Of Royalty and Loyalty
Sir Kenneth Branagh looks back on his 25-year collaboration with Patrick Doyle.
By Tim Burden

Tracking down a director for an interview isn’t easy, especially one the stature of Sir Kenneth Branagh. Thankfully, due to a combination of our persistence and his kindness, Branagh granted us some time for a chat about his lengthy collaboration with Patrick Doyle.

From their early days in the Renaissance Theatre Company through a film partnership that has spanned 25 years and nearly a dozen films, “Ken and Pat” have forged a creative relationship that rivals those of other legendary director/ composer teams. But first, a look back at some of their musical highlights:


A Branagh & Doyle Musical Montage (3:58)

Henry V / Love’s Labour’s Lost / Thor / Jack Ryan / Henry V / Dead Again 


Branagh Interview (23:56)

00:00 - Introduction

00:56 - Henry V (concert rehearsal clip)

01:20 - Discussing the music

02:40 - Recording a film score in 1989

03:24 - “A special experience”

04:20 - Getting Patrick his first film gig (featuring “Battle of Agincourt” concert rehearsal clip)

05:15 - “It was an amazing sight to see Sir Simon Rattle and the CBSO at work.”

06:00 - “St. Crispin’s Day” (Henry V OST)

06:45 - Henry V live and Celtic sensibilities

07:48 - “Non Nobis Domine” (Henry V concert rehearsal clip)

08:50 - Patrick on-set and in front of the camera

10:00 - Talking Disney’s Cinderella

11:30 - First meeting

12:48 - “Your Sister’s Drown’d” (Hamlet)

16:37 - Revisiting a masterpiece of text, film and music

19:00 - Responding to demos (featuring “Bid the Soldier’s Shoot,” Hamlet)

20:12 - Talking Dead Again

23:41 - Outtake


The Early Years: Patrick Doyle (left), conductor Simon Rattle, and Kenneth Branagh.

The Film Music of Patrick Doyle From the Films of Kenneth Branagh

The Branagh/Doyle partnership was recently celebrated in a concert in Belfast with the Ulster Orchestra. Sir Kenneth recorded a special introductory message for the Belfast concert audience. (You’ll never watch or listen to Frankenstein the same way again!)

Sir Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast Introduction (4:02)

As a bonus for subscribers, here are some audio clips from the Belfast concert rehearsals that feature the only version of “Thor Kills the Destroyer” with male choir (as originally conceived, but later dropped from the final recording at Marvel’s request).

Henry V (14:27)

Frankenstein, Part 1 (24:00)

Frankenstein, Part 2 (6:26)

Hamlet (4:00)

Thor (5:42)

All concert rehearsal clips are performed by the Ulster Orchestra and Belfast Philharmonic Choir. Used with kind permission.

Thanks to Sir Kenneth Branagh, Tamar Thomas, Maggie Rodford, Laura Nakhla, Patrick Doyle and the staff and players of the Belfast Film Festival, Ulster Orchestra and Belfast Philharmonic Choir.