"Hyland is a genius. He has to be. No one ordinary could do what he did." (Everything Theatre)
James Hyland is Artistic Director and Founder of Brother Wolf. He is also a multi award-winning stage and film actor as well as a critically acclaimed writer, producer and director. James' work has been described by the press as "magnificent" (Plays to See) and "highly accomplished" (The Stage). To date, he has received more than 140 outstanding reviews as well as over 300 audience testimonials for his ground-breaking performances. Following his education at the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, he made his professional acting debut in 'The North Pole', winning the Guardian International Student Drama Award in 1996. Since then he has appeared in over 70 professional productions, working with a variety of directors including Michael Boyd, Adrian Noble and Matthew Warchus, as well as acclaimed companies such as the Royal Shakespeare Company and Brother Wolf, winning a further four awards including Best Performer in Theatre (Fringe Report Awards, 2012) for his solo performance as Marley's Ghost in 'A Christmas Carol - As told by Jacob Marley (deceased)' and a nomination for The London Theatre Award (London Awards for Art and Performance 2012) in competition with the Royal Shakespeare Company's 'Matilda The Musical'. John Park, Director of the Fringe Report Awards, said "The award celebrates the work of James Hyland, actor, and in particular his creation and delivery of 'A Christmas Carol - As told by Jacob Marley (deceased)'. It reflects his fine work as an actor in film, TV, radio and theatre in a remarkable range of productions." In the same year, further honours were bestowed by Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace in recognition of Dickensian scholarship. By 2014, 'A Christmas Carol - As told by Jacob Marley (deceased)' had been officially rated as one of "the top Christmas shows in London, Edinburgh and around the UK" (High 50 Culture). The show's unique presentation has even been discussed in best-selling books about the theatre. In 2018, during the 175th anniversary of Dickens' original novella, James performed his award-winning show at The Royal Albert Hall, selling out to capacity. The production was followed by two more award-winning one-man shows: 'Fagin's Last Hour' in 2011 (Top Off West End Production - CentreStage Stars of 2018) and 'Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' in 2013 (Best Male Act - Solo Festival 2013). James serves as actor, adapter and producer on all three productions. The shows have toured extensively, breaking box office records along the way, as well as his 5-star commemorative drama 'A Lesson from Auschwitz', of which he is the writer, director, producer and co-actor (commended by The Foundation of Memory Sites Near Auschwitz-Birkenau), reviewed as "a majestic statement of the power of theatre" (Plays to See). His latest production, 'The Mad Hatter's Tea Party', an adaptation of 'Alice in Wonderland', of which he is also the adapter, director, producer and co-actor, sees him playing one of Lewis Carroll's most famous literary creations, The Mad Hatter. Reviewed as "entertaining, fun and full of laughs" (British Theatre Journal), the mind-bending play will be returning to the stage in 2021.
Screen credits include 'We Are Monster', nominated for The Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film (Edinburgh Festival, 2014) and the multi award-winning music videos/short films from Kaskade and Tinie Tempah in which James plays the lead roles: 'A Little More' and 'Disappoint You', again serving as writer (and improviser) of the dialogue; and also the twelve-time award-winning film 'Transmission' in which James plays the lead role of Dr Sam, screened at more than ninety festivals worldwide including The Fisheye Film Festival, The Horrible Imaginings Film Festival and Torino Underground Cinefest for which James received three Best Actor nominations. James can currently be seen in 'The Chippie' which has been selected for this year's BAFTA and Oscar qualifying film festivals: LA Shorts and the HolyShorts Film Festival. The film has also been selected for L'Étrange Festival. To date, James has appeared in eight award-winning films, four in which he plays the lead.