1974 – 1978 Founder member, songwriter and singer/guitarist with the “proto-punk” rock band THE DOCTORS OF MADNESS. Three albums and two world tours.
1978 – 1980 Solo performance project, “THE PHENOMENAL RISE OF RICHARD STRANGE”, a one-man, multi-media political fable. Toured USA, Canada and Europe, performing in such diverse venues such as New York’s Mudd Club and Vienna’s Steinhof Psychiatric Clinic. Released two albums, one with Virgin and one with NY label “ZE”, and a short film.
1980 -1981 Created London’s first alternative mixed-media cabaret in Soho, CABARET FUTURA, featuring the earliest shows by artists such as Shane McGowan, Keith Allen, Depêche Mode and Marc Almond. The highly successful cabaret was hosted by Richard Strange and was featured on the BBC, Granada TV, Central TV, NBC, RTL and others.
Present Richard has continued to write and record songs, release CDs, make videos and play live concerts. He has recently participated as a singer in a number of concerts organised by the celebrated American Producer/Arranger Hal Wilner, most notably “Stay Awake!” a programme of Walt Disney songs, which was performed at London’s Royal Festival Hall as part of Jarvis Cocker’s Meltdown Festival, and also in New York. The shows featured Grace Jones, Nick Cave, Steve Buscemi, Pete Docherty, Shane McGowan, Jarvis Cocker and Beth Orton.
Richard also sang at Wilner’s “Rogues Gallery”, an evening of Sea Shanties at London’s Barbican Theatre, in July, alongside Tim Robbins, Shane McGowan, Martha Wainwright, and Suzanne Vega.
Richard also played the legendary Glastonbury Festival in 2009, showcasing the album The Phenomenal Rise of Richard Strange in its entirety.
2009 also saw Strange and his long-time collaborator, the multi-instrumentalist David Coulter, together onstage at London’s Barbican Theatre, as part of the ArtAngel project “The Plague Songs”, with Rufus Wainwright and Damon Albarn, among others.
That same year he worked at the same theatre on the Scott Walker tribute evening Drifting and Tilting, with Damon Albarn and Jarvis Cocker
Ever an innovator, he worked alongside Coulter and the artist Gavin Turk on designing and fabricating a new musical instrument, a car-horn organ, for Albarn to feature in his Chinese opera production Monkey.
He composed the music for the short film The Blood Road, directed by Temple Clark, and a score for the Contemporary Dance company Protein Dance (http://proteindance.co.uk/productions4.html)
In 2010 he re-opened Cabaret Futura after a 30 year hiatus, performed the children’s fantasy book Anna and The Witch’s Bottle at the Barbican’s Surreal House exhibition, and curated this year’s New Territories International Festival Of Live Art in Glasgow.
Last summer he presented and co-wrote This is Not Magritte, a programme commissioned by BBC Radio 4 to coincide with a retrospective of the work of the Belgian surrealist.
He also hosts a monthly live chat show, A MIGHTY BIG IF. His recent guests have included Mike Figgis, Gavin Turk, Simon Day, Robert Elms, Cornelia Parker and Michael Nyman.
In November 2011 he curated a special one-off evening for the Tate Gallery, Millbank. Called Cabaret Apocalyptica, it was Richard’s response to the work of the 18th/19th Century artist John Martin, whose visions of the Apocalypse dominate the vast retrospective exhibition of his work currently on show at Tate Britain.
The same month he was invited by The Hong Kong Design Institute to take up the post of Creator In Residence.
In January 2012 he composed the song “Blood Brother” for the US Movie Dark Hearts.
1982 – Present As well as being a musician, Richard Strange has also worked professionally as an actor for the last twenty-six years.
His feature film credits include, among others, MONA LISA with Bob Hoskins, BATMAN with Jack Nicholson, ROBIN HOOD, PRINCE OF THIEVES with Kevin Costner, GANGS OF NEW YORK with Daniel Day Lewis, MR LONELY with Werner Herzog and Samantha Morton, and INKHEART with Helen Mirren, Brendan Fraser and Jim Broadbent. More recently he has just finished work on the last HARRY POTTER film. In the course of his long career Richard has worked with such celebrated film directors as Tim Burton, Martin Scorsese, Harmony Korine and Neil Jordan. Most recently he has worked on such films as Richard Jobson’s THE SOMNAMBULISTS, David Scheinmann’s THEATRE OF DREAMS and Sally Potter’s BOMB.
Selected television credits include THE BLACKHEATH POISONINGS, TRIAL AND RETRIBUTION, DANDELION DEAD, THE BILL, FOOTBALLERS WIVES and four episodes of MEN BEHAVING BADLY.
In addition, he has appeared as co-host in more than 50 episodes of the popular German TV programme “GOTTSCHALKS HAUSPARTY” for SAT 1.
He has also appeared in numerous television commercials, both as an actor and voiceover artist.
His theatre work includes a 12-month long world tour of HAMLET, directed by the Russian director Yuri Lyubimov, MURDER IS EASY in London, and Zola’s CRIMES OF PASSION, directed by Pip Broughton, for the Nottingham Playhouse, and most recently a world tour of Tom Waits/William Burroughs’s THE BLACK RIDER, directed by the legendary New York director Robert Wilson.
Fringe work includes THE LAST NIGHT OF ANTONIN ARTAUD and the title role in THE BEELZEBUB SONATA
Throughout 2003 Richard toured the UK with the Prize-winning Dance Theatre company PROTEIN DANCE, appearing with them onstage as an actor, singer, musician and narrator. He is currently collaborating with them again, creating a soundtrack for a new piece, to be premiered in November 2008.
Between 2004-2006 he performed as actor/singer in the Robert Wilson/William Burroughs/Tom Waits collaboration THE BLACK RIDER, which starred Marianne Faithfull, and which won huge critical acclaim for shows at The Barbican, London, as well as in San Francisco, in Sydney and in Los Angeles.
Last summer he contributed texts which were integrated into the work by the Anglo/Pakistani sound artist Haroon Mirza. He subsequently performed the texts live at the exhibition’s openings in London and Dundee. A recent collaboration with Mirza, An Element of Control, was exhibited at the Hayward Gallery show New British Art 7 in 2011.
Additionally he has collaborated with the performance art collective boyleANDshaw, (ICA and Calvert 22 Gallery) and the artist Kelly Dearsley. (New Moves International Festival of Live Art 2011)
He presents “A MIGHTY BIG IF”, his monthly live chat show, from the Chapel of St Barnabas, Soho. His recent guests have included Michael Nyman, Cornelia Parker OBE, Mike Figgis, Simon Day, Robert Elms and Gavin Turk.
His legendary Cabaret Futura is running monthly in London and other venues. The Cabaret has recently featured performances by Gary Kemp, SarahJane Morris, Michael Nyman, Richard Wilson, Rupert Thomson, Stella Duffy, John Lenahan and Ed Harcourt.