Aidan J Crowley was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1976 and raised in Co. Cork. He has been a professional actor and singer for over twenty years with numerous credits to his name. He is also a filmmaker, writing/directing many short films and has been working on his feature film, a triptych called The Scowling Dusk, as actor/writer/director/producer for a number of years. There are additional film projects in the works such as the supernatural western, NewtonCorrigan. He is known for his independence in filmmaking and preferring to shoot using old-fashioned in-camera methods, whilst creating his own particular stylistic design and acting on his films and in cinematography, puppetry, stop-motion and make-ups, logos and publicity. As an actor he is known for his research, immersing himself into the role and changing his appearance for every part. Crowley continues an eclectic workload including his music and voice (see below) and his own songwriting. There are boutique publishing projects such as AtlanticSanctuary and WhenTimeWasAPlayfulChild, the poetry of his late friend Tom O’Connor.
Initially training as a professional actor at Mountview Theatre School in London (graduating 1998), winning both theStage newspaper three year acting and musical theatre scholarship and the Mountview singing scholarship. After more than twenty years in the business he has played over eighty different roles in various guises to date. Essentially a character actor, he usually never looks the same as the part requires and prefers to go as far as he can with ‘transformation’ in acting. He has been described as a Method actor although this is not necessarily accurate. Crowley also studied acting at the Cork Arts and Theatre Club, the Phoenix Contemporary Theatre School, the Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin, two seasons at the Manchester Youth Theatre (NYT), Shakespeare at RADA and with the Actors Company at the London Centre for Theatre Studies. He began studying for a Master’s Degree in Shakespeare at Royal Holloway (University of London) but had to leave due to being offered a theatre tour.
Throughout 2013 Crowley produced his one man show entitled We Are Dust & Shadow as part of the Solo Festival at the Lord Stanley Theatre and subsequently at the Baron’s Court Theatre. This performance won the award for Most Original Act at the 2013 Solo Festival in London. Prior to returning to the role of Dick Deadeye in HMS Pinafore tour in 2014 he appeared as The Fool in theEclipse at the Union Theatre, which he also produced. Selected Theatre credits include: Blossom, Bellowes u/s and Postman in Doctor Dolittle UK Tour, Dick Deadeye in HMS Pinafore, Valene in The Lonesome West, Louis in Chelinot, George in Private Exposure, Kreutchmar in The Surgeon & the Nurse, Toennesen in The Pillars of Society, Mick Connor in Comedians, Rev. Hale in The Crucible, Pastor Manders in Ghosts, Soldier in Bacchai, Ghoul in The Rocky Horror Show, Raynor in Black Coffee, Det. Sgt. Penny in The Hollow, Sandy Tyrell in Hay Fever, Allwit in A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, Solyony in Three Sisters, Bill in Popcorn, Constable in Wait Until Dark, John in Oleanna, Roy Cohn in Angels in America Part 1, Angelo in Measure for Measure, Richard Mulcahy in Frongoch, Rakitin in A Month in the Country, Whitney in The Stonewater Rapture, Bandit/Johnstone in The Hard Man, Peter Kien in The Windmill, Gold in The Wild Party, Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet, The Commissioner in Lysistrata. Film/Television/Commercial includes: Tenor in Conn-X Greece, Patient in The Psychiatrist RaboBank Ireland, Dandy in Badger or Bust trailer, Husband in Halifax Ireland, Travolta in Daddy Cool, The Man in Old Friend, Fish in Lee’s Sitcom, Addict in Discovery Theme Parks, Dave in Fruice, Rebel in Nobby’s Nuts, Crazy Hair in Manpower. Voiceover/Radio includes: Time Warner, Cartoon Network, Thresher’s, guest newspaper reviewer on BBC London 94.9fm.
Voice & Music
Crowley is an Heroic Tenor/RockVocalist and he has studied voice with many highly regarded vocal tutors over the years including: Susie Webster, Nathan Martin, Claire Groom, Phillip Tebb, Lynton Atkinson, Alexander Massey, Neil Howlett, Mary Hammond RAM, Roderick Earle RCM. His first experimental classical/crossover album was called Those Strange Elusive Tears with the gifted cellist Deryn Cullen. Aidan is also a singer/songwriter and created 593records to produce and release independently his own albums including Pilgrim Simpatico, The Byzantium Broadway, Omens Of Tempest, Draoícht/Lux and Invisible Spirit. Alternative/Vocals/Guitars, experiments in music exploring a hybrid style, aria, songwriting, folk/rock and classical voice. Crowley likes to experiment in his own unique, simple Guitar style, each song written with different/unusual tunings, whilst working with various effects systems and orchestrations. In mid 2021 Crowley is recording an EP of classical aria The Dead Unsleeping Fires with acclaimed pianist Gisela Meyer. His latest music project 悪霊 AKURYŌ is a rock opera working in the epic doom metal genre.
