Book and Lyrics by Julian Woolford            Music by Richard John



Comrade Rockstar is a new original musical based on the true story of Dean Reed. During the Cold War many Russians and East Germans believed Reed was the most famous American in the world. A pop star, film star and heart-throb, he brought to the Eastern bloc an idea of Hollywood glamour married with communist ideology. 

Dean’s life was full of storytelling and reinvention. At the fall of the Berlin Wall the East German authorities destroyed many administrative and secret service records, among them those relating to Dean Reed. 

Comrade Rockstar is an original musical riff on his story. It is neither biography, fact, nor fiction but every character who appears is based in reality.


Ten years in the writing, the musical was workshopped first at Arts Educational, then at Royal Scottish Conservatoire and at Central School of Speech and Drama, each time developing further.
In 2007 Carl Au, a student at Arts Educational School, won the inaugural Stephen Sondheim Student Singer of the Year competition singing Franklin Shepherd Inc and Smallville Colorado from Comrade Rockstar.

Smallville Colorado and Don’t Go were both chosen to be included in the New Works Festival in Delaware USA produced by Clear Space Productions.

In 2010 a complete reading took place at Arts Educational with a cast including Ben Goddard, Rosie Ashe, Gemma Sutton, Katy Secombe and Issy Van Randwyck.
In 2014 a further workshop took place at Guildford School of Acting where the work was completed and in October 2015 a concert version took place at the Ivy Theatre, Guildford School of Acting, and streamed worldwide. The cast comprised West End stars, alumni, students and staff including Tim Howar as Dean Reed, Andy Conaghan, Caroline Sheen, Kim Ismay, Lucy Schaufer, Nicola Blackman, Orla Gormley, and Yvette Robinson. Reviews from this concert are included.  

Following this SimG Records produced an album of songs from the musical featuring many of the Ivy Theatre concert cast. The album is also available on Spotify and Apple Music.

Listen to a demo of Smallville Colorado.


Two songs from Comrade Rockstar have been chosen for the New Works Festival in Delaware USA, produced by Clear Space Productions.

Each year, Clear Space's Festival includes a concert of songs from new musicals by emerging writers.

The two songs chosen are Smalliville Colorado and Don't Go. Smallville Colorado was the song Carl Au chose when he won the Sondheim Student Performer of the year - Don't Go will get it's first public performance at the Festival. The concert this year is to be held on 13 November. If you are in Delaware then go along. You can find more information here.