Joe was recently awarded the 2019 Off West End Award for Musical Director for his work on The Rink at Southwark Playhouse.

The Rink won five 2019 Offies in total, including Best Musical Production.

This success follows the 2018 awards, in which Superhero - another musical with direction by Adam Lenson and musical direction by Joe - won two Offies, including Best New Musical.

Joe’s next project is a production of Tim Connor and Susannah Pearce’s new British musical, The Station Master, at Chichester University in June 2019.


Joe’s musical / vocal direction credits include: Wasted; The Rink; Superhero: A One Dad Musical (Southwark Playhouse); My Fair Lady (The Mill at Sonning); 35mm: A Musical Exhibition (The Other Palace); Seven Crazy Bitches (The Vaults); The Events (UK & US Tour / Queen Elizabeth Hall); Rock City (Celebrity Cruises); West End Recast (Duke of York’s); Gone Fishing (Royal Opera House Linbury Studio); Assassins (Pleasance Theatre); Just Another Love Story (London Theatre Workshop); Side by Side by Sondheim (Headliners Club). 

Joe was the onstage pianist for two UK and one US tour of David Grieg’s award-winning play, The Events, and was the co-MD for a special one-off performance of the play at the South Bank's Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2014 which featured a choir of 250 singers from all over the UK and Ireland.

He has been MD for student productions of Sister ActCabaretMe and My GirlThe Hot MikadoThe Last Five YearsThe Witches of Eastwick, Bare: A Pop Opera, Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

Teaching at Arts Ed. Photography: Tom Packer

Teaching at Arts Ed. Photography: Tom Packer


Rehearsal for Our Town (Almeida, 2014). Photography: Marc Brenner


In 2014, Joe played the role of Professor Willard in David Cromer’s acclaimed re-imagining of the Thornton Wilder play Our Town at the Almeida Theatre.

During that run, he curated and compèred a charity cabaret at the Almeida, featuring the entire cast of Our Town, including Annette McClaughlin, Anna Francolini, Richard Lumsden, Rhashan Stone and David Cromer. 

Joe’s other cabaret MD work includes concerts and open mic nights at the Phoenix Artist Club, and two star-studded concerts at the Other Palace: Crazytown: The Musical World of Ryan Scott Oliver, and Adam Gwon: The New American Musical, which celebrated the work of these American composers, with performances by Fra Fee, Alexia Khadime, Stuart Matthew Price, Helena Blackman, Cassie Compton and the composers themselves.

Banner image credit: Marc Brenner

Superhero Image.jpg


★★★★★ ‘An engaging, emotive and immaculately crafted one-man musical… The writing is superb and this is matched by intuitive musical direction from Joe Bunker.’ The Stage

★★★★ ‘A massively endearing, genuinely funny and touching musical.’ Time Out

★★★★ ‘Bittersweet, funny and genuinely moving… Michael Rouse is thrilling.’ Broadway World

★★★★ ‘Hughes, Finlay and Conley have crafted a musical that tells a fresh, original story in an exhilarating and refreshing manner.’ Musical Theatre Review

★★★★ ‘An ambitious one-man musical delivered with raw emotion and powerful energy by Michael Rouse. Clever, moving and captivating.’ The Upcoming

The Rink

Southwark Playhouse

25. May - 23 June 2018


★★★★★ ‘A masterclass in acting, directing and design, The Rink at The Southwark Playhouse is dazzling... Musical theatre at its best.’ West End Wilma

★★★★★ 'That famous score is in good hands with musical director Joe Bunker.’ Theatre Weekly

★★★★★ ‘Sat hidden above the action, Joe Bunker’s band make fine work of this all too rarely heard score.’ Jonathan Baz

★★★★★ ‘Joe Bunker’s small but splendid band with new orchestrations by Greg Arrowsmith perfectly compliment the cast and make John Kander’s score shine... This production of The Rink is a real masterclass in just what can be achieved when you assemble your A team. It’s as good as anything in the West End at the moment.’

★★★★ ‘A big, bursting powerhouse of a revival’ The Stage

★★★★ ‘Musical numbers are vivacious and pitched perfectly for the size of the space we are in, with a seven person band tucked up on a mezzanine level above the back of the stage. The live music again is an enormous pleasure, adding depth and spark to this show with all the fullness of a complete orchestra.’ Upper Circle

‘A great showcase for an inspired creative team - choreographer Fabian Aloise and a punchy powerhouse of a band led by musical director Joe Bunker.’

My Fair Lady, The Mill at Sonning, 23 Nov 2017 - 27 Jan 2018


★★★★ ‘A masterclass in paring down a major musical for a small stage.’ The Stage

★★★★ ‘The production is full of subtle and original touches… They do full justice to the evergreen songs.’ The Express

★★★★Not the biggest, swirliest production you’ll ever see, but it truly works because it has the right energy and polemical spirit. And of course all the songs – from ‘Wouldn’t It Be Loverly’ to ‘I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face’ – are simply irresistible.’ The Mail on Sunday

★★★★A delight’ Pocket Size Theatre

Wasted, Southwark Playhouse, 6 Sept - 6 Oct 2018

Wasted, Southwark Playhouse, 6 Sept - 6 Oct 2018


★★★★★ ‘An inspiring new rock musical.’ Daily Mirror

★★★★ ‘A fantastically witty, mischievous and camp musical. Wasted manages to be a lot of fun and gives the Brontë legend a mischievous new spin.’ The Guardian

★★★★ ‘Inspired. It’s delightful to see the formal boundaries of the genre given such a joyously energetic workout and heralds rich creative times to come.’ Evening Standard

★★★★ ‘This grittily exhilarating show is essential viewing if you’re interested in the future of the British musical.’ Whatsonstage

★★★★ ‘An anthem of independence and creativity.’ Broadway World