Creative & Artist
In 2013 Crowley decided to take more control and focus on his own works, producing independent film and music projects whilst remaining freelance. To pursue and produce his own works as a musician, writer, publisher, producer, director and filmmaker. Aidan also has a keen interest for effective altruism especially life-changing paediatric surgery, different Cultures and Diversity and an intense dislike of racism and bigotry of any kind. Crowley, an actor, writer, producer, director, filmmaker, tenor, songwriter, musician…obviously has many interests, with an eclectic variety of creative projects in operation at any one time. He has a multifaceted imagination with a great curiosity towards life. Crowley’s pursuits have taken him on adventures as varied as research into his great love of Shakespeare, Esoteric Philosophy and even in the medical world as a Corporal in the Irish Red Cross and in the operating room, training for a time in the NHS as an anaesthetic and surgical assistant. He is also a published writer, art collector and an artist in pastel/pencil. Aviation is also a very important escape from the world and he holds a Private Pilot’s Licence which he takes very seriously.
Aidan is notoriously reserved about his private life and lives in London and UK with his wife Bridie.
Biography ©2021 Robert MacEllister
I watched your one man show the other day. It was certainly 'out there' and so many layers of meaning I still have no idea what it was about. But you played that challenging role so perfectly and your singing was stunning.
Aidan, what can I say, only you would bring opera and Shakespeare into a one man play. I loved it. You are a gifted actor.
We attended the recital in Queens's Park the other night. Just wanted to say we came along with some friends of…not expecting anything. You were extraordinary. Your voice is so emotional and powerful and I hate opera but you brought me to tears in a good way.
That was a brilliant and moving performance and some day the world will see what I see in your work.
I just wanted to comment that I am a great fan of your songwriting and excellent guitar playing. Underrated and understated. Closer and Distance I love.
…and Aidan Crowley as the superbly acted Dick Deadeye…
What you have done for Tom's poetry is much appreciated and the audiobook is very very good and suits his work.
Crowley played the role with depth and sensitivity.
…the energetic Aidan Crowley played the circus master with aplomb.
Aidan Crowley, in this world of kitsch, you are the courageous actor demanding something better.
At first I did not like what you were doing with Deadeye (this was in Buxton) but after a couple of scenes I understood it and I loved it. The finale 'He thinks he's won his Josephine' to the first act was the best I have ever heard it played. Bravo!
Hi there your Shakespeare recordings on Soundcloud are fantastic. Are you recording more?
Crowley is very charismatic in a gruesome kind of way.
Crowley has a tremendous voice, operatic in tone, a powerful presence onstage and I could not take my eyes from him when he appeared.
I have seen you in a number of roles at the Union and what impresses me most is how different you were in each. You remind me of a different Theatre.
You are a great actor. This is not meant to sound rude but you will come into your own with age so keep going.
…wisely played him with an Irish lilting accent despite the setting and it worked well.
Aidan your problem is that you do not know how good you actually are.
Crowley's tenor carries easily. I suspect he will grow into his voice with age and become a rare breed indeed.
Valene was played to great comic effect by Aidan Crowley, his bitterness towards his brother simmering underneath every word.
Your guitar playing is not like most and this is as it should be. It is called talent Aidan and do not change a thing about it.
...and Toennesen was the wonderful Aidan Crowley with subtext and emotion, perfect diction and stillness.
Crowley was really good as the antagonist here. Playing opposite such a strong actress he held his own.
…the role demands intelligent playing and craft and Crowley delivers.
Just to say you gave a fantastic performance as Connor, very natural. It is a difficult play and you stood out as usual.
Hello Aidan, I have played that role and it is not easy. You made it effortless and poignant.
You were so good we had no idea you were the villain until the revelation.
Aidan Crowley was hilarious as Sandy, a young actor to watch.
Crowley was particularly moving as the Texan with a confused and broken heart.
This young Irishman is going to be a great actor.
Crowley will be called an overnight success one day. This will be unjust to his superb ability and hard work.
I wanted to say I attended the reading on Friday and you played Kreutchmar perfectly. He was so evil you made my skin crawl.
It was particularly good to hear the Irish Gaelic spoken onscreen (a perfectly cast and powerful Aidan Crowley).
Dear Aidan, I was at the Romeo the other night and you were excellent as Mercutio. There was pathos in your performance. But you are so young!?
Actors should play roles - every single role I have ever played from youth theatre to drama school and to the present day - these are all characters to play - they all look different - they all feel different - even though they are expressions of me of course - but this is the point. Everyone wants personalities today - but there are only a few true actors and frankly I would prefer to be considered a true actor - that is how I was trained and that is how I play any part - look at any photos from the parts I have played and they are all different. Many times at the stage door I have been told 'Oh but you look so different off the stage' but yes that is entirely the point surely? I had a very good director called Terry Meech in Mountview and he said one of the great freedoms of being an actor was you could walk out of the theatre into the evening and not a soul knows who you are or who you just played on the stage. That is exactly right.
You see the thing about me is that I have never had any interest in fame or celebrity. I just think is so utterly vacuous and meaningless. Ask anyone who knew me in Drama School or Youth Theatre...I would just want to do the work. No interest even in socialising. Today I feel the same. I just want to continue to produce my films and my music and my other projects. You have to avoid typecasting. That has happened to me in the early days. I realised I was being considered for the wrong roles. So I walked the other way. This might have pissed some people off. So what.
You know one of the most fundamental things that can change your life - learn how to BREATHE. We learn how to breathe for singing of course and acting but it must become part of your life, moment to moment become aware of your BREATH. I cannot emphasise this enough. Learn how to do it.
You have to be cautious dealing with agents. Don’t trust any fucker. Before I was savvy I had an experience years ago of an agency owned by a z-list British actor and his horrible female partner. Cutting a long-story short, turns out they were stealing money from us actors. So we shut them down and Equity recovered most of the cash, but they reopened under another name later on. You have to be careful. Years later I complained on social media about them, without naming them, and a typical mafiosa casting director (he was friends with them) tried to defend them. I remember a number of actors contacting me so desperate not to be seen as speaking out against the agent they would not believe what we were saying. That is exactly how impressionable young actors get screwed out of money. Beware of the arseholes in this business. Some of us actually tell the truth. Now I actually refuse any representation. You want me you have to get me directly.
You have to be careful who you listen to. Most so-called experts really have no idea. I remember a respected musical director in London insisting I was a baritone when every vocal coach from both the Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music and beyond know that I have always been an Heroic Tenor. Of course anyone with skill understands the fact of that voice and the 'heavy' aspect to it but a Baritone it is not. Beware those people in the business who think they know more about your talent than you do.
The moment a director starts talking about playing games or throwing ball in the rehearsal space or spending four hours explaining why the writer placed a comma after a line is the second I want to go and have a cappuccino.
Never follow the crowd. Back in drama school there was a great Movement director but he was blunt and honest. Most of the school had a meeting to vote him out. I was one of the very few who told the entire school they were dumb to get rid of this guy. After that people were wary of me because I would never follow the crowd. I still don't! That was a stupid thing they all did back then. You know why they did it? He told us all how good or shit we were. Student actors can be so pretentious. All sorts of shit is said about me behind my back.Same as everyone else. Why not just ask me face to face?
I have had some really wonderful people help me especially when I was starting out. Geoffrey and Hazel Sykes at the Manchester Youth Theatre, Patricia Leventon and Gerard Reidy at the Phoenix Contemporary Theatre School, Peter Coxhead, Brian Astbury, Terry Meech, Jude Tisdall, Claudette Williams, Geoffrey Coleman at Mountview, David Harris at the Actors Co LCTS, Andrew Tidmarsh, Marcus Markou then Steve Miller, Sasha Regan, Ben De Wynter at the Union Theatre, Andrew Jarvis at the LCTS and Mary Hammond. I did some commercials with Declan Lowney, Scott Corbett and Mark Denton for example and they were very kind to me. You know you don’t forget those that help you. Of course there have been many bastards along the way too but that is part of life especially in this business. But I prefer to appreciate the wonderful people along the way.
I do admire certain actors. George C. Scott, Gérard Depardieu, Jack Nicholson, Spencer Tracy, Alec Guinness, Philip Seymour Hoffman, the tenors Jon Vickers, Giuseppe Giacomini, of course Daniel Day Lewis, Laurence Olivier...but I think true actors are rare. What I mean is avoiding fame or recognition and doing the work anyway because they have to do it. Perhaps they can be found in Europe, unknowns, working in theatres, creating magic. I dislike fakery and hollow celebrity. I mean you have to earn the right to stand on the stage, in front of the camera, you have to work it. Anything less is disrespectful.