Melanie Wilson

Melanie Wilson Portrait



Melanie Wilson is a London based writer, performer and sound artist. Her work employs theatre, sound art and contemporary forms of composition, and she has collaborated with artists and companies across forms of theatre, film, opera, music and installation.

Current and forthcoming projects include: ORLANDO (Schaubühne) 

Credits include: WHEN WE HAVE SUFFICIENTLY TORTURED EACH OTHER (National Theatre); MEEK (Headlong); THE SHAPE OF PAIN (China Plate Theatre); UNCLE VANYA (HOME, Manchester); ANATOMY OF A SUICIDE (Royal Court); OPERA FOR THE UNKNOWN WOMAN (Wales Millenium Centre & Yorkshire International Festival), NO LIGHT AND NO LAND ANYWHERE (Film - Screenplay & Direction by Amber Sealey); RIDE (with Abigail Conway, Tasmania and U.K tour); PLAYING FOR TIME (dir. Richard Beecham, Sheffield Crucible);LANDSCAPE II(Ireland and UK Tour); AUTOBIOGRAPHER(Toynbee Studios, London and UK tour – winner of Off Westend Award for Best Sound Design); IRIS BRUNETTE (winner of Best Production award at Dublin Fringe); EVERY MINUTE, ALWAYS (Edinburgh Fringe 2010), SELF PORTRAIT WITH FRIDA (One on One Festival, BAC); THE VIEW FROM HERE (One on One Festival, BAC) and SIMPLE GIRL (UK and international tour, Edinburgh Fringe, Dublin Fringe).  

Melanie has collaborated with artists and companies including Rotozaza, Clod Ensemble, Coney, Shunt, Chris Goode, Subject to_Change, Will Adamsdale and Becky Beasley. She has also designed sound for Katie Mitchell’s productions of CLEANSED(National Theatre); REISENDE AUF EINEM BEIN (Hamburg); THE FORBIDDEN ZONE(Salzburg Festival, European tour and Barbican); A SORROW BEYOND DREAMS (Burgtheater, Vienna; DIE GELBE TAPETE (Schaubuehne, Berlin, 2013) and REISE DURCH DIE NACHT (Schauspeilhaus, Köln 2012), and. She works with Fuel to produce some of her projects.

18 August 2017

ADAM and THE SHAPE OF THE PAIN are Fringe First Winners!

ADAM and THE SHAPE OF THE PAIN are Fringe First Winners!

ADAM and THE SHAPE OF THE PAIN are among the second round of Fringe First Winners.

The second set of Fringe First Awards, recognising outstanding new writing premiered at the Edinburgh Festival, have just been announced.

The “hugely powerful” ADAM, is written by MLR’s Frances Poet, and is based on the life story of Adam Kashmiri.

THE SHAPE OF THE PAIN by Rachel Bagshaw and Chris Thorpe has Lighting & Projection by MLR’s Joshua Pharo and Sound Composition/Design by MLR’s Melanie Wilson. 

07 August 2017

THE SHAPE OF PAIN opens in Edinburgh

THE SHAPE OF PAIN opens in Edinburgh

THE SHAPE OF PAIN, by Chris Thorpe and Rachel Bagshaw has Lighting/Projection Design by Joshua Pharo and Sound Compositions/Design by Melanie Wilson.


The Guardian ★★★★

“There are times when the sound composition and design (by Melanie Wilson) and the video and lighting design (by Joshua Pharo) collide in such intense and surprising ways that it feels as if we are immersed in pain itself”

“This is an exercise in empathy – and it is exhilarating theatre.”



“uses sound, colour and movement to communicate a bodily experience typically understood to be ‘beyond language”

“rebelliously revolutionary”



13 June 2017

Music/Sound by Melanie Wilson on ANATOMY OF A SUICIDE

Music/Sound by Melanie Wilson on ANATOMY OF A SUICIDE

Written by Alice Birch and Directed by Katie Mitchell, ANATOMY OF A SUICIDE has Sound and Music by Melanie Wilson.

Timeout ★★★★★ 

“Melanie Wilson’s sometimes sinister, sometime pulsating sound design is … the most haunting”

“It is gut-level, subliminal: a depiction of tragedy as a disease that swims silently through the bloodstream.”

“a sensuous, unsettling blur of movement and story. There is almost too much to take in: visually, verbally, technically, narratively. But that’s part of its power: it is as ritualistic as it is cerebral.”


The Guardian ★★★★

“immaculate production” 

“startling theatrical triptych”


The Independent ★★★★

“extraordinary intensity and precision”

“a powerful, unflinching look at a family afflicted with severe depression and mental illness.”


The Times ★★★★

“a searing and disturbing drama” 

“a precise, cleverly staged and powerful play.”


The Evening Standard ★★★★

“What a fiercely uncompromising, clinically emotional two hours this is.”

 “an intricately interwoven work”


The Telegraph ★★★★

“The way conversations overlap, intersect, even chime exactly, as if words are echoing down the decades, is a compositional marvel.”

“the essential bravery and daring of it all”


WhatsOnStage ★★★★

“a rumbling, howling, disturbing soundtrack from Paul Clark and Melanie Wilson.” 

“As it works its way towards its strongly affecting ending, it asks you to understand by osmosis. I find it has eaten into my thinking in a way many more conventional plays do not.”


The Stage ★★★★

“full of pain and strange beauty” 

“builds and builds to an incredibly powerful finale in which hope, while distant, can still be glimpsed.”



"Melanie Wilson’s soundscapes swim around like underwater echoes."

"unflinching examination of motherhood and mental health, articulated with a sharp sense of theater"


26 February 2016

Melanie Wilson is Sound Designer on CLEANSED at the National Theatre

Melanie Wilson is Sound Designer on CLEANSED at the National Theatre

Katie Mitchell’s unflinching and daring new production of Sarah Kane’s twisted tale of love plays at the National until 5th May.

Financial Times ★★★★★

“Nothing short of magnificent” 

“I cannot imagine a more powerful production of this powerful play.”

Post Cards Gods 

“Perhaps even more crucial than the set and lighting is the sublime sound design”

“this vast, cavernous echoey *place*, built out of music and noise.” 

“a real landmark production”

Spilled Ink

“You will never have felt so much in a theatre”

“It will stay with you for the rest of your life. This is what theatre is for.”

“The production has a completely beautiful constant running soundtrack of electronic screams and pulses, groans and grinds, like a kind of Radiophonic Workshop in hell.” 

“hauntingly gorgeous to hear.”

“It's both sound and music; I don't know where Paul Clark's music ends and Melanie Wilson's sound begins and I don't want to know”

“daring and uncompromising”

Time Out ★★★★

“constantly soundtracked by a whirring, pulsating score”

“a strangely beautiful vortex of horror.”

The Stage ★★★★

“simultaneously repellent and compelling”

“strikingly precise” 

Evening Standard ★★★★

“gorily immediate and somewhat intoxicating”

The Arts Desk ★★★★ 

“conveys a desolate kind of beauty and a vivid picture of emotional extremity”