"..driven by a brilliant score by Kelly Ryall that’s performed live on stage. "
Alison Croggan, ABC Arts, 12 October 2015 - The Bacchae

"…… amplified by the savage strokes of Kelly Ryall's score, which, like Bernard Herrmann's ''shower scene'' for Psycho, embodies the brutality of a crime we hardly dare imagine."
Jason Blake, Sydney Morning Herald, 13 Jan 2012 - The Boys.


Kelly is an award-winning composer, musician and sound designer for theatre, dance and film. Kelly is recognised internationally for creating immersive and multi-layered musical landscapes for the stage and screen. 
His recent focus has been to establish a music driven theatre/performance practice, where score not script is the driver behind a work. 

ANIMAL directed by Susie Dee and THE BACCHAE directed by Adena Jacobs (Melbourne Festival and Dark Mofo) are the first of these works and were received to public and critical acclaim. Kelly’s music for theatre includes: for Melbourne Theatre Company, DI VIV AND ROSE, HAY FEVER, THREE LITTLE WORDS, DOUBLE INDEMNITY, PEDDLING, RUPERT (which toured to Sydney’s Theatre Royal and The Kennedy Centre in Washington DC), THE CRUCIBLE, ON THE PRODUCTION OF MONSTERS, RETURN TO EARTH, DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE, GOD OF CARNAGE, SAVAGE RIVER (with Griffin), DANCE OF DEATH, ON THE MISCONCEPTION OF OEDIPUS; for Sydney Theatre Company, BOYS WILL BE BOYS; THE TRIAL (with Malthouse); for Queensland Theatre: SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE; for Bell Shakespeare, ROMEO AND JULIET, AS YOU LIKE IT; TARTUFFE, PHEDRE, HENRY IV, MACBETH, JULIUS CAESAR and THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES; for Malthouse EDWARD II, THE SHADOW KING (toured to Barbican), DANCE OF DEATH, ONE NIGHT THE MOON, DIE WINTERREISSE (with Thin Ice and Brisbane Festival); for Griffin, THE BOYS (with Sydney Festival), AND NO MORE SHALL WE PART, DREAMS IN WHITE, MERCURY FUR and DON’T SAY THE WORDS; THE BACCHAE (Fraught Outfit, Melbourne Festival, Dark Mofo); and for Belvoir Theatre, TITLE AND DEED, NORA, HEDDA GABLER; CINDERELLA; KILL THE MESSENGER; and LOVE ME TENDER. Music for dance includes YOU ANIMAL, YOU directed by Danielle Micich (Force Majeure); 10,000 SMALL DEATHS with Paula Ley (Dance Massive); TEAM OF LIFE, FLESH AND BONE and SUNDOWNER for KAGE; EXPECTATION with Carlee Mellow; PIECES FOR SMALL SPACES with Lucy Guerin Inc; and PIECE FOR PERSON AND GHETTO BLASTER with Nicola Gunn including Australian and world tours.

For film, Kelly’s work includes composing the music for documentary film MEMORY PLAY (ABC); and short films: EYE CONTACT; TOMORROW, TOMORROW, TOMORROW; STASIS; THE CURTAIN BREATHED DEEPLY; LOIS; ONE NIGHT; FINALE; MEAT; SANDWICH; SQUOKA; MARCH; BE FAMOUS; WINNER; RUNAWAY; and APOCOLYPSE BEAR; as well as many TVCs. 

Kelly has won four Green Room Awards and a Melbourne International Arts Festival Award and been nominated for a Sydney Theatre Award and numerous Green Room Awards.

Kelly was a member of band High Pass Filter for many years and toured internationally with the band, performing with groups such as Beastie Boys, The Boredoms, Fugazi, Lee Scratch Perry and Tortoise.

Kelly is currently creating music for AGAINST THE TIDE, the interactive and immersive experience on the Parramatta River; and YOU ANIMAL, YOU with Force Majeure for Sydney Festival. 

This year Kelly’s work includes WORKING WITH CHILDREN for MTC, BROTHERS WRECK for Malthouse and State Theatre Company of South Australia and development on THE CHAN PROJECT with Force Majeure. His short films TOMORROW, TOMORROW, TOMORROW and EYE CONTACT screen in competition at Flickerfest 2018 and CHERRY SEASON will be released later this year.



For Edward II..
Kelly Ryall’s superbly realised score occasionally blasts the audience with a deafening level of decibels. The experience is assaulting, at once both voyeuristic and violating, designed to expose our nerves and leave us shaken but alert.
Maxim Boon, Daily Review, Aug 4th 2016

For the Bacchae...
....driven by a brilliant score by Kelly Ryall that’s performed live on stage. 
Alison Croggan, ABC Arts, Oct, 2015

For Macbeth.
...a very good, almost subliminal, score by Kelly Ryall.
John McCallum, The Australian, April 13th, 2012

Kelly Ryall's thorough-composed soundscape……. is a vital sensuous cue, intensifying design and performance to a high pitch of theatricality.  - Alison Croggon, Theatre Notes, 16th June 2012

A feature on Kelly Ryall for Macbeth in the Sydney Morning Herald

For The Boys.
……loudly amplified by the savage strokes of Kelly Ryall's score, which, like Bernard Herrmann's ''shower scene'' for Psycho, embodies the brutality of a crime we hardly dare imagine.
Jason Blake, Sydney Morning Herald, 13 Jan 2012

For Die Winterreise.
"Perhaps most impressive of all technical elements is Kelly Ryall's sound design. Carefully crafted reverb and heightened amplification of the sound of O'Hara's breathing, or Shevtsov's chopping of vegetables, for example, coupled with live looping create a sonic landscape that primes the audience's sensory response to the work to an almost uncomfortable degree.…. the performance of the sound operator is as intricate and impressive as the performances of the four men on stage."
Julia Sutherland, TheatrePeople.com.au, July 25th 2011

For Expectation.
"Ryall's musical composition is a highlight with live onstage sound such as Mellow's random vocalising looped into the sound design. In a sense, the music and performance are interdependant, informing and inspiring one another in each individual performance of Expectation..."
Saturday Age - 13 nov 2010

For The Trial.
"Kelly Ryall’s brilliant sound design is one of the most textured and dramatically active I've experienced: it's a world in itself, paranoid and inscrutable, of half heard human voices, technological noise, irritating beeps, acoustic echoes punctuating the spoken text"
Alison Croggon - Theatre Notes, 2010

"Much credit for the success of this production goes to Kelly Ryall and his brilliant sound design, a near-constant score of sepulchral echoes, whispering, techno-buzz and jarring noise"
Jason Blake - Sydney Morning Herald - 2010

For Detest.
"Kelly Ryall's music is perfectly matched to this aesthetic - savage and pounding, with the distortion on overdrive. "
Martin Ball - The Age- 2007