Projects Archive

Who Is This That Comes? (2011)

A Ghost Story for Christmas

Who Is This That Comes? is a performance piece commissioned by Opera North Projects for the Howard Assembly Room. Combining music, drama and movement, and inspired by the ghost stories of MR James, the piece is written by Alasdair Middleton and directed by William Tuckett. The soundscape is by leading film, TV and theatre composer  Paul Englishby. It is based on a number of MR James' ghost stories including Lost Hearts and There was a Man Who Lived by a Churchyard.

Written by - Alasdair Middleton
Directed by – William Tuckett
Composed by – Paul Englishby


Alasdair Middleton is a British playwright and an opera librettist. His 2007 opera for children based on Pinocchio was received with success. Alasdair Middleton's work as a librettist includes 'The World was all Before Them' and 'On London Fields' (winner of a Royal Philharmonic Award 2005) both for Matthew King, and 'The Hackney Chronicles' and 'On Spital Fields' (winner of a Royal Philharmonic Award 2006) both for Jonathan Dove. Alasdair also teaches the Junior Classes at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Paul Englishby is a Film and Theatre Composer, Orchestrator, Conductor and Pianist. Paul is an award winning composer, his music ranges from dramatic orchestral scores, to big band jazz; from songs and choral works to propulsive rhythmic scores for dance. He works extensively in Film and Theatre, as well as fulfilling numerous commissions for the concert hall.

William Tuckett is a Dancer, choreographer and film/television director. William is one of the Royal Ballet’s Principal Character Artists. His work as choreographer encompasses creations for the Royal Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, American Ballet Studio Theatre as well as successful commissions for both the Clore Studio Upstairs and, notably, the Linbury Studio Theatre. Following the success of The Wind in the Willows, created for the last named venue, Tuckett approached Igor Strawinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat creating a successful work that relies on a perfect amalgam of musical theatre, modern dance, sparkling acting and pure theatre magic.

Harry Melling is an English actor, best known for playing Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter films. In 2009 he made his stage debut as ‘Swiss Cheese’ in a revival of Mother Courage and her Children at the National Theatre, alongside Fiona Shaw. He also appears in an episode of the BBC Series Merlin, ‘The Sorcerer's Shadow’.

Laura Caldow is a UK based dancer. Past performances include Messiah for Deborah Warner at Opera De Lyon, West Side Story for Will Tuckett at Sage Gateshead/Royal Shakespeare Company, Madame Butterfly for Blind Summit and ENO at the London Coliseum.

Performance history

Howard Assembly Room
Wednesday 14 December

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