Joe's credits as musical director include the Olivier-nominated Josephine and I (Bush Theatre and Public Theater, New York), starring Cush Jumbo and directed by Phyllida Lloyd. The show won the 2015 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show (Off-Broadway) and the 2013 Evening Standard Award for Emerging Talent.
He is currently working with Fascinating Aïda's Liza Pulman, as musical director and orchestrator for her Songs of Hollywood UK tour, and her solo show Everything's Coming up Roses. He also collaborates regularly with singer and actress Jessica Walker, with whom he has appeared at the prestigious Brits Off Broadway Festival in New York, accompanying her one-woman shows Pat Kirkwood is Angry and The Girl I Left Behind Me. The pair are currently collaborating on new play, All I Want is One Night, for the Manchester Royal Exchange.
Joe is a highly sought-after musician on the London cabaret circuit, working as co-devisor, musical director and accompanist on The Quarter-Life Crisis Cabaret with Katie Brennan (St. James Theatre and the Alleycat), Songs for Paris with Jessica Walker (Crazy Coqs), Queen of Hearts with Debbie Chapman (Leicester Square Theatre), The Ring's the Thing with Peter Kenworthy (The Pheasantry) and Song of the Single Girl also with Katie Brennan (Union Theatre and the Alleycat), plus appearances at Lauderdale House, Pizza on the Park and Crafternoon Cabaret.
Joe appears as musical director, pianist and orchestrator on Liza Pulman Sings Hollywood (First Night Records) and pianist on the recording of The Girl I Left Behind Me (Original Cast Recordings).
Joe's additional credits as musical director include the premiere production of Philip Ridley's Feathers in the Snow, Victor/Victoria (both Southwark Playhouse), the European premiere of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Me and Juliet (Finborough Theatre), The Wedding Singer (Lowry Theatre, Manchester), and A Berlin Kabaret with Sphinx Theatre, winner of Best Cabaret at the Brighton Fringe 2014.
Since 2003, Joe has been musical director of the Year Out Drama Company based in Stratford-upon-Avon, an intensive year-long acting course which enjoys close ties to the RSC. Joe is also a member of the Globe Theatre's Higher Education Faculty working with drama school students from all over the world.
Ms. Walker is accompanied by the show's musical director, Joseph
Atkins, a superb and sensitive pianist. - Charles Isherwood,
New York Times, on Pat Kirkwood is
[Cush Jumbo] makes the most of the jazzy music of the period
(with pianist Joseph Atkins playing a blast) and of Baker's oddly
angular, rhythmic, often comic, dancing style. Jumbo captures this
(on the evidence of film clips) to a t. - The
Stage on Josephine and I