Matthew Xia

Last updated

DJ Excalibah / Matthew Xia
Born Waltham Forest, London
Genres Hip Hop
Occupation(s) DJ, Radio presenter, Director

Matthew Xia is a British theatre director, DJ (under the name DJ Excalibah), composer, broadcaster and journalist. [1]

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Theatre director person overseeing the mounting of a theatre production

A theatre director or stage director is an instructor in the theatre field who oversees and orchestrates the mounting of a theatre production by unifying various endeavours and aspects of production. The director's function is to ensure the quality and completeness of theatre production and to lead the members of the creative team into realizing their artistic vision for it. The director therefore collaborates with a team of creative individuals and other staff, coordinating research, stagecraft, costume design, props, lighting design, acting, set design, stage combat, and sound design for the production. If the production he or she is mounting is a new piece of writing or a (new) translation of a play, the director may also work with the playwright or translator. In contemporary theatre, after the playwright, the director is generally the primary visionary, making decisions on the artistic concept and interpretation of the play and its staging. Different directors occupy different places of authority and responsibility, depending on the structure and philosophy of individual theatre companies. Directors use a wide variety of techniques, philosophies, and levels of collaboration.

Disc jockey person who plays recorded music for an audience

A disc jockey, often abbreviated as DJ, is a person who plays existing recorded music for a live audience. Most common types of DJs include radio DJ, club DJ who performs at a nightclub or music festival and turntablist who uses record players, usually turntables, to manipulate sounds on phonograph records. Originally, the disc in disc jockey referred to gramophone records, but now DJ is used as an all-encompassing term to describe someone who mixes recorded music from any source, including cassettes, CDs or digital audio files on a CDJ or laptop. The title DJ is commonly used by DJs in front of their real names or adopted pseudonyms or stage names. In recent years it has become common for DJs to be featured as the credited artist on tracks they produced despite having a guest vocalist that performs the entire song: like for example Uptown Funk.


Early life

Xia was born to a Scottish and English mother and Jamaican father in Waltham Forest, London, and was raised in Leytonstone and Newham. [1] [2] [3]

Scottish people ethnic inhabitants of Scotland

The Scottish people or Scots, are a nation and Celtic ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically, they emerged from an amalgamation of two Celtic-speaking peoples, the Picts and Gaels, who founded the Kingdom of Scotland in the 9th century. Later, the neighbouring Celtic-speaking Cumbrians, as well as Germanic-speaking Anglo-Saxons and Norse, were incorporated into the Scottish nation.

English people Nation and ethnic group native to England

The English people are a nation and an ethnic group native to England who speak the English language. The English identity is of early medieval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Angelcynn. Their ethnonym is derived from the Angles, one of the Germanic peoples who migrated to Great Britain around the 5th century AD. England is one of the countries of the United Kingdom, and the majority of people living there are British citizens.

Jamaica Country in the Caribbean

Jamaica is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. Spanning 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area, it is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles and the fourth-largest island country in the Caribbean. Jamaica lies about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometres (119 mi) west of Hispaniola.

Theatrical career

Xia's interest in theatre was encouraged when he joined the Theatre Royal Stratford East youth theatre. As a young actor he appeared in Tube Tale's Mouth directed by Armando Iannucci.

<i>Tube Tales</i> 1999 film

Tube Tales is a collection of nine short films based on the true-life experiences of London Underground passengers as submitted to Time Out magazine. The stories were scripted and filmed independently of each other. Filming took place on the London Underground network in 1999 by nine directors including Stephen Hopkins, Charles McDougall and Bob Hoskins, with directorial debuts by Ewan McGregor and Jude Law. The film was produced by Richard Jobson and is also Simon Pegg's film debut, in a small role.

Armando Iannucci British comedian, film director and producer

Armando Giovanni Iannucci is a Scottish satirist, writer, director, and radio producer. Born in Glasgow to Italian parents, Iannucci studied at the University of Glasgow followed by the University of Oxford, leaving graduate work on a D.Phil about John Milton to pursue a career in comedy. Starting on BBC Scotland and BBC Radio 4, his early work with Chris Morris on the radio series On the Hour transferred to television as The Day Today. A character from this series, Alan Partridge, co-created by Iannucci, went on to feature in a number of Iannucci's television and radio programmes, including Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge and I'm Alan Partridge. Iannucci also fronted the satirical Armistice review shows and in 2001 created his most personal work, The Armando Iannucci Shows, for Channel 4.

Xia was on the Board at the Theatre Royal Stratford East for 10 years, as well as being Associate Director there in 2009/2010. [4] Work here includes: I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky , Mad Blud, Re:Definition, Da Boyz (also musical director and composer), and as co-director Aladdin , Cinderella and The Blacks (also musical director and composer).

Theatre Royal Stratford East theatre in London, England

The Theatre Royal Stratford East is a large theatre in Stratford in the London Borough of Newham. Since 1953, it has been the home of the Theatre Workshop company, famously associated with Joan Littlewood.

<i>I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky</i> 1995 song play with music composed by John Adams with libretto by June Jordan, about the aftermath of the 1994 earthquake in Los Angeles; the main characters are 7 young American living in Los Angeles but from different social and ethnic backgrounds

I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky is a 1995 "song play" with music composed by John Adams and a libretto by June Jordan.

Aladdin Middle Eastern folk tale

Aladdin is a folk tale of Middle Eastern origin. It is one of the tales in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights , and one of the best known—despite not being part of the original Arabic text. It was added to the collection in the 18th century by the Frenchman Antoine Galland, who attributed the tale to a Syrian storyteller, Youhenna Diab.

Xia was a founding member of Act For Change, a trustee for Artistic Directors of the Future and has served on the boards of Rich Mix (2008-2012) and Creative Futures.

Rich Mix cinema and arts centre in Shoreditch, Tower Hamlets, London, England

Rich Mix is a cinema and cross-arts centre located in the East End of London, located in Shoreditch in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, England. Once a vast leather factory, 62,000 square foot building was transformed into a multi-arts venue, which has offered free arts & culture events to over 35,000 people in this past year. Stretched over five floors, the building contains a three-screen cinema showing the latest mainstream and independent films, and a multitude of flexible performance spaces, where both emerging and established artists are welcome to rehearse and perform. Rich Mix also house 20 creative organisations with a combined turnover of over £23,000,000 per year, employing over 320 people across a wide range of businesses.

In 2013, he was the recipient of the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme bursary and took up the post as Director in Residence at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, where he directed the premiere of Daniel Matthew’s Scrappers and was Associate Director of the Everyman's opening ceremony. [4]

Everyman Theatre, Liverpool theatre and building in Liverpool, Merseyside, England

The Everyman Theatre stands at the north end of Hope Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, England. It was founded in 1964, in Hope Hall, in an area of Liverpool noted for its bohemian environment and political edge, and quickly built a reputation for ground-breaking work. The Everyman was completely rebuilt between 2011 and 2014.

Liverpool Playhouse theatre in Liverpool, England

The Liverpool Playhouse is a theatre in Williamson Square in the city of Liverpool, England. It originated in 1866 as a music hall, and in 1911 developed into a repertory theatre. As such it nurtured the early careers of many actors and actresses, some of whom went on to achieve national and international reputations. Architectural changes have been made to the building over the years, the latest being in 1968 when a modern-style extension was added to the north of the theatre. In 1999 a trust was formed, joining the management of the Playhouse with that of the Everyman Theatre.

In 2013, he won the Young Vic’s Genesis Future Director award with his production of Sizwe Banzi is Dead , which sold out its six-week run at the Young Vic and was then followed by a six-week national tour. [4] He also directed the revival of Joe Penhall's Blue/Orange for the Young Vic in 2015 starring David Haig, Daniel Kaluuya and Luke Norris. From 2014-17 he was Associate Artistic Director at the Manchester Royal Exchange where he directed the Bruntwood Award-winning Wish List by Katherine Soper, Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods and Frankenstein adapted by April de Angelis. [4]

Xia was a member of the panel of judges for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2017 alongside: Alfred Enoch, Lucy Prebble, Russell T. Davies, Lyndsey Turner, Michael Oglesby, Phil Porter, and chair Kirsty Lang. He was also a judge for the 2017 Alfred Fagon Award.

Selected theatre productions

DJ Excalibah

Formerly a DJ on BBC Radio 1Xtra where he presented his show, 'Tales From the Legend' until 2005, [5] in 2012 during the parade at the 2012 Summer Paralympics opening ceremony, he presented a mix of global music along with DJ Walde and Goldierocks. [6] He has DJed at the Glastonbury Festival, Ministry of Sound, Fabric and clubs across Europe and the UK. [4] His other broadcast work includes BBC Radio 1, 6Music and Radio 4. [4]


Xia has written for The Stage , Hip Hop Connection , The Sunday Telegraph and The Guardian . [4]

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  1. 1 2 "The Swordsman". Nupé. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  2. "DJ Excalibah's new club night at The Broadway". 26 August 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  3. "DJ Excalibah". Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "The SDUK Board". Stage Directors UK. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  5. "DJ Excalibah". Retrieved 30 August 2012.
  6. "Paralympics Opening Ceremony playlist". 30 August 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2012.