's opening night has been moved from tonight to tomorrow